Fixing The file ‘iTunes library.itl’ cannot be read error on Windows 10

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Under Windows 10, there are two different versions of iTunes: the desktop version, which is intended for use under Windows 7, but also works well under Windows 10, and the Microsoft Store version, which is free of any amount of inflated software included in the desktop version. Using both versions is easy, but if you decide to change the version you use, especially from Microsoft Store to Desktop, you may encounter some problems. If you receive the file ‘iTunes library.itl’, the reading error cannot be corrected, the correction is simple.

This error is not limited to Windows 10. It may appear on MacOS versions older than Catalina. In any case, the solution is the same.


Once these steps are completed, you will need to rebuild your iTunes library. All evaluations, playlists, etc. will be lost. However, the multimedia files you own should always be available on your hard drive.

  1. Navigate to the location of the iTunes Library.itl file.
    MacOS – /Users/username/Music
    Windows XP – C:\Documents and Settings\username\My Documents\My Music
    Windows Vista – C:\Users\username\Music
    Windows 10, 8 or 7 – C:\Users\username\My Music
  2. Delete the file from the iTunes library.
  3. Launch iTunes. Your music database is now empty, but your music files must still be available in the iTunes Music folder, which is located in one of the locations listed above.
  4. Drag and drop the iTunes Music folder and any other folders containing your music files into the iTunes application window. iTunes should then take some time to rebuild the music database.


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I have seen a few cases where there was no Previous iTunes Libraries folder or files in this folder. It can happen, but I don’t know why. However, this is not a problem. All that happens is that you rename your existing.itl file to.old, start iTunes, and start without a library.

As long as iTunes can be synchronized from your Mac, it should download your library from iCloud or Time Machine. You may have to wait a little while because everything will synchronize, but it will happen and you will get your library back.

Windows users may also be able to restore files, depending on how you backup your computer. If you are using the file history of Windows 10 or if you have a system restore point, you may want to review it. As far as I know, iTunes does not synchronize or backup automatically on Windows computers. If you are reading this, it may be too late, but if you don’t have a backup option for iTunes on your Windows computer, now would be a good time to create one!


If you are considering downgrading your iTunes copy, I strongly advise you to watch the video to see how easy it is. Always make sure to back up all the files you change.

Could this help you? If so, please let me know in the comments box below.

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