Oh no! What did you do? Somehow, your iTunes library was corrupted and now you’re missing songs and have no idea how to fix it. Where did all your music go? Maybe you accidentally clicked on the wrong thing or you tried to do something shady on your computer and the library file got messed up. If all you’re getting is a dialog box that says “iTunes Library.itl can’t be read”, then you have a few options still.
Fix Corrupted iTunes Library with Older Library File
Having a corrupted iTunes library can take you by surprise and you may not know how to approach it. You can try to repair it though by replacing the corrupted “iTunes Library.itl” file with an older, non-corrupt version. Here’s how to do it:
Step 1: Ensure your iTunes is closed and not running any more. Or it may damage the older file when fixing.
Step 2: Find your damaged iTunes library on your computer and rename it, like “Damaged iTunes Library.itl”. (You can find the directory of iTunes library files on your computer below.)
Step 3: After you’ve renamed the library, look for the folder that says “Previous iTunes Libraries” in the iTunes folder that you’re in. Click on it.
Step 4: In there, you should be able to find a recent previous version of your library. Copy it and paste it to where “Damaged iTunes Library.itl” locates, and rename it to the generic “iTunes Library.itl” that iTunes will recognize.
Hopefully this one is not also corrupted, but if it is, repeat this process with previous libraries until you find a good one.
Here is the directory of iTunes library files:
- For Mac OS: /Users/username/Music/iTunes/iTunes Library.itl
- For Windows 10/8/7/Vista: C:/Users/[User Name]/My Music/ iTunes/iTunes Library.itl
- For Windows XP: Documents and Settings/[User Name]/My Documents/My Music/iTunes/iTunes Library.itl
Directly Fix iTunes Library from iPod/iPad/iPhone
If you restore your library to a previous version, as mentioned above, and find that you ended up losing files, this can certainly be disheartening. However, don’t lose hope! You can restore your songs using the data that is on your iOS device.
The third-party application iMyFone TunesMate is a great tool to help you fix your iTunes library from iPhone/iPad/iPod. It is great at transferring all kinds of files, including songs. You can transfer any kind of music or videos from your iOS device to your iTunes library in only a few clicks. Here is how you do it:
Step 1: Download and install the free trial version of TunesMate to have a try. Plug in your iPhone/iPad/iPod.
Step 2: Click on the “Music” tab near the top. You should see music from your device begin to populate the screen.
Step 3: Select the music that you want to restore to your library and click “Export,” then “Export to iTunes.”
Be sure to do all of this after you have restored your iTunes library to a workable version.
Now, what is iMyFone TunesMate and why does it seem to have all these great abilities? Well, you can think of it as an alternative to iTunes, one that gives you more control over your files instead of trying to impose restrictions. It has some incredible features, including:
- The ability to transfer files to your PC from any kind of iOS device.
- The ability to transfer files to your iOS devices from your PC.
- The ability to manage and transfer files of almost any kind of format, including pictures, music, video, playlists, and more.
- The ability to edit certain files on the fly before you transfer them.
- Sharing files between many different iOS devices and computers, so that you don’t have to comply with Apple’s official restriction of just 5 devices.
- The ability to rebuild your iTunes playlist with just one click.
- A tool that detects duplicate files so that you can get rid of them.
As you can see, TunesMate is a very feature rich application, and it belongs in the virtual toolbox of anyone who owns an iOS device. Not only does it help you get around Apple’s restrictions, but it can possibly save your files in an emergency.