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How to fix the file ‘iTunes library.itl’ cannot be read error on Windows 10

On Windows 10, there are two different versions of iTunes; the desktop version which is meant to be used on Windows 7 but also works perfectly fine on Windows 10, and the Microsoft Store version which is free from loads of bloatware that the desktop version comes with. Using either one is easy but if you decide to change which version you use, specifically you move from the Microsoft Store version to the desktop version, you may encounter a few problems. If you’re getting the file ‘iTunes library.itl’ cannot be read error, the fix is simple.

This error isn’t restricted to just Windows 10. It can appear on macOS versions that are older than Catalina. Regardless, the fix is the same.

Fix file ‘iTunes library.itl’ cannot be read

In order to fix the file ‘iTunes library.itl’ cannot be read, you need to delete the file named iTunes library.itl. It’s as simple as selecting it and tapping the delete button but you need to know where the file is.

On Windows 10, the file is in the folder location below;

C:\Users\YourUsername\My Music

On macOS, the file is in the following location;


Delete the file, and if you have iTunes open, close and open it again.

If iTunes prompts you to, you should install any and all updates that are available for the app.

This error may appear for several different reasons but, if you read the full error message that iTunes gives you, the message appears because the iTunes library.itl file that is currently on your system was created by a version of iTunes that the current version cannot read. This may mean that it was created by the Microsoft Store version, or that it was created by an older or newer version of iTunes for the desktop.

Once you delete this file, you will need to sync your library again. Connect your iPhone to your PC, and sync everything. Deleting the file won’t delete the music, videos, photos, etc., in your library. When you sync your phone again, a new iTunes library.itl file will be created. So long as you always update to the latest version of iTunes whenever you’re prompted to, you should not have this problem again.

If you’re worried that your iPhone or iPad is running a version of iOS which isn’t the latest, or your device is now obsolete, don’t be. iTunes will still be able to sync it and it is highly unlikely to ever cause this error.

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