If you see an exclamation point next to content in iTunes

Learn what to do if you notice an exclamation point to the left of items in your iTunes library.

Exclamation points appear in iTunes when it can't find a media file.

Your files might be in a variety of places on your computer, or they might not have downloaded correctly. Follow the steps below to locate your files.

Check for interrupted downloads

Mac

  1. From the menu bar at the top of your computer screen, choose iTunes > Store > Check for Available Downloads.
  2. If any downloads are listed as unfinished, click resume.

Windows

  1. Turn on the iTunes menu bar by pressing the Control and B keys. Learn more about menus in iTunes for Windows.
  2. From the menu bar, choose iTunes > Store > Check for Available Downloads.
  3. If any downloads are listed as unfinished, click resume. 

Learn more about how to resume interrupted iTunes Store downloads.

Check your iTunes media folder

Mac

  1. Open Finder.
  2. From the Side Bar, click your Home folder (the folder named after your user account).
  3. Go to Music > iTunes > iTunes Media.
    If the iTunes Media folder is empty, go to Music > iTunes > iTunes Music.
  4. Open the corresponding folder for the file type you're looking for. The contents of the folder will be listed in alphabetical order. Depending on the folder, the files will be sorted by artist, author, or title.

For Windows Vista, Windows 7, and Windows 8

  1. Windows 8: Choose File Explorer from the windows taskbar.
    Windows 7 and Windows Vista: Choose Windows Explorer from the Start Menu.
  2. From the left-hand column, under Favorite Links, click Music.
  3. In the main window to the right, double-click iTunes.
  4. Double-click iTunes Media.
    If the iTunes Media folder is empty, double-click the iTunes Music folder.
  5. Double-click the corresponding folder for the file type you're looking for. The contents of the folder will be listed in alphabetical order. Depending on the folder, the files will be sorted by artist, author, or title.

For Windows XP

  1. Open Windows Explorer from the Start Menu.
  2. From the left-hand column, double-click My Music.
  3. In the main window to the right, double-click iTunes.
  4. Double-click iTunes Media.
    If the iTunes Media folder is empty, double-click the iTunes Music folder.
  5. Double-click the corresponding folder for the file type you're looking for. The contents of the folder will be listed in alphabetical order. Depending on the folder, the files will be sorted by artist, author, or title.

If you find any of your missing items, add them to your iTunes library by dragging them into your iTunes library window.

If you can't find your lost media in your iTunes Media folder, check your iTunes preferences to see if your media is in another location.

Check your Trash or Recycle Bin

Your files might have gotten moved to the Trash (Mac) or Recycle Bin (Windows). If you find your items in these folders, restore them to their previous location:

Mac

  1. Control-click (or right-click) the item. 
  2. Choose Put Back.

Windows Vista, Windows 7, and Windows 8

  1. Right-click the item.
  2. Choose Restore.

Windows XP

  1. Right-click the item.
  2. Choose Restore. 

If your media doesn't reappear in your iTunes library after you restore the item, locate the restored file in your iTunes Media folder, and then drag the item into your iTunes library window.

Still can't find your media?

If you still can't find your missing media, you might need to restore from a backup, if possible.

If a backup isn't available, your media might be lost, and you might need to purchase replacements.

Avoid losing your media

The best way to avoid losing your media is to make regular backups of your media files. Learn how to create a backup.

You can change the default iTunes Media location in the Advanced tab of iTunes Preferences. You can also change the preferences to have iTunes copy files to the iTunes Media folder when you add files to your library.

If you've changed either of these preferences, you might need to edit the iTunes Media folder location or turn-on the option to "Copy files to iTunes Media folder when adding to library." You should do this before adding your missing files back into iTunes if you want your media files to return to their original location (in the iTunes Media folder).

Learn more

Software not manufactured by Apple might potentially damage your iTunes library on Windows. iTunes might create a new empty iTunes library if this happens. If your iTunes library appears to be empty and you didn't misplace or delete the files, learn how to restore your files to your library.

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.

Last Modified:
Helpful?
42% of people found this helpful.

Additional Product Support Information

Start a Discussion

in Apple Support Communities
See all questions on this article See all questions I have asked
United States (English)