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iTunes for Windows doesn't recognize my audio CDs

Symptoms

Try the steps below if iTunes does not recognize audio CDs you put into the computer's drive.

Resolution

Update iTunes

Make sure you have the current version of iTunes, which is available from the iTunes download page.

If iTunes recognizes audio CDs now, delete the iTunes shortcut on your desktop and replace it with a new one.

Verify Windows recognizes your optical drive

If Microsoft Windows recognized your optical drive, but doesn't recognize it now, follow the instructions in iTunes for Windows: Optical drive is no longer recognized, or "Disc burner or software not found" alert after install.

Check for software updates

Microsoft or your computer's manufacturer may have released updated software. Check to see if there are updates to Windows or to the software that controls the drive. Check your computer manufacturer's website for updates, particularly for updates to the CD or DVD drive. If you bought the drive separately from the computer, check the drive manufacturer's website. In some cases, software drivers for other devices (such as video and sound cards) could affect how the CD or DVD drive works. Make sure your video and sound cards have the most current drivers.

Check for firmware updates

From time to time manufacturers publish updates to a CD or DVD drive's internal software (known as firmware). Check your computer manufacturer's website for firmware updates first. This is important because the internal drives used by some companies (including Dell) require special firmware. If an update is not available from the computer manufacturer, check with the company that made the drive. In some cases, firmware for other devices (such as video and sound cards) could affect how the CD or DVD drive works. Make sure your video and sound cards have the latest firmware as well.

    Important: Use special care when installing firmware updates. Incorrectly installing a firmware update could damage the drive and make it unusable. Always check with the computer manufacturer first before checking with the drive manufacturer.

Additional steps
If you have more than one optical drive, try using iTunes with each drive.

Burner software conflicts
If iTunes had previously been working and you recently installed some software that also includes CD burning capabilities (including Napster, Audible, or other online music store software), you may need to do a Repair installation of iTunes.

Repairing the iTunes installation in Windows Vista and Windows 7

  1. Quit iTunes, if it is open.
  2. On the Start menu, click Control Panel and under Programs, click Uninstall a program.
  3. Alternately, in Classic View of Control Panel, click Programs and Features.
  4. Click iTunes in the list of installed programs.
  5. Click Repair.
  6. Again, click Repair.

Repairing the iTunes installation in Windows XP and Windows 2000 

  1. Quit iTunes, if it is open.
  2. Click Start, and point to Control Panel.
  3. Open Add or Remove Programs.
  4. Click iTunes in the list of installed programs.
  5. Click the Change/Remove button. The InstallShield Wizard opens.
  6. Select Repair and click Next. Continue with the installation.
  7. At the Maintenance Successful screen, select "Yes, I want to restart my computer now."
  8. Click Finish.

If iTunes still does not recognize audio CDs after you try these steps, it is possible that third-party software has installed device filters on your computer that are contributing to this issue. Learn more about device filters and how to resolve issues they cause.

To assist Apple in identifying affected drives, please provide feedback by running CD Diagnostics in iTunes
Click here for more information.

This document will be updated as more information becomes available.

Additional Information

Important: Information about products not manufactured by Apple is provided for information purposes only and does not constitute Apple’s recommendation or endorsement. Please contact the vendor for additional information.
Last Modified: Feb 24, 2012
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  • Last Modified: Feb 24, 2012
  • Article: TS1584
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