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When I updated iTunes, I lost music. It shocked me a lot, it’s a huge music collection. How can I get it back? Help. -- Austin

Did you update your iTunes and—to your surprise—you found that your music was missing? Did hundreds or thousands of songs just disappear for seemingly no reason? This can be extremely frustrating when you’ve built up a sizable playlist, especially if you can’t be certain that your music is still on your hard drive at all. Here is how to fix this common problem.

iTunes Music Gone After Update? Restore Music from Previous iTunes Library

The first way to get your songs and playlists back after they have mysteriously disappeared during an update is to restore the music from a previous iTunes library.

(1) Close iTunes.

(2) Find your iTunes library folder and go into it. On Windows, it should be in Users\[Your Username]\Music\iTunes\. On Mac, it should be in Go > Home > Music > iTunes.

(3) Find the iTunes Library.itl file and drag and drop it over onto your desktop.

iTunes Library.itl file

(4) Find the Previous iTunes Libraries folder that’s in the iTunes folder and open it.

(5) Find an older iTunes library, preferably the one made before you updated. It will have a name like “iTunes Library [date in YYYY-MM-DD format].”

(6) Select the file and copy it.

(7) Navigate back up to your iTunes Libraries folder.

(8) Paste the older iTunes Library file there.

(9) Rename the file “iTunes Library.itl.”

(10) Hold Shit key (Win) or Option key (Mac) and launch iTunes.

(11) iTunes will ask you to choose a library. Browse and pick the new iTunes Library.itl file.

iTunes Music Missing After Update? Restore Music from Unlimited iPhones

Did you know that there’s another way to do this, though? Using your past iTunes libraries can be unreliable, especially if the problem is actually with your hard drive or some other data issue. It’s also easier to use this second method: You can restore music from unlimited iPhone.

Consider iMyFone TunesMate for help. It’s iOS management software that enables you to freely transfer music between iPhone and computer/iTunes. This way, you can actually restore your music if anything goes wrong by simply transferring the library on your device back into iTunes.

Try It FreeTry It Free

Here are some of TunesMate’s great features:

  • One click to restore iTunes library--fix “when I updated iTunes and my music disappeared”.
  • You can transfer almost any kind of file: music, movies, playlists, photos, audibooks, ringtones, podcasts, iTunes U, etc.
  • You can transfer even files that were not purchased in the iTunes store--purchased files from Google/Amazon/other where & freely-downloaded files.
  • You can transfer files between iPhones with different Apple IDs.
  • Never worry about existing library on iPhone/iTunes will be replacing when transferring.
  • Receive lots of positive reviews from its increasing users and famous media.

How to Restore/Recover iTunes Music?

Step 1: Download and install iMyFone TunesMate onto your computer. Connect your iPhone/iPod/iPad to your computer and launch the application.

Step 2: After TunesMate loads, click where it says “Transfer iDevice Media to iTunes.” This will allow you to transfer the data on your device directly to iTunes without ever having to even open iTunes.

iMyFone TunesMate

Step 3: Click Start. Click to select what kind of media you want to transfer, then click Start again. Click Complete.

iMyFone TunesMate


If you ever find that your iTunes music gone after update, know that you have options. You can try restoring the official way with Apple’s tools, or you can take control and restore using one of your devices. Either way, iMyFone TunesMate is a great application to have for managing your music.