How to Rebuild iTunes Library

I have been hearing lately from people that iTunes is giving them some trouble. It doesn’t show correct album artwork, songs aren’t loading, iPhone won’t sync properly, etc. This can usually be remedied by rebuilding the Library from scratch. In this tutorial I will walk you through how to do this.

Step 1: Open iTunes

Step 2: Make a folder on your desktop next to the iTunes window. This is just a temporary folder, so there is no need to name it anything specific.

Step 3: Highlight all your music using CMD + A. All of the artwork should show a blue square around it. This is how you will know it is all selected.

Step 4: Click and drag all the music to the folder you created on the desktop. This will copy all the music from your iTunes library to that folder. Depending on the amount of music you have this may take a while. You will see a progress window come up showing the progress of the copying.

Progress Window

Repeat steps 3 and 4 for movies, ringtones, and TV shows if you have them.

Once all of that is done copying, we will move on to the next steps where we will delete the old library and rebuild a new one.

Step 5: Now, navigate to where your iTunes library is stored. To find out where it is, go to iTunes in the menu bar-Preferences-Advanced at the top of that window it will show you the folder location (also known as the folder path). Highlight the path as shown (only highlight the path before the “iTunes” folder) right click-Services-Reveal in Finder. Your path will look different than mine. Use the pictures below for clarification.

Step 6: First, you NEED to quit iTunes. With the finder window in front of you showing the iTunes folder, move the the iTunes folder to the trash. Right click the folder and click Move to Trash. This will not completely delete it. (Do not empty your trash until we are done and you are sure you transferred everything over into your new iTunes library.)

Step 7: Option/Alt + Click iTunes in the dock. A dialog will come up asking you to chose a library or create a new one. Click Create Library.

Save it to a location of your choosing.

iTunes will open up with a blank library. Your past purchases that are in the cloud not downloaded will show up. (I really like Robin Sparkles don’t judge).

Step 8: We will now open the folder you copied all of your music and etc. to from your old iTunes library. You will only see one song on my picture, but you will see all of your content. Select all of them by using CMD + A again. Drag them into the iTunes window and let go. This will transfer them all back into this new library.

Step 9: Wait for it all to copy back into the new library. This may take a long time depending on the size of your library. Once it is done. You have finished rebuilding your iTunes library.

Let me know how it went in the comments below and if any steps were unclear.