iTunes error issues usually prop up for people using iTunes on their Mac, or PC, or the Finder app on Catalina macOS. The errors usually occur while people try to sync their iTunes Library files between their devices.
Now, Apple says that if you get an alert prompt while trying to open your iTunes after such a sync attempt, you should not panic. Instead, just read the message carefully to see if the prompt itself contains further information. Usually, the information leads you to the fix of your problem too. But if that does not happen, then you must see that if you are using a macOS Mojave version, or an even earlier version of macOS or Windows, you should uninstall the iTunes version you have and install the latest version of iTunes for your device. If it is a Windows PC, you will receive updates from Microsoft itself.
Sometimes the antivirus and firewall settings may be backdated and cause problems with your iTunes.
A common error that usually occurs is “The file iTunes Library.itl cannot be read.” This usually happens because a newer version of iTunes is not properly updated or synced.
Ways to fix “The file iTunes Library.itl cannot be read” error:
Usually, this error occurs because of mismatching files on different devices. It can happen when you try to switch iTunes to your new device, or it can also happen if you try to restore your iTunes Library’s old backup.
So, when you see the syntax, “The file iTunes Library.itl cannot be read because it was created by a newer version of iTunes,” just don’t worry.
Case #1: “The file iTunes Library.itl cannot be read” error on Mac :
If this occurs on your Mac, then to fix the iTunes Library.itl error, the following steps will help:
- Uninstall the old version of iTunes from the Mac.
- Install the latest version of iTunes on your Mac.
- Disconnect your internet if you use iCloud syncing. This is important because by doing this, you can avoid any problems while syncing your files during the process through which you are trying to repair your iTunes Library.
- Now, select Command+Shift+G.
- Type in /Music/iTunes/ to get inside the iTunes folder.
- Once you open the folder, you will see iTunes Library.itl.
- Click on it and Rename it to iTunes Library.old or iTunes Library.back.
- Remember not to delete this option and just rename it. This way, if something goes wrong and your fix does not work, you can always come back here and through the Rename option, change it back to iTunes Library.itl. This way, the file’s integrity would be maintained, and its operation will also remain unaffected.
- Now, go through the old iTunes or Previous iTunes Libraries folder and copy the newest Library file. This file would include all the dates along with the file names. If you do not have this Previous iTunes Libraries folder, then you just change your existing file with the extension ‘.itl’ to ‘.old’ or ‘.back’. When you restart iTunes, you will begin without any Library.
- Coming back, Paste the latest Library file in Music/iTunes.
- Rename it to iTunes Library.itl.
- Now, go back to your desktop screen and try to open iTunes again.
- This should fix the problem. However, if the issue still persists, you can always contact Apple for further assistance.
Case # 2 “The file iTunes Library.itl cannot be read” error on Windows:
If this error occurs in a Windows PC, the steps to fix it include the following:
- As with Mac, here also, you must remove or uninstall the old version of iTunes from your PC.
- Install the latest version of iTunes for Windows.
- Now, go to your local disc C, and from there, go to the Music folder on your PC.
- Once you are inside the Music folder, you will see the iTunes folder. Click it.
- Inside the iTunes folder, you will find the iTunes Library.itl.
- Now, at times, iTunes Library.itl is not visible here. So, you must open the ‘View within Explorer’ section and choose the option of ‘Hidden Items.’
- When you find iTunes Library.itl, just Rename it as explained above for Mac. Rename it to iTunes Library.old or iTunes Library.back.
- Now, go to the older or Previous iTunes Libraries folder and open it.
- There, you will find the latest Library file. Just copy it from there.
- Come back to the iTunes folder and paste the latest Library file there. This file will have all the dates within the file names and in the same format as they are present in Windows.
- Now, just go back, close it all, and try to open iTunes again.
How would you know that your error has been fixed?
When you go back and open iTunes, your iTunes Library should start loading and you will be granted access to all your files containing music media as normally as before. This is how you will know that your methods worked and “the file iTunes Library.itl cannot be read”error has been fixed.