How to rebuild your iTunes library

“Every now and then, an iTunes Library has problems,” Kirk McElhearn writes for Kirkville. “You may have tracks or songs that disappear in the library, but that are still in your iTunes Media folder. Or playlists may change or disappear. Or there may be other, inexplicable problems.”

“One way to try and fix these issues is to rebuild your iTunes library,” McElhearn writes. “I’ve done this from time to time, and it can solve some issues, and has even fixed problems with Genius.”

“It’s a simple process, but one that may take a while if you have a lot of content in your library,” McElhearn writes. “Here’s how you do it.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: We’ve done it more than once and it does solve some vexing iTunes issues.


  1. I have a real simple and best way to rebuild iTunes….subscribe to Roon!!! Never to use iTunes again…it’s what iTunes should have been years ago!!!

    It will totally change how you enjoy digital music files forever while bring back the fun to read Liner Notes when you get a new album! Combine that with all the lyrics at your touch and nothing compares!

  2. DON’T DO IT!

    Not without backing up your current iTunes Library FIRST!


    Grab duplicates of EVERYTHING in this folder EXCEPT /iTunes Media. Be ready to drop them all back into this location if your rebuild iTunes Library is not to your liking.

    You’re welcome.

    Kirk has posted the guts of this article previously. I followed his instructions to the letter. My rebuilt iTunes Library was a horrible MESS! I don’t blame Kirk. I blame Apple.

    I found the effort of cleaning up the resulting mess and omissions in my rebuilt iTunes Library was NOT worth the effort. I’m glad I saved my old Library.

    1. (Why did I say to make duplicates of everything except /iTunes Media? It’s because the rebuild doesn’t affect those file at all, unless some extra catastrophe strikes. But to be SAFE, I demure to Kirk’s suggestion of having a full backup of /iTunes Media. Every computer user should be backing up their ENTIRE computer regularly in any case!)

  3. Good to know. I have bookmarked the article. Not too sure if this will save the ratings.
    My library is ~2.7 TB in size. Backing up is hard so it is on a Drobo. Still I think I need to back it up onto a separate drive.

  4. Correct me if I’m wrong, but following this method will nuke your meta data, such as number of plays, last time played, date added to the library. This is what all iTunes AI uses to make genius suggestions and playlists.

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