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Question: Can't select library

I recently had to restore my laptop. All of my files have been recovered, and I double-checked my itunes folders/files (had a problem I posted here before), and they look to be in order - I dug down a bit, into My Music > iTunes > iTunes Music > {artist} > {album} and saw MP4 files.

However, when I start itunes with <shift>, and am prompted to select library, I do so, but when itunes starts, there is no music. I've tried renaming the existing .itl file, and using one from Previous iTunes Libraries, but still no music shows up.

I'm running a Dell Alienware laptop 2.9GHz, 32GB RAM with Win10, and itunes

OBS iPod classic, Windows 10

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Mar 16, 2018 4:36 AM in response to turingtest2 In response to turingtest2

Thanks for the quick reply! However, trying the suggestion in the first link doesn't seem to work.

i right-clicked the itunes folder, selected Properties, and on the General tab selected Security, then Advanced. But on that window, I did not see a Change Permissions... button (see screenshot). There was a Change item, but clicking it brought up a Select User or Group window.

User uploaded file

I did, however, select the Replace permissions item, and hit OK. Then, on the Properties window, General tab, I de-selected Read Only, and hit Apply.

Then, when I pressed <shift> and started itunes, had the same result as before - no music in library.

I did not attempt anything from the second link you gave, because I did not receive an error message. But I will try it later (heading to work now). Thanks again!

Mar 16, 2018 4:36 AM

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Mar 16, 2018 4:58 AM in response to DaveN1 In response to DaveN1

If your old library was using an older version of iTunes than the one you have installed now then on first launch the library would need to be updated for the new layout. This sometimes results in the empty after upgrade scenario, which doesn't raise an error message. The evidence would be a recent entry in the Previous iTunes Libraries folder, or perhaps some hidden .tmp files.


Mar 16, 2018 4:58 AM

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Mar 16, 2018 4:17 PM in response to DaveN1 In response to DaveN1

I note that you used iTunes Music as the name of the media folder. That is quite old school. Take a look at Make a split library portable for some background on the standard shape of the iTunes library. If you don't have the old .itl file to work with then I would rename the media folder as iTunes Media, connect to the iTunes Library.itl file in the usual location, import a single album, close iTunes, reopen, and see if it is still listed. Assuming that has worked import the rest of the media folder. Also use File > Library > Organize Library > Rearrange Files to switch up to the modern layout if needed. If you have content on any Apple devices see the scripts listed towards the bottom of Recover your iTunes library from your iPod or iOS device to reclaim playlists, ratings and other stats.


Mar 16, 2018 4:17 PM

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Mar 31, 2018 3:22 PM in response to DaveN1 In response to DaveN1

  1. With iTunes closed use Windows Explorer to open your user's Music folder, then the iTunes folder inside that. Rename the folder iTunes Music as iTunes Media.
  2. Start iTunes.
  3. Under Edit > Preferences > Advanced check that the media folder now reads C:\Users\awso\iTunes\iTunes Media. If it doesn't click the Reset button.
  4. Use File > Library > Organized Library and if the option isn't greyed out tick Rearrange Files and click OK. If greyed out move to the next step.
  5. Use File > Add Folder to Library and select the folder C:\Users\awso\iTunes\iTunes Media. iTunes should import all of the media into your library.

Once you've done that we can talk about trying to rescue your playlists and stats.


Mar 31, 2018 3:22 PM

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Apr 1, 2018 4:45 AM in response to turingtest2 In response to turingtest2

Note that the iTunes path is different - D:\Documents\My Music\iTunes. (I'm not sure what happened in previous screenshots. I saw it was on C:\ from then. Maybe I moved it?)

Anyway, following your steps...

1. There was already a folder in iTunes called "iTunes Media". There was also an "iTunes Music", where most (99%?) of my music was. I have since moved all the music out of there, and put it in the appropriate folder (in "Music" folder) in iTunes Media. Also, I renamed "iTunes Music" to "iTunes Music OLD".

2. I started iTunes.

3. Under Edit > Preferences > Advanced the media folder pointed to the C:\ drive, I updated that to the correct path; D:\Documents\My Music\iTunes\iTunes Media.

4. In File > Library > Organized Library the option WAS greyed out.

5. Went to File > Add Folder to Library and selected the folder D:\Documents\My Music\iTunes\iTunes Media. Nothing happened. I tried closing and re-opening iTunes, but still there was nothing in the library.

By the way, thanks for your continued help.

Apr 1, 2018 4:45 AM

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Apr 1, 2018 5:53 AM in response to turingtest2 In response to turingtest2

I know. It's weird. But I did have a major problem with the laptop several days ago, and had to recover stuff.

Anyway... I tried what you suggested, using the new path (as indicated in my previous reply). But when I started iTunes, I still had no music in the library.

Apr 1, 2018 5:53 AM

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Apr 1, 2018 7:14 AM in response to turingtest2 In response to turingtest2

Updated permissions at the D:\Documents\My Music\iTunes level. Right-clicked, selected Properties > Security > Advanced, selected "Replace all child object permissions...". I did this for both the admin account, and my user account.

Opened iTunes, in Edit > Preferences > Advanced entered the correct path. Music library did not update. Closed iTunes & re-opened, still no music in library. 😟

Apr 1, 2018 7:14 AM

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Apr 1, 2018 8:20 AM in response to DaveN1 In response to DaveN1

No worries. I only mentioned it explicitly because you didn't and I'm stumped for any other explaination as to why your media isn't being added.

Try the press and hold down shift as you start iTunes method and create a new library at D:\iTunes. Copy one of your existing album folders into D:\iTunes\iTunes Media\Automatically Add to iTunes. What happens?


Apr 1, 2018 8:20 AM

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Question: Can't select library