What to do if music, videos, and other content disappear after an iTunes update

By , May 5, 2016

iTunes 12.2 for OS X icon full size

It’s not that uncommon for the music, videos, and other content in your iTunes folder to disappear after updating iTunes. It doesn’t seem to happen to everyone, but as many internet stories will tell you, it does occur to a number of users on some occasions.

In this tutorial, we’ll show you how to get your iTunes music, videos, and more back when you notice it has gone missing after installing an iTunes app update.

iTunes songs and videos gone after an update? Try this…

It’s honestly a mystery why your content will go missing after an iTunes app update for your Mac or PC, but fortunately, fixing the problem is not difficult. iTunes automatically keeps a record of your previous iTunes libraries and makes it super easy to put them back where they belong.

Here are the steps you can take if your content goes missing after installing an iTunes update:

1) Quit iTunes completely.

2) If you’re using a Mac, open Finder and go to Go > Home in the Menu Bar and then navigate to Music > iTunes. If you’re using a Windows PC, then navigate to \Users\username\Music\iTunes\.

iTunes folder in Finder on Mac

3) Move the iTunes Library.itl file that you see from this folder to your Desktop.

iTunes library missing guide 1

4) Now go back to your iTunes folder and open the Previous iTunes Libraries folder.

date and time ITL file

5) Find the library folder with the date that matches the date you updated iTunes, and drag it back to the main iTunes folder.

6) After moving it to the iTunes folder, rename the file to just iTunes Library. In the example above, the file named iTunes Library 2016-03-22 will simply become iTunes Library.

7) After you rename the folder, you can re-launch iTunes and your content should now be back in the app as it was before the update.

The only caveat

This is the best solution available if your content suddenly goes missing after an update, but it’s not always perfect.

Keep in mind that some playlists, songs, or other media that has been added after the date printed on the iTunes library backup folder may still be missing after following all of these steps, simply because iTunes hadn’t yet made a backup of your latest changes.

But hey, re-making a few playlists is probably still better than missing all of your iTunes songs, movies, and videos!

Conclusion

It’s really frustrating when your iTunes content seems to disappear out of nowhere, but fortunately, iTunes automatically keeps backups of your previous libraries so you can easily restore them in the unlikely event that they go missing.

Also read:

If you found this tutorial helpful, let us know in the comments below!

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  • sh1ny

    What’s really frustrating, is when your music starts to disappear from your Apple Music media library with an enigmatic iCloud status “No longer available”. Sadly, *this* cannot be fixed. Legally, at least.