How to recreate iTunes library

4 min read


Yours iTunes keeps crashing or freezing, preventing you from listening to your favorite music? Perhaps there is something wrong with the program library, it may have become corrupted. How do you say? Did you also have this suspicion but don’t know how to solve the problem? Don’t worry: if you want, I’m here to give you a hand.

In my opinion, you could try to solve the malfunctions you are experiencing in iTunes by restoring the program library: an operation that requires no more than a few clicks and can be effectively implemented on both Windows and macOS, where, however, starting from macOS 10.15 Catalina, iTunes has been replaced by the Music application (and the TV and Podcast applications).

But now let’s not talk too much and let’s move on to action: if you want to know more about the subject and, above all, want to find out how to recreate itunes library, read the instructions below and try to put them into practice. This way, you will restore your iTunes library without losing any of your songs and multimedia content. I wish you a good reading and I wish you a big good luck for everything!

How to recreate iTunes library

Preliminary operations

iTunes library consolidation

Before going into the detail of the guide and explain yourself how to recreate itunes librarythere are some preliminary operations that I strongly advise you to carry out.

First, if you are still able to launch iTunes successfully, I suggest you run the download all the multimedia content you have purchased with your account and to make the library consolidation: by doing so, you will be sure to include in the iTunes library all the contents that you have personally added to the program, plus those that you have purchased through the iTunes Store, together all in the same path.

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To run the download media you purchased with your Apple IDyou open iTunes (or the application Musicif you use macOS 10.15 Catalina or later) and, if necessary, log into the program: to do this, go to the menu Accounts > Sign in (above) and enter your Apple ID credentials.

Once this is done, choose the type of content to display (eg. Music), using the drop-down menu located at the top left, and go to the menu Account > Purchases (always at the top), to view the list of content purchased on the iTunes Store. Now, to download it to your computer, click on the icon cloud corresponding to each content.

iTunes purchases

Once all of your iTunes Store purchases have been downloaded, you’re ready to run the iTunes library consolidation, which consists of storing all content in the same location, so that it is easy to backup and restore. So go to the menu File > Library > Organize Library of iTunes/Music (top), check the box Consolidate files in the window that opens and give Okayto start the library consolidation.

Once this is done, you can create a backup folder with iTunes librarywhich should be in the path Music on both Windows and macOS.

To know the exact location of the iTunes library (or the Music application) on your computer, launch iTunes/Music go to the menu Edit > Preferences (or iTunes > Preferences or Music > Preferences on macOS), select the tab Advance in the window that opens and check the path indicated in the box positioned under the writing iTunes Media folder location.

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iTunes folder

Once you have located the iTunes folder, back it up by copying it, by simple copy-and-paste, to an external hard drive or a large enough USB stick.

How to create a new iTunes library

How to recreate iTunes library

You are now ready to take action and discover, in concrete terms, how to recreate itunes library. Depending on what your needs are, you can choose if create a new library and repopulate it with the contents of your interest or if import an existing library that you backed up.

In any case, the first step you need to take is close iTunes completely (or the Music application, on macOS 10.15 Catalina and later) and restart the software by holding down the key Shift on the keyboard (which would be the one to capitalize only once), which becomes the key altif you’re using a Mac.

If you did everything right, a window with three buttons should appear: Go outto leave the iTunes library as it is and close the window; Choose a libraryto import a pre-existing library into iTunes and use it as the program’s new library, or Create libraryto create a new empty library and later populate it with your favorite content.

If you were previously having problems with iTunes and/or its library, I strongly recommend that you go with that option Create library and to start from scratch: in this case, you will be asked to assign a first name to the library and to choose the folder in which to save it. To confirm everything, click on the button Save.

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Now you have a “clean” library from which to start again, in which to add all the contents of your interest: to do this, just go to the menu File > Add File to Library (or Add folder to library), at the top, and select the files to import (e.g. backups of songs and other media files you saved earlier).

If some steps are not clear to you, consult my guide on how to add songs to iTunes: inside you will find all the information you need.

How to recreate iTunes library

If, on the other hand, you prefer to restore a previously saved library, make sure you have copied the folder iTunes relative to the latter in the path where you want the new iTunes library to be saved (you can also rename the folder if you want), start iTunes/Music holding down the key Shift/Alt on the keyboard and click on the button Choose a library present in the window that appears on the screen.

At this point, through the new window that is proposed to you, go to the path of the library to restore, double click on the file iTunes Library.itl contained in the latter and, within a few seconds, the game should be done.

iTunes will use the selected library as the new default library: this means that it will automatically import all the contents of the latter and add to it the new multimedia contents that you add to the program. It was a lot easier than you thought, wasn’t it?

For more information


If, despite my instructions, you still haven’t been able to recreate your iTunes library or, in any case, you still have doubts about this procedure, visit Apple’s official support page on how to backup and restore your iTunes library on pc.

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In the unfortunate event that this doesn’t help either, you can try to contact Apple directly, putting into practice the indications I gave you in my tutorial dedicated to the subject. Good luck!

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