How to find missing files in iTunes?

What to do when iTunes cant find a song on your computer

By Sam Costello Sam Costello Facebook Twitter Writer Ithaca College Sam Costello has been writing about tech since 2000. His writing has appeared in publications such as, PC World, InfoWord, and many others. lifewire’s editorial guidelines Updated on June 15, 2020

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What does a cloud with an exclamation point mean in iTunes?

Answer: A: Sounds like the iTunes Match library is missing or corrupt. The exclaimation point in the cloud icon means (from “This icon may be displayed if the song file is corrupt or if there was an error uploading the song. Try updating iTunes Match (

Why cant iTunes find my music?

Possible causes are that you or some third party tool has moved, renamed or deleted the file, one of its parent folders, or the drive it lives on has had a change of drive letter, or you’ve moved a non-portable library to a different path (see.

If a song is missing

Make sure that all of your devices have Sync Library turned on, and that they’re signed in with the same Apple ID.

If you’re still missing a song that you added from the Apple Music catalogue, the song might have been removed from Apple Music or could be available under a different file name. Try searching Apple Music for the song, then add it to your library.

Deleting Repeating Tracks in iTunes

Probably you have many tracks in your iTunes library. We have covered the topic of removing the missing entries, but removing duplicate songs is a bit more difficult. Surely, you might be interested in tidying up your audio collection by eliminating repeating tracks too. Undoubtedly, we have covered this in another detailed tutorial that you can find here: Delete Duplicate Songs – Remove Repeating Audio Files.Additionally, that tutorial is not specific to iTunes and you can remove duplicate songs on your computer, NAS, external drive, or an entire network.

If you liked this tutorial please share it with your friends and drop a comment below.

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I can’t see my previous iTunes purchases in OS X

If you’ve opened your Purchases window in OS X and you don’t see the media files you downloaded then the first thing to do is check you’re looking at all your purchases. A tab at the top enables you to view by:

  • All.
  • Not in My Library.

If the Not in My Library tab is selected, any tracks you have already downloaded will not be shown. Click All to check if they are listed.

How to Fix the Error for Multiple Missing Music Files (External Hard Drive)

If you run your entire iTunes Library from an external hard drive, the link between the songs and iTunes can be lost from time to time, especially after the hard drive has been unplugged. To re-establish the link between iTunes and your library, complete the following steps:

  1. Select iTunes (Mac) or Edit (Windows), and then select Preferences.

  2. In General Preferences, select the Advanced tab.

  3. In Advanced Preferences, go to the iTunes Media folder location section, then select Change.

  4. In Change iTunes Media Folder Location, browse to and select the iTunes Media folder on the external hard drive, and then select Select Folder.

  5. In Advanced Preferences, select OK.

  6. iTunes will now know where to find your files, and you should be able to listen to your music again.

Method 2: Recover missing iTunes Library by replacing its old files

If you have some old iTunes Library files, you can just replace the current but ruined iTunes library file with a previous one. In this way, you can bring your lost library back.

Step 1. Find the folder where stored your iTunes Library file, and then delete the latest library file from it or just drag it to your desktop.

Step 2. On your computer, go to “Libraries” , and then click “Music“-> “iTunes” -> “Previous iTunes Libraries“. Copy the latest library file named as YYYY-MM-DD.itl to the folder mentioned in Step 1, then rename it as iTunes Library.itl.

After the broken iTunes Library.itl file was repla

After the broken iTunes Library.itl file was replaced with an older one, you can get your missing iTunes Library back.

Note: Please make sure that there is no anything new in the current library compared to the previous one, or you may lost them forever.

Missing Songs in iTunes

In the screenshot below you can see the list of all songs in iTunes. To clarify, the missing songs have an exclamation mark in front of the name. This denotes that those files were either moved or deleted and iTunes can no longer find them.

iTunes Missing Tracks

iTunes Missing Tracks

If you try to play such a track, iTunes pops up a window that it can not be found.

iTunes Missing Song

iTunes Missing Song

While you could fix or remove several of those entries manually it is hard if you have many files and playlists.

Make sure your iTunes Media isn’t hidden

You can hide purchases from the iTunes Store, whic

You can hide purchases from the iTunes Store, which is handy if you purchase embarrassing adult content or when Apple seeds U2 albums into your account. You might have hidden an item and forgotten that you did so, or maybe you accidentally hid your iTunes purchase by mistake.  Either way it’ll be missing from your Purchased collection and it’s not obvious how to reveal hidden iTunes media purchases.

Here is how to reveal hidden music:

  1. Choose Store > View Account.
  2. Scroll down to Hidden Purchases and click Manage.
  3. Find an item that you have hidden and click Unhide.

It will now appear in your Purchased section. This Apple Support document has more information on Hiding and Unhiding purchases.


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