Fixed the “iTunes library.itl” bug that could not be read on Windows 10

There are two different versions of iTunes on Windows 10: the desktop version, which is intended for use on Windows 7 but works well on Windows 10, and the Microsoft Store version, which is free of all the bloatware that the desktop version brings with it. Both versions are easy to use, but if you decide to change the version you use, especially if you switch from the Microsoft Store version to the desktop version, you may run into some problems. If you get an error that the library.itl file from iTunes can’t be read, the solution is simple.

In September, Apple released its latest version of iTunes, 12.7, with many changes. But according to users’ comments, they don’t seem to be satisfied with this new version of iTunes. Indeed, iTunes 12.7 focuses only on music, movies, TV shows, podcasts, and audiobooks, but the built-in App Store, apps, and ringtones have been removed.

Apple must have realized that “some business partners still need iTunes to install apps,” so in October it redistributed iTunes 12.6.3 to users, bringing back the Apps Store and ringtones.

You may be among the many users who have downgraded iTunes from version 12.7 to 12.6.3. But after installing iTunes 12.6.3, you must first restore your iTunes library. Otherwise, you will get the following message: “The iTunes Library.itl file cannot be read because it was created by a newer version of iTunes.

This error is not limited to Windows 10. It can also happen with older versions of macOS than Catalina. Either way, the solution is the same.


What is the cause of the “iTunes library.itl” error that cannot be read on Windows 10?

What is the cause of the "iTunes library.itl" error that cannot be read on Windows 10?

The error seems to be caused by a mismatch between the library files. As mentioned above, this can often happen when moving from iTunes to a new computer or when restoring an old library backup. There was also a problem when iTunes deleted the App Store for a while, and a number of users downgraded their version of iTunes to get it back. All of the library files created in the new version of iTunes stopped working when these users reverted to the earlier version.

The full syntax might be as follows: “The Library.itl file in iTunes cannot be read because it was created by a newer version of iTunes. This gives us a clue as to what happened. Here’s how to fix it if you see it. This error occurs on both Windows and Mac, so I’ll cover both.


How do I fix the read iTunes library.itl error on Windows 10?

How do I fix the read iTunes library.itl error on Windows 10?

Before starting the repair process described below, you must first uninstall the new version of iTunes.

On Windows 10 :
On Windows 10, search for “Add or Remove Programs” and iTunes. Then you can click Uninstall.

On MacOS :
For Mac users: Go to “Applications” and right-click iTunes. Select “Get Info” and click on the lock icon. Enter your administrator password and select “Sharing and Access Rights”. You can now set it to “Read and Write” under “Privilege”. Now drag the iTunes app to the trash can.

Fix iTunes Library.itl file that cannot be played” on your Mac
  1. Press Command+Shift+G.
  2. Type ~/Music/iTunes/.
  3. This will open the iTunes folder.
  4. Find the iTunes Library.itl file and change the .itl extension to .old. The file name will appear as iTunes Library.old.
  5. Then select the Previous iTunes Libraries folder.
  6. Find the most recent library file. Copy the file and paste it to your desktop.
  7. Return to the iTunes folder or ~/Music/iTunes/. Paste the file and rename it to iTunes Library.itl.
  8. Now run iTunes and check if the error still exists.
The “iTunes Library.itl file cannot be played” issue on Windows 10 has been fixed
  1. Open the music folder and click iTunes in the file explorer on your Windows 10 computer.
  2. Navigate to iTunes Library.itl and change the extension from .itl to .old.
  3. Then click on the “Previous iTunes Libraries” folder.
  4. Search for the last library file.
  5. Copy and paste the file to your desktop.
  6. Paste the file into your iTunes folder and rename it to iTunes Library.itl.
  7. Run iTunes and check for an error.

Changing the .itl extension to .old will serve as a backup in case something goes wrong. You can simply rename the old file to .itl and it will be the same as before. Inserting the file on the desktop will also serve as a backup.


Frequently Asked Questions

  1. Navigate to the location of the iTunes library itl file.
  2. Delete the iTunes library file.
  3. Start iTunes.
  4. Drag and drop the iTunes music folder and any other folders containing music files into the iTunes application window.

Check the settings and network connection on all of your devices: make sure that your devices have the latest versions of iOS, iPadOS, macOS, or iTunes for Windows. Make sure that "Sync Library" is enabled on all of your devices. Connect all of your devices to the Internet.

You and she want to know if you can remove them. The others you see are backups from when new versions of iTunes were installed, and they can actually be deleted. If all goes well when you upgrade to the latest version of iTunes, you should be able to remove the old files from your iTunes library.

  1. Click the Restore Files button (or Get Files in the Code42 version 6.8 app.) 2 and earlier).
  2. In the settings, remember to save the selected files to their original location. You can also configure naming and permission policies for your recovered files.
  3. Click "Forward".

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Mark Ginter is a tech blogger with a passion for all things gadgets and gizmos. A self-proclaimed "geek", Mark has been blogging about technology for over 15 years. His blog,, covers a wide range of topics including new product releases, industry news, and tips and tricks for getting the most out of your devices. If you're looking for someone who can keep you up-to-date with all the latest tech news and developments, then be sure to follow him over at Microsoft.