If you can't burn CDs using iTunes for Windows

Learn what to do if you can’t burn discs.

Check for software updates

Before you continue with the steps below, make sure that you have the latest version of iTunes and that Windows is up to date. After you install Windows updates, you might also need to install separate driver updates.

Check for firmware updates

Some computers and CD or DVD drive makers might release firmware updates that aren't included in Windows updates or driver updates. Check your computer or CD/DVD drive manufacturer's website for any available updates.

Try other programs

Try another program to burn your CD, such as Windows Media Player. If you can't burn discs using other software, the issue might be a more general one with your computer or the drive. Contact your computer's or the drive's manufacturer for help.

Check for unauthorized songs

iTunes will stop burning a disc if you purchased one or more of the songs in a playlist from the iTunes Store and the songs aren't authorized to play on your computer.

To find out which songs aren't authorized, play each song in the playlist. Songs that play are authorized. Songs that don't play aren't authorized. You'll be asked to authorize any unauthorized songs. Learn more about authorization.

All songs now for sale in the iTunes Store are DRM free. Learn more about iTunes Plus, the high-quality format of songs and music videos available through the iTunes Store.

Also, songs from the Apple Music catalog can't be burned to a CD.

Check the length of your playlist

If there are too many songs in a playlist to fit on a single CD, iTunes should ask if you want to burn multiple discs or cancel the burn. You'll see this message: "The songs in this playlist will not fit on one Audio CD. Do you want to create multiple Audio CDs with this playlist split across them? This will require more than one blank CD to complete."

If you click Audio CDs, the burn will continue. You'll be asked to insert blank CDs after a disk is filled until the playlist is completely burned. If you click cancel, the burn will be canceled.

To make the playlist shorter so that it will fit on a single CD, delete songs from the playlist. Continue deleting songs until the playlist is between 60 and 80 minutes. The length of your playlist appears at the top of the playlist window. Most CD-R discs can hold 60 to 80 minutes of music.

Try a different burning speed

From the Preferred Speed menu, choose 2x.

If the burn is successful, try faster burn speeds until you run into the issue again. Then set the burn speed to the last successful speed.

Remove peripheral devices

Disconnect all external devices, such as printers, except for your mouse and keyboard. If you’re using an external disc drive, connect it to the computer directly and bypass any USB hubs before trying to burn your CD. 

If there's only an issue when a certain device is connected, contact the manufacturer of that device for additional assistance.

Try different discs

Check the disc manufacturer's website to see if there are any known problems or additional steps to resolve the issue.

Use the chart below as a general guideline for what types of CD-R media are compatible with different drive types. 

Drive Type

Drive Type Logo

CD-RW Speed Range

Media Type Supported

Multi Speed Drive

1x ~ 4x

Multi Speed CD-RW media
High Speed Drive

4x ~ 16x

Multi Speed CD-RW media
High Speed CD-RW media
Ultra Speed Drive

16x ~ 24x

Multi Speed CD-RW media
High Speed CD-RW media
Ultra Speed CD-RW media

Get more help

If you continue to have issues burning CDs after trying the steps above, use the steps below.

  1. Visit the Microsoft website to learn how to create new user accounts for Windows 8, Windows 7, or Windows Vista or Windows XP.
  2. Login to the new user and launch iTunes.
  3. Download a song from the iTunes Store (such as a past purchase or a free song) or import a CD.
  4. Burn a disc at 2x speed. When prompted, turn off “Include CD text.”

    If you can burn a disc in a new user, return to the original user account and perform similar isolation.
  5. Launch iTunes with a new library on the C:\ drive. 
  6. Download a song from the iTunes Store, such as a past purchase or a free song, or import a CD.
  7. If the song or songs you test in step 6 burn successfully, import content from your original library’s media folder to the new library and try to burn what you import.

If the issue isn't content-specific, try to restore an older copy of your iTunes library.

If the issue is content-specific, check for the location of the song that causes the issue:

  1. Right-click or control-click the song in iTunes.
  2. Select "Show in Windows Explorer" from the menu. 

If the song is on an external drive, check to see if the song burns without issue when moved to your internal drive. If you find that the issue occurs only with a specific song or album, the problem might be with the content itself. Try reimporting the content from its original source, then try to burn it again.

About copyright

iTunes software may be used to reproduce materials. It is licensed to you only for reproduction of non-copyrighted materials, materials in which you own the copyright, or materials you are authorized or legally permitted to reproduce. If you are uncertain about your right to copy any material, you should contact your legal advisor. See the iTunes Store Terms of Service for additional information.

Information about products not manufactured by Apple, or independent websites not controlled or tested by Apple, is provided without recommendation or endorsement. Apple assumes no responsibility with regard to the selection, performance, or use of third-party websites or products. Apple makes no representations regarding third-party website accuracy or reliability. Risks are inherent in the use of the Internet. Contact the vendor for additional information. Other company and product names may be trademarks of their respective owners.

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