How to Restore Previous iTunes Library in 2 Ways

Have no idea about how to restore previous iTunes library? If you don’t know how to do it, this post will help you solve this problem in 2 different ways.

By Gigi Albert | Posted on: Dec. 27, 2018, Last Updated: Aug. 19, 2019

Q: I want to restore my previous iTunes library on my computer so that I can download my music and video. Is there any way can help me make it?

– A User From Apple Community

Just like the user above, you might have got into the same situation or are experiencing the same situation where you need to restore the previous iTunes library. There are many reasons might lead you to restore iTunes library, for instance, changing the computer, suffering a hard drive crash, reloading an operating system or some other reasons. No matter what are the reasons for restoring the previous iTunes library, this guide will give you the solutions. Now, you can read the following guide to find the answer.

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Method 1. How to Restore Previous iTunes Library from iTunes Library File

If you want to revert back to the previous version of your iTunes, you may receive an error writes “ iTunes Library.itl cannot be read because it was created by a newer version of iTunes”. That means the old version of iTunes is no longer compatible with the new one. But you don’t have to be upset, cause Apple has automatically backed up your iTunes library file. Now, you can use the following the steps to recover a previous version of iTunes Library.itl file.

1. Open up the folder of iTunes Library.

2. You need to back up your current iTunes library first: Rename iTunes Library.itl to Library.itl.bak.

3. Go to the My Documents > My Music > Previous iTunes Libraries folder.

How to Get Previous iTunes Library Back from iTunes Library File – Step 3

How to Get Previous iTunes Library Back from iTunes Library File – Step 3

4. Then, several files that start with iTunes Library and have a date in the name. Please copy the newest file in the folder.

Restore Previous iTunes Library from iTunes Library File – Step 4

Restore Previous iTunes Library from iTunes Library File – Step 4

5. Navigate to the My Documents > Choose music > paste the file you copied in step 4.

6. Finally, rename the newly copied file to the iTunes Library.itl.

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How to Restore Previous iTunes Library From A Backup (Mac & PC)

This is a normal way to restore your previous iTunes library to a new computer (Mac or PC). In general, if you have backed up your iTunes library on an external drive, things get easy, cause you can restore your iTunes library from backup to your new computer. Now, you can read the following steps to know how to restore previous iTunes library from backup.

For Mac Users

  1. Quit iTunes. Then, click the Finder to open it on Mac > Find the iTunes folder that you backed up in the external hard drive.
  2. When you find it, drag the iTunes folder from the external hard drive to whatever location you want to put.
  3. Open your iTunes, simultaneously, holding down the Option.
  4. Finally, you will see a dialog like the picture shows below, click the Choose Library.
How to Restore Previous iTunes Library From A Backup (Mac & PC)

How to Restore Previous iTunes Library From A Backup (Mac & PC)

5. Move to the new iTunes folder you just copied and locate the iTunes Library.itl

6. Click Choose. Then, iTunes will be opened and your iTunes library will be restored.

For Windows Users

  1. Quit iTunes.
  2. Locate your external drive in your computer.
  3. Find the iTunes folder from your external drive to wherever you want to put on your internal drive.
  4. Hold the Shift key while opening iTunes.
  5. When you see a message that asks you to Create or Choose Library, click Choose Library.
  6. Choose the iTunes folder that you dragged from your internal drive.
  7. Click Open. Then, choose the iTunes Library.itl file.

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The Bottom Line

That’s all about how to restore the previous iTunes library. Hope you have got the way to do it. By the way, if you meet any iTunes error like iTunes error 1638 while restoring, you can use this iOS repair tool to fix it. Now, download it to have a try!

Gigi Albert

Member of iMobie team, a professional editor, is interested in solving iOS & Android related problems by writing various tutorials.

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