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3 Ways to Restore Lost or Accidentally Deleted iTunes Playlists

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Aaron Donald

October 27, 2017 (Updated: May 30, 2018锛

2 min read

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iTunes Playlists is Missing or Accidentally Deleted

lost iTunes playlists

Did you accidentally delete your favorite playlists or the iTunes application got crashed? Perhaps you have updated your iTunes or move your iTunes music library? All these and many more can result in missing playlists, but you don鈥檛 have to panic. The good news is that you can still recover your lost playlist.

3 Solutions to Restore iTunes Playlists

1. Restore iTunes Playlists from Unlimited iPhones/iPads/iPods

iMyFone TunesMate is an all-in-one and user-friendly iOS manager which can edit iTunes library and iPhone media without opening iTunes. With it, you can freely transfer files between iPhone and iTunes library/computer, and music playlists are inclusive. Unlike iTunes, you don鈥檛 need to worry about data will be lost when transferring.

Umate Pro iphone data eraser

1,000,000+ Downloads

  • Restore iTunes Playlists: Restore the previous iTunes playlists; Restore iTunes library from iOS devices.
  • Manage iPhone Playlists: Create, rename, delete, add music to playlists, move music between playlists, export, import, etc.
  • Media Supported to Transfer: music, movies, playlists, photos, albums, audiobooks, podcasts, etc.
  • Transfer to/from iPhone: Add media to iPhone without deleting existing data; Extract media from iPhone to iTunes, computer, external hard drive, etc.
  • Received lots of great using review from noted media, like Geekreply,,, etc.

Try It FreeTry It Free

1.1 Steps to Restore iTunes Playlists from iPhone/iPad/iPod

Step 1: Download, install and open iMyFone TunesMate on your computer. Connect your device.
Step 2: Go to Music tab at the top. All your playlist will be shown at the left sidebar.
Step 3: Right click on the playlists and click on Export to iTunes.


Then you can find the playlists on your iTunes library.

1.2 Steps to Restore the Latest iTunes Playlists

Step 1: Open TunesMate and connect your device. Click on Transfer iTunes Media to iDevice. Make sure Playlists are checked and click on Start button. The lost or accidentally deleted playlists will be restored to your device.


Step 2: When it finishes, you can go to Music tab. Right click on the playlists and click on Export to iTunes. Then the playlists will be restored to iTunes library.

2. Restore iTunes Playlist from Previous Backup

This is helpful only when you have a backup of your iTunes folder before. Or you should try the first ways.

Step 1. Quite iTunes.

Step 2. Locate your external hard drive where you bakcup your iTunes folder before.

Step 3. Drag the iTunes folder from the external hard drive back to its default location.

Step 4. Open iTunes while pressing Shift key (Windows) or Options key (Mac).

Step 5. The window 鈥Choose iTunes Library鈥 will pop up, choose Choose Library.
restore iTunes library
Step 6. Choose the iTunes library that you dragged in Step 3. Click Choose or Open and select the iTunes Library.itl inside.


Tips to Backup iTunes Library to External Hard Drive

  1. Launch iTunes on your computer. Go to Edit > Preferences > Advanced.
  2. Check 鈥Copy files to iTunes Media folder when adding to library鈥. When you click on this option, iTunes will make a copy of the iTunes media folder.
  3. Go to File > Library > Organize Library. Make sure Consolidate files is checked and hit OK.
  4. Quite iTunes. Go to your iTunes folder (you can find the directory from Edit > Preferences > Advanced on iTunes). Drag the iTunes folder to external hard drive.

drag iTunes folder

3. Restore iTunes Playlists from Old iTunes Music Library.xml

Make sure you have the latest version of iTunes first.
Step 1. Quit iTunes.

Step 2. Find the iTunes folder on your computer.

  1. For Windows: Navigate to C:\Users\username\Music\iTunes
  2. For Mac: At the top of your Mac screen, go to Go > Home from the menu bar. Then go to Music folder and then iTunes folder.

Step 3. In the iTunes folder, locate files with the name 鈥iTunes Music Library.xml鈥 and drag it to your desktop.

iTunes Music Library.xml

Step 4. Re-launch iTunes. Before anything, go to the File > Library > Import Playlist.

import playlists

Step 5. Locate the 鈥渋Tunes Music Library.xml鈥 on your desktop and select it.

Step 6. Select OK. iTunes will automatically recreate your lost playlists.

This process should magically restore your iTunes library to an earlier state before it was accidentally removed. If you fail to find the iTunes Music Librart.xml, this way is not available for you.

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