iTunes Issue: How to Clear Library and Start Over

“I'm running iTunes 11 for Windows and JAWS 14 on an XP SP2 machine. I need to delete my current iTunes library and start a new one. I want to keep all my media files and just delete the library files. How do I do this? –”

If after updating iTunes you started looking for your music files, videos or podcasts, then you need to learn how iTunes library files can be deleted while keeping all other media files at the same time. But most iTunes users just like our clients ( don’t know this trick. So, we shall be discussing ways/tricks to clear iTunes library and start over.

How to Clear iTunes Library and Start over

#1. How to Clear iTunes Library and Start over – on Mac

If you always use your MacBook to play audio files, podcasts, videos, and other iTunes library files, but unfortunately, your iTunes library got corrupted, you may have to clear iTunes library and start over again.

To delete iTunes library on Mac, follow these steps:

Step 1: Close iTunes windows on your MacBook, and click on Finder button.
Step 2: From the Finder menu, click Go > Home; your MacBook home directory will be displayed.
Step 3: Double click Music > iTunes to open the iTunes folder.
Step 4: Drag the “iTunes Library.itl” file to the trashcan. Hold “Ctrl” and click the trashcan to empty it. This implies that your iTunes library files have been erased but your media files are still intact.
Step 5: Restart iTunes, and it will automatically create new library.
delete iTunes Library.itl

#2. How to Clear iTunes Library and Start Over – on Windows

We’ve done much research on the issues faced by users of iTunes for Windows PC, and we found that many of them go through rigorous processes and yet never achieve their aim which is clearing iTunes library in order to start afresh. Steps to clear iTunes for Windows PC are a bit different from that of Mac. If you are using Windows PC, follow these steps mentioned below:

Step 1: Launch Windows Explorer, click on Music Folder, and then iTunes Folder. You will see two files: iTunes Library.itl and iTunes Music Library.xml.
Step 2: Delete both files from iTunes folder.
Step 3: Restart iTunes, and it will automatically create new library.

delete itunes library on windows

How to Rebuild iTunes Library

Easiest Way – iMyFone TunesMate

iMyFone TunesMate is the easiest way for iTunes clearing library and start over again, or rebuild your damaged iTunes library in 1-click. TunesMate is an iOS media file transfer tool that functions perfectly as an iTunes alternative. It has been used by iPhone, iPad and iPod touch users to transfer, clear and rebuild iTunes media library on Windows and Mac PCs.

Umate tunesmate

1,000,000+ Downloads

Key Features:

  • Easily bypass iTunes restrictions and unknown iTunes errors.
  • Share iTunes music with family or friends, even with different Apple IDs.
  • Restore lost, damaged or corrupted iTunes library by copying media files from your iPhone, iPad, iPod… up to unlimited devices.
  • Transfer files including music, movies, playlists, podcasts, audiobooks, TV shows, iTunes U, photos, and 10+ more.
  • Receives lots of positive reviews from GetintopcGeekreply, etc.

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The Steps to rebuild iTunes library:

Step 1: Run TunesMate on your computer, and connect your iOS device.
Step 2: Click “Transfer iDevice Media to iTunes” from the Home interface. TunesMate will scan all the media file in your iDevice and display them for you to preview.

Transfer iDevice Media to iTunes

Step 3: After previewing the files, you can unselect the files you don’t want to transfer by unchecking the boxes. Then click on “Start” to start transferring your files. Click the “Complete” button to complete the process.

start and complete

Free Way - iTunes

Missing songs, changed playlists and disappeared songs in iTunes Library is a common problem, but you can still track such songs or files because they are still in your iTunes Media folder. Rebuilding iTunes library is a simple process, but it may take a while to complete especially if you have thousands of songs on your iTunes.

Step 1: Before rebuilding your iTunes library we advise you first backup your iTunes Media folder, just to be safe.
Step 2: Close iTunes, then find your iTunes Media folder.

  • Mac: Click on Finder > Home > Double click the Music folder.
  • Windows: Click on User > Username > My Music > iTunes

Step 3: Find iTunes Library.xml or iTunes Library.itl. Move the files to another folder.
Step 4: Launch iTunes and navigate to the folder where you moved the file by choosing File > Library > Import Playlist > iTunes Library.xml or iTunes Library.itl folder. Click on Choose (for Mac) or Open (for Windows).
Step 5: iTunes will find all your files, tracks, and playlists, and add them to your new iTunes Library.itl file. This may take over an hour to process.

rebuild itunes library

How to Clean iTunes Duplicates

Having duplicate songs in iTunes is annoying problem, but there is a way to erase, stop and prevent duplicates in iTunes in the future. If you are having the new version of iTunes, here are the steps for iTunes clean duplicates.

Step 1: Launch iTunes App.
Step 2: Click File > My Library > Show Duplicates
Step 3: Click “All” to view duplicates. Then arrange Names, Artists, and Albums so you can view them well in iTunes Music column. To do this, hold down the Control Key and click the iTunes column.
Step 4: Click the Name column to view duplicates files. Highlight the duplicate files and erase them by clicking Delete button on your keyboard.