About iTunes library files

The iTunes library is a database that iTunes uses to organize your music. Two iTunes library files are created and maintained by iTunes for different purposes. You'll find both of these files in the iTunes folder.

Where to find the iTunes library files

Use your Finder (Mac) or Windows Explorer (Windows) to find the iTunes library files.

Mac OS X

/Users/username/Music/iTunes/iTunes Library.itl
/Users/username/Music/iTunes/iTunes Library.xml

Windows XP

\Documents and Settings\username\My Documents\My Music\iTunes\iTunes Library.itl
\Documents and Settings\username\My Documents\My Music\iTunes\iTunes Library.xml

Windows Vista, Windows 7, and Windows 8

\Users\username\Music\iTunes\iTunes Library.itl
\Users\username\Music\iTunes\iTunes Library.xml

Windows Explorer might display the Music folder for the current user account as My Music. This is a cosmetic change by Windows and doesn't affect the actual location of the iTunes library files.

About the iTunes Library.itl file

This file is a database of the songs in your library and the playlists you've created. Some song-specific data is saved in this file. If you delete the file, iTunes creates a new, empty copy when you open the application, but any playlists, song ratings, comments, or other information is lost. The iTunes Library file is only used by iTunes, and is the only one backed up by Time Machine on OS X.

For iTunes for Mac versions 10.4 and earlier, the library file name was iTunes Library with no file extension.

New versions of iTunes sometimes include enhancements to the iTunes library. When you open the new version of iTunes, iTunes updates your existing library to the new format and places a copy of the old library in the Previous Libraries folder. After iTunes updates successfully to the latest version, you can delete the older iTunes Library files.

About the iTunes Library.xml file

This file contains some (but not all) of the same information stored in the iTunes Library file. The purpose of the iTunes Library.xml file is to make your music and playlists available to other applications on your computer. In Mac OS X, other iLife applications (like iPhoto, iDVD, and iMovie) use this file to make it easier for you to add music from your iTunes library to your projects.

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