Restoring a Previous Version of Your iTunes Library

85 responses

  1. Anne
    October 28, 2013

    Hi I mistakenly reverted my i pod to delete ‘manage music manually’ and most of my songs have disappeared – can you help please? I clicked the above button as I couldn’t find the sync button after importing a cd – tried restoring pc to an earlier date but the music is still not there – I owuld be very grateful if you could help at all please? thank you

  2. sachin
    September 21, 2013

    thanx you saved hell of time , thanx a lot :-)

  3. cha
    November 7, 2012

    how can i install the previous version of itunes? I need to install 10.2 version. Pls help me.

  4. Saeed
    October 31, 2012

    thanks so much
    it is working.

  5. DJ Son Gohan
    May 12, 2012

    Hello my friends:

    You can get the old itunes libraries on this local path:
    C:\Documents and Settings\\My Documents\My Music\iTunes\Previous iTunes Libraries\

    But, before you replace the iTunes Library.itl file… review the previous, because on the first line appears the itunes version number.

    I recommend to use Total Commander and press F3 (Viewer) on every C:\Documents and Settings\\My Documents\My Music\iTunes\Previous iTunes Libraries\ file. Before replacing.

    • Konstanze
      September 11, 2012

      Thanks so much for the article. You practically saved my evening ;). Thx alot.

  6. producera
    March 3, 2012

    holy crap! for some reason today i managed to delete my library off my ipad.. so i went to save it and reoad form my itunes..but i guess i hadnt been on my itunes on laptop since early january.. so i had updated some stuff since then and it had to reimport library etc.. fancy stuff i dont get.. anyways… i accidentally pressed abort when my library was importing onto my laptop. anyways.. as soon as i aborted import i found my whole music library still there but my playlists all had been wiped clean!!! i totally freaked out and googled for help.. first post i found was this one and it saaaved my whole library.. and day!!!! as most people, my playlists go back to 2006 and are very well organized how i like, and with thousands of songs and videos.. that is a necessity.. so thats years of worked i had managed to wipe clean soo quickly and carelessly.. without itunes even offering “are you sure you want to abort?”

    doing this EASY procedure you posted here on 1 of my previously saved libraries from dec saved my itunes and a lot of hours of trying to rectify the situation on my own! so glad i found this and thank you soo much.. i only have to reimport stuff from the past month.. instead of redoing dozens of playlists – including my ipod playlist.. which, if anyone knows… can take hours to sift through and choose from thousands of songs!!!

  7. david
    January 7, 2012

    thanks, I’ve now followed your guide and reinstalled 10.4 and have finally managed to get ITunes working again.
    David

  8. Jan
    December 29, 2011

    Thank you!!!

  9. Rick
    October 30, 2011

    Thanks – you are a star. I had exactly the same on mine, ie updated to 10.5 and everything sounded like a dalek. Thought was quicktime at first so re-installed that and tested quicktime working fine, winamp playing fine therefore must be itunes. Reinstalled – no different. Installed earlier version and wouldnt pick up the library. Found your info and all works great now. Been at this all day !!!!! Thanks a lot, from Richard !!!

  10. J
    October 25, 2011

    hey there, i went into my music, but there’s no file named “itunes libarry itl. ”
    but i still get the message saying the same thing. please help!!

  11. Kazaan
    October 18, 2011

    Thanks for this post and comments. This is a life saver.
    renaming the .itl file didnt work for me.The error kept coming back. But as someone had posted a few pages back
    > rename the existing “Itunes Library” to “itunes library.bak” – not the .itl file, chose the file w/o extention.
    > copy the latest “itunes Library -date-” file into the itunes folder
    >remove the date on a file rename. have no extention.
    start older veriosn of itunes – it should work. i does for me.
    IMHO Those fed up with using itunes to manage music on ipod/iphone/ipad should try out MediaMonkey. Works like a charm. Except that those guys take a while to make MM compatible with the upgrades in itunes/IOS. As is MMBeta4 can handle Itunes 10.5, but not IOS5 yet.

    • Paul Salmon
      October 18, 2011

      Thanks for an alternative solution, Kazaan.

  12. alacon
    September 26, 2011

    THANK YOU!

  13. Sci_Head
    August 12, 2011

    Thanks a lot Bro..
    Worked perfectly !!!

  14. Ryan
    August 1, 2011

    Thank you, you saved me a lot of time!

  15. Ray
    July 28, 2011

    lost everything on itunes/iphone OS update, pictures, notes, files, contacts. the only thing i have now is apps and music. Called apple they want $29 for phone support and online support is free with no answers to my problems. need help

  16. Steve
    July 8, 2011

    worked!

  17. Kabir
    July 2, 2011

    This worked perfectly! Coodos man!

  18. Austin
    June 30, 2011

    I followed the steps and after some confusion I eventually got iTunes to at least load again back to the version I wanted. However, there’s NOTHING in my library and I can’t seem to figure out how to correct that. How would I go about getting the songs that were in my library before my initial gaffe (stupid me for messing around and downloading the newest version because it was awful after years of declining it) now that I’ve got the version I want again?

    Thanks for the help!

  19. Roy L.
    June 5, 2011

    If you guys have the 10th version, updated it, and reinstalled the 10th, just delete the iTunes folders(itunes and playlist) and install it again, it will work perfectly.

    • Paul Salmon
      June 6, 2011

      Thanks for the advice, Roy.

  20. Amanda
    May 18, 2011

    I did this and I get itunes to work but my library has nothing…. what do i do to fix this issue?????

  21. Ata
    April 29, 2011

    Worked for me………Thanks!!!

  22. ElysiaF
    April 22, 2011

    Just tried this fix, worked perfectly and my itunes is now up and running again! Thanks very much!

  23. Anthony
    February 2, 2011

    I have followed every step and I still cannot open my itunes the same message is comming up, can you suggest anything else please I am so done with itunes I have a very very large libary going back replacing my vinal records with a lot of old school music, so if anyone can help please let me know

  24. Zeke
    December 28, 2010

    Thanks!

  25. Jeff
    December 3, 2010

    thank you very much i messed up my library this saved me from hours and hours and hours of rebuilding it!

  26. Aaron
    November 30, 2010

    I’d like to revert from 10 to 7.5 without losing my ratings and playcounts. There’s probably no way, is there?

  27. David
    September 22, 2010

    Hello; I’ve followed your instructions, and iTunes now opens, but is empty of content. Can you explain in simple terms to an idiot like me how to restore my library to iTunes?
    David

  28. Bob Basta
    September 10, 2010

    Uninstalled V10 and reinstalled V9.2.1. V10 messed up my album files. Renamed current .itl file as .itl.old. Copied previous .itl file to same directory as current .itl location. Renamed copied file to itunes library.itl. Worked fine. Got itunes 9.2.1 to open properly. All albums came out as they were before I inadvertantly upgraded to V10.
    Thanks.

    • Paul Salmon
      September 12, 2010

      Glad it worked for you.

  29. Thomas
    August 1, 2010

    Hello,
    My iTunes library was created with a later version of iTunes (8.?), but I would like to use version 7.6. I followed the instructions and they didn’t work for me. I would greatly appreciate some help with this.
    Thanks,
    Thomas

  30. Pan
    July 15, 2010

    You’ll be in my prayers for this………….!BLESS YOU!

    • Paul
      July 15, 2010

      Thanks.

  31. Marcus
    July 13, 2010

    Ahh I see. Oh well. I redid the steps and most of my library was salvaged. I just have to readd 1000 songs…. yarg.

    I initially had itunes 9, but my classic wasn’t working with it.. so I uninstalled that and reinstalled itunes 8.

  32. Marcus
    July 13, 2010

    Doesn’t this cause your current library to be lost? I tried this step for step, adn yes itunes opens, but all of my songs and library disappeared.

    • Paul
      July 13, 2010

      It probably would cause your current library to be lost. The steps outlined in this post were used to correct the problem of opening a newer version of your library with an older version of the iTunes application.

  33. Jessica Bosari
    July 7, 2010

    I was really getting worked up for a minute. You really rock for posting this. Thank you!

  34. MaiKa
    July 7, 2010

    oh thank you so much. i’m having these problem for like days. thank u so much. this helps me a lot..

  35. Sel
    June 29, 2010

    Thanks so much. It’s so amazing. Problem solved just by few clicks.Cool!

  36. Nick Virgo
    June 25, 2010

    Sorry folks, the link was for an Apple site (which was fine for me but maybe not for you). However reverting to the old iTunes and reinstating an iTunes library does appear to have got me back to where a working iTunes and iPod system.

  37. Nick Virgo
    June 25, 2010

    This has made my life a misery in the last three days. Try the following sight for information.
    http://appletoolbox.com/2010/06/itunes-9-2-sync-problems-wont-sync-slow-fixes/

    I’m currently trying to go back iTunes 9.1.1 :-(

  38. Isla
    June 19, 2010

    Leane, the exact same thing happened to me. I downloaded the new version of itunes and then i went into it and the it said itunes.itl cannont be found. I ended up having to re-install itunes and i used a previous itunes library but now i try to sync my ipod and it freezes. Have you had any luck? or any help from anyone would be great!!!

  39. Leanne
    June 18, 2010

    When I went into iTunes, it asked me if I wanted to download the 9.2 newer version of iTunes. I accepted and when the newer version came, all my music was gone. I exited out of iTunes and tried to get the older version back but when I try and go into iTunes, nothing happens. It won’t let me go into it. Do you know what’s wrong with it? Any help I can get would be much appreciated!

  40. Pavan
    June 12, 2010

    Thank you very very. It worked for me. I should have seen this article .. :-)

  41. Coral
    May 13, 2010

    Omg this is so helpful but…. When i got to my documents all that shows is dowloaded music , and ichat. PLease help me step by step.

  42. Victor
    May 6, 2010

    God bless you. You were so helpful. Thank you so much.

  43. Sam
    April 14, 2010

    Thank you sooooo much. It worked great.

  44. Eli
    April 11, 2010

    Excellent!!!
    Worked for me. Windows XP.
    THANK YOU.
    Eli

  45. nico
    April 2, 2010

    works great with the newest itunes version. i’m on win 7 x64. thanks a lot

  46. Maya
    January 14, 2010

    Got the library to open. Thank you! But my library of music didn’t carry over or playlists.
    The music is still there but how do I get it back into the library?
    How do I prevent the error from happening again?
    Can I put all the music on my ipod back into iTunes with the different playlists?

  47. kevin
    January 10, 2010

    what if ur on Windows XP and ur files only appear as “iTunes Library” – how do you make this file change work? I was able to open iTunes after trying this, but my “Music” section was empty…don’t want to import 1200 songs one by one

  48. Kas
    January 7, 2010

    Thank youuu SO MUCH :)

  49. Max
    January 1, 2010

    The approach worked without major problems. Naturally, newly added files and folders were lost and had to be added again, followed by consolidation. By knowing the date of the iTunes Library.itl file, and comparing with dates of the iTunes sound/music files and folders, this was a straightforward task. – Many thanks

  50. Hannah
    December 29, 2009

    Thank-you thank-you thank-you!! You just helped me recover thousands of songs from years of downloading that were accidentally deleted on my computer…you’re a lifesaver!

  51. Jenn
    November 28, 2009

    STILL NOT WORKING!

  52. Kerem
    November 24, 2009

    Hey.
    I have windows vista (32) and there is no Previous iTunes Libraries folder…
    but the error is the same.

    would be great, if you could help me :)

    • kevin
      December 10, 2009

      i didn’t have the folder either. i just renamed the file like step number two and mine worked

  53. Ann-Marie
    November 18, 2009

    Thanks John, yes i found a load of songs in folders on my computer but don’t know if that is everything as i had thousands of songs before and my only real way of knowing if they were all there is seeing them in my playlists again. Like you i rely on those playlists for my job. Yes in looking for a solution to this problem i have found that many other people are in the same position, so if you do find a good mp3 program yes please let me know.

    its a nightmare really and i haven’t gotten around to starting to put playlists back in. I would have to look at all of my dvds and hear the music from each one and then go through the music on the computer and try to recognise which songs in arabic go with which choreographies. Obviously music i have listened to a lot in more recent times i have found quickly as i know their names and know what to type in to search for them. But other songs i will have to recognise the music when i hear it to know which playlist to allocate.

  54. Ann-Marie Hammond
    November 16, 2009

    Hi John, the same has happened to me. I have completely lost all of my playlists. I found a version of a library … not sure if it the most recent as i no longer have my playlists and because my music is Middle Eastern (I am a belly dancer) it is difficult for me to know if i have got it all back. Plus without all of my playlists i now don’t know which songs go with which choreography dvds etc… and I have a heck of a lot of them that i have collected over the past 6 years. I cannot find my back up cds. I know i did them but they seem to have been misplaced. I have had to move things around to stop baby from getting cds and maybe hid them then, but i really can’t recall where. So now i am stuck in the same boat as you without my play lists. If anyone works out how to get them back please let me know. [email protected]

    • John
      November 17, 2009

      Anne Marie

      Yes its very frustrating. However I assume you realise that you would still have your music files on your computer in their original directories. The only reason I mention this is because in your email you sound as though you might think you have lost everything.
      But, even though the files are still there, the playlists that are the important part of knowing how you have compiled everything. I can sympathise with you as I am in a similar position in that my playlists involved approximately 75 hours of music in different categories for a radio program I present each week. I have spent 6 months compiling them into categories (pop, romantic etc) and even have them in a play order. Now I have to start again.
      This time around I am creating a column (in the column browser) called ‘Grouping’ and I am placing the playlist name in that column against each song. This means that if it should happen again then at least I will can sort that column into the playlist names and place each group into a new playlist. This way I will always know what playlist a particular song belongs to.When I get it finished I won’t be using iTunes again for this sort of thing. If I find a good mp3 management program I will let you know.

  55. John
    November 14, 2009

    An even worse (and different problem) is that I have just installed the latest upgrade (Itunes version 9xxx) and it has completely removed my playlists and library. I can get the library back by renaming the .itl file as above but the playlists have gone. I had several and had spent a considerable amount of time compiling them. Now 6 months work is down the drain. Any ideas as to how to restore old playlists????

  56. margie
    November 10, 2009

    i have a little bit of a different problem…earlier today i attempted to create a new folder and put a file that was in my general library into it. it copied it fine. i closed itunes. later, opened it again, and it said -cannot start without previous library picked..gave me a few options..i picked the one with the most recent date, which was a bit ago..and now all my most recently uploaded music is not there..i went into previous libraries though my music etc, and there is nothing that resembles what my library looked like prior to this going nuts…

  57. vespeur
    November 8, 2009

    Hi,
    My iTunes has the same problem but when i open the “previous itunes libraries” it’s empty ,there’s no file in there to copy n paste to the main screen
    I store all my mp3 song in the folder in diskG:/ ,but there’s one same folder music in diskC:/ has the same itunes’s folder too
    Im tired of whenever i start itunes,i have to add the music folder once again

  58. Daniel
    November 3, 2009

    Hi,

    Version 9 of iTUNES won’t let me use YamIpod, a great little application that lets you transfer your music from your iPod to your PC.

    Yes, there are other applications that do that, but they are not free, or don’t work well.

    I think the best solution is to go back to iTUNES version 8.0.

    Thanks for the information.

  59. Bethany
    October 19, 2009

    Leon,
    I had the same problem. Whenever I started itunes it was creating a new itunes library instead of using the one I had created by naming it itunes library.itl. I fixed it by naming the library I wanted it to use “itunes library” and left it .itl off. Worked like a charm! Just to be clear, find the newest version of your itunes library in “previous itunes libraries” as listed above and copy and paste it to the main screen. Then instead of renaming it “itunes library.itl” just name it “itunes library”. Make sure noting else has the “itunes library” name. Hope it works for you!

  60. leon
    October 17, 2009

    hi there, this worked for me many thanks. only thing now is there is no music in itunes! nothing completly blank. can you help me get my music back?

    thanks

  61. Midge
    August 30, 2009

    Thanks! Worked really well. Two features iTunes 8 got rid of are importing using a MP3 encoder and “Convert Selection to MP3″. iTunes 8 does suck!

    Good advice!

  62. DMoeller
    August 17, 2009

    when i open my documents/my music/itunes i am not shown a file named itunes library.itl. the only files show to me are itunes music library, itunes library genius,itunes library, itunes library extras, and a folder named itunes music with no files in it. where is the file itunes library.itl

    • tom
      October 1, 2009

      Itunes library is the library.itl

  63. EvilGenius
    July 31, 2009

    I did added the old itunes library to itunes, but now i get:

    The iTunes application could not be opened. A required iTunes component is not installed. Please repair or reinstall QuickTime. (-42404).

    I repaired Quicktime, but still get the same error message. Thoughts?

  64. Paul Richards
    July 4, 2009

    Thank you so much; I was quite lost as to what to do. This has been a real success, and I thank you for placing these instructions online. I use itunes for my business, and was thinking I’d have to call in an expensive techy. Thanks again.

  65. Amit
    July 3, 2009

    Thanks dear. It worked for me as well…..Keep Rocking. If you have any other tips for the Itunes, please send it to me.

    Thanks

    Amit.

  66. etsu
    July 1, 2009

    thanks! worked for me

  67. wildcard
    June 13, 2009

    Thanks a lot man! U made my day!

  68. Li Le
    June 11, 2009

    thanks yours was the best answer on the internet

  69. tellyismylife
    June 9, 2009

    thank g for u. totally works.

    itunes 8.2 upgrade sucks!

  70. Tafy
    June 6, 2009

    youre a genius , thank u!

  71. tali
    April 30, 2009

    worked a charm, lovely.
    thank you so much!

    • Paul
      April 30, 2009

      No problem.

  72. sam
    April 7, 2009

    THANK YOU SO MUCH!

  73. doug
    March 29, 2009

    I was getting the error about my itunes library being created with a newer version and iTunes app wouldn’t launch fully.
    What I found was that the link from the dock was pointing to an older version of the application (8.02) and a newer version has been downloaded into the applications file, but the link from the dock wasn’t hitting the same version somehow. So I deleted the link from the dock, then made a new link from the icon in the application foler…voila, it all works. I now see the iTunes as version 8.1 and it’s recognizing my library.

    • a godin
      April 28, 2009

      I don’t understand ” the link from the dock ” Could you explain it step by step to a person who does not know too much about these things.

      I have been unable to use itunes for several weeks now and would be very thankful for your help.Thanks a lot.

      A Godin

    • Ming
      July 10, 2009

      Hi Doug,
      I have an iPod 60GB bought in 2006 which came with a iPod and iTunes CD. Few months ago, the hard disk went dead and it was replaced with a similar iPod 60GB with a new SN by paying $149AUD. I download iTunes 8 and it works, but it does not installed iPod for Windows 2006-06-28, whereas the original v6 did. iTunes 2008 or V8 works but it does not have the option for transfering files (manual or automatic). After I reinstall version 6, iTunes could not read the iTunes Library.itl. I copied from the previous foulder and rename the old version with the ‘iTunes Library.itl. It still does not work. I could not used my iPod with the old version.
      I will appreciate if you could give me some tips to overcome this error.

      Thank you in advance

      Ming

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