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.

Joy Taylor Last Updated: Apr. 15, 2021

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 steps to recover a previous version of iTunes Library.itl file.

1. Open up the folder of iTunes Library.

  • Mac: Choose Go > Home from the Finder menu bar. Double click the Music folder.
  • Windows XP: Locate in the Documents and Settings\username\My Documents\My Music\.
  • Windows Vista: Locate in the Users\username\Music\iTunes.
  • Windows 7/ 8: Navigate to \Users\username\My Music\iTunes.

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

Navigate to Previous iTunes Libraries Folder

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

Copy the Newest File in the Folder

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.

Method 2. 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 the previous iTunes library from a 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 it.
  3. Open your iTunes, simultaneously, holding down the Option.
  4. Finally, you will see a dialog like a picture shows below, click the Choose Library.
How to Restore Previous iTunes Library From A Backup (Mac & PC)

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 on 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.

You May Also Like: How to Backup iTunes Library to External Drive >

If you Got any Error Messages to Restore Library from iTunes Backup

Yes, when you trying to restore iTunes library from a backup, you may get error messages, like iTunes error 42408, iTunes error 4013, iTunes error 2006 or 14, and more iTunes restore errors. Then you need to complete iTunes repair tool – AnyFix to help you. With AnyFix, you can fix iTunes installation/download/update, connection/backup/restore, sync/CDB errors, etc. What’s more, if you are also an iPhone/iPad/iPod touch user, AnyFix is capable of fixing 130+ iOS/iPadOS/tvOS problems.

Follow the steps below to fix iTunes errors while restoring:

Step 1. Download the free trial of AnyFix and install it on your computer. Click iTunes Repair from the home page.

Free Download

Free Download

* 100% Clean & Safe

Free Download * 100% Clean & Safe

Tap on iTunes Repair from Homepage

Tap on iTunes Repair from Homepage

Step 2. Choose iTunes Connection/Backup/Restore Errors and click Scan Now button.

Choose iTunes Connection/Backup/Restore Errors

Choose iTunes Connection/Backup/Restore Errors

Step 3. Then AnyFix will scan your iTunes and some components errors will be listed. Just click Fix Now button.

iTunes Component Errors will be Detected

iTunes Component Errors will be Detected

Step 4. Give AnyFix authorization on your computer. It will start repairing immediately. Wait a minute and you will see the Repair Completed page.

Bonus Tip. How to Restore iTunes Library to iPhone

If you often back up your favorite songs, videos, etc. in the iTunes Library, then when you want to restore/transfer these media files from the iTunes Library to the iOS device, what will you do? Do you know how to do it that will not erase the original data on the phone? Next, we recommend a professional data transfer tool — PhoneTrans. With PhoneTrans, you can easily transfer all the media files saved in the iTunes library to iOS or Android devices without any data loss. Let’s check how to use it:

Free Download

Free Download

* 100% Clean & Safe

Free Download * 100% Clean & Safe

Step 1. Free download PhoneTrans and launch it on your computer > Choose the Phone Restore> iTunes Library and then click on the Start Transfer button.

Click on the iTunes Library

Click on the iTunes Library

Step 2. Connect your iOS device to your computer and it will detect your iPhone automatically > Tap on the Transfer button.

Start to Transfer from iTunes Library to iPhone

Start to Transfer from iTunes Library to iPhone

Step 3. Please select the data type you want to restore and click the “Transfer Now” button.

Select the Types of Data

Select the Types of Data

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 errors like iTunes error 1638 while restoring, you can try AnyFix to repair 200+ iTunes errors to get rid of the trouble. Besides, an iOS data recovery tool allows you to recover any deleted or lost files, and you can download it to have a try!

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Joy Taylor Twitter Share Facebook Share

Member of iMobie team as well as an Apple fan, love to help more users solve various types of iOS & Android related issues.

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