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How to find a missing song in iTunes on Windows 10

iTunes is no longer a stand-alone app on macOS but on Windows 10, you can get two different versions of the app; a desktop version and a UWP version from the Microsoft Store. Anyone with an iPhone or iPad using a Windows 10 machine will still need iTunes to manage music and backups of their device.

The music that you add to your iPhone from your desktop can be located anywhere i.e., on any disk. You can include it in playlists and these playlists are synced to your phone/desktop each time you perform a backup. If you’re trying to play a song in iTunes, and the song is missing, there’s a simple way to fix it.

Missing song in iTunes

1. Add the song via drag & drop

If you cannot see the song in your library at all, it is possible that a recent sync (or human error) resulted in the song being removed from the library. It is still on your system so add it back.

  1. Open iTunes.
  2. Select Music from the dropdown at the top.
  3. Open File Explorer and navigate to the folder with the song file in it.
  4. Click and drag the file and drop it onto iTunes.
  5. It will be added back and you can sync it to your phone.

2. Manually find the song

If the song shows up in your music library but when you try to play it, you get a missing song error, or there’s an exclamation mark next to a song, you can manually locate the file. This is the method you should use if the song has been added to several playlists.

  1. Open iTunes.
  2. Double-click the song that’s listed but iTunes cannot find it.
  3. You will see an error message. Click the Locate button.
  4. In the file selection window that opens, navigate to where the song file is saved, and select it.
  5. iTunes will update the file location and you will be able to play and sync the song to your phone.

3. Add the song again

Use this method if the missing song is not included in any playlists.

  1. Open iTunes.
  2. Select Music from the dropdown at the top.
  3. Right-click the song that iTunes cannot find and select the Delete from library option from the context menu.
  4. Open File Explorer and navigate to the folder the song file is in.
  5. Drag & drop the file on to iTunes and it will be added back to the library.
  6. To add it to your phone, perform a sync.


iTunes cannot keep track of a file if it’s moved. It does not dynamically update the location of a file which is why it’s generally a good idea to store files somewhere you’re unlikely to move/remove them. It will ensure that you do not run into problems like this.

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