Damaged iTunes Library XML File?

This post is primarily for all you Google or next-generation search engine users of the upcoming years who, upon opening iTunes and seeing a “reading XML library file” dialogue feel their face drown of all blood & color, pose the dreaded question: is my iTunes library really gone?? as they can’t locate results other than obscure bulletin board posts from an older era (2005-2007) to reference for an answer.

No, your files are all still there, it’s your library that’s having some issues. But guess what? It’s probably still okay.

Find your iTunes Music Library.xml file (Mac users this is usually in your User > Music > iTunes folder… Not too sure about you PC users. You should see both iTunes Music Library.xml and also iTunes Music Library (Damaged).xml… Here’s the fun part:

Duplicate those two files and drag them onto the desktop in case you’ll need them (hold down option as you drag them to the desktop and this will copy them). Delete iTunes Music Library.xml in the Music > iTunes folder, and rename the “iTunes Music Library (Damaged).xml” into “iTunes Music Library.xml…” Open iTunes back up, and voilà, if it was just your mac app acting funny again, you still have all your playlists and organisations and won’t have to wait a day and a half (per 200 gigs of music, that is) to have it load all the music into a database file again.

Yes, it’s that simple–if you haven’t a larger problem at hand. Obviously there will be cases when your library file truly is fucked, in that case I’m sorry. I hope you find this helpful, obscure search engine-r.

17 Responses to “Damaged iTunes Library XML File?”

  1. 1 Linda July 12, 2010 at 3:34 am

    my problem was that I had iTunes Music Library.xml and iTunes Music Library (damaged).itl. So it did not work for me. 😦 1500 songs gone!

  2. 2 Roy July 28, 2010 at 9:58 pm

    Thank you!!!!

    This is the best advice(i.e easiest)ive found in dealing with this problem,you should have seen my face when all my old playlists and songs reappeared….thanks mate!

  3. 3 Josh September 9, 2010 at 6:15 am

    This has worked for me a few times, besides this time. Now I have to redo 94 gig of music, music video and movies etc. 😦

  4. 4 dj allstyle November 8, 2010 at 7:15 pm

    THANK U!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    40k songs & 25 playlist!! This worked!!!!! THANK U!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!One more time THANK UUUUUUUUUUUUUU!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    • 5 DJ Lowkey April 8, 2012 at 10:41 am

      What’s up dj allstyle, I meet you again two weeks later after the Serato forum. I just had this problem with my video library for the third time, Apple need to fix this already. And again, always tune in for your afternoon mix @ power 92.3fm

  5. 6 Jo April 23, 2011 at 12:56 am

    Worked for Me! Also It doesn’t matter if you don’t have a iTunes Music Library (Damaged).xml, just delete the iTunes Music Library
    .ITL and rename the iTunes Music Library (damaged).itl to iTunes Music Library.ITL

  6. 7 Andre December 24, 2011 at 9:31 pm

    I cant find my iTunes Music Library (Damaged).xml any ideas where it would be??

    • 8 DJ Lowkey April 17, 2012 at 1:22 pm

      Your iTunes Music Library is still there and all of your songs don’t worry, I don’t know why this happening to everybody, gotta be an Apple problem. What happened was iTunes created a new library on it’s own with some of your files or maybe none of your files and made you a new library. So just read the article above, very simple and a piece of cake, works perfect.

  7. 9 faterocky March 9, 2012 at 1:22 pm

    When I tried dragging the ‘damaged’ file to desktop, it could not do it, it said – Cannot read from the source file or disk. I guess thats what went wrong in the first place, lucky I synced my ipod yesterday after waiting for over a year! Now is there any way of syncing the other way? playlists from ipod to pc???

  8. 10 DJ Lowkey April 8, 2012 at 10:34 am

    A big problem to a dj that depends on his or her music for work and this happens, this solved my problem, thanks so much. Are you Apple Genius because you saved me a trip to the store.

  9. 11 DJ Lowkey April 8, 2012 at 10:44 am

    glad I found this forum, looks almost over a year and a half, well I feel like it’s gonna happen again, wish I knew the cause of it.

  10. 12 lifeisinmotion April 17, 2012 at 12:38 pm

    It was the other way around for me with the .itl file being (damaged) and the XML being fine. Therefore I had all of my music but had lost all settings as well as the ability to Home Share (even when I reconfigured HS in the new, undamaged itunes itl).

    I’ve used the above same steps on the .itl file and with a seconds glance i know it has worked. My choice of columns and width, order of song lists, everything appears as it used to. Home Sharing has come back instantly. It is, after all, a very logical fix! Thanks to the poster, saved this household!

    • 13 DJ Lowkey April 17, 2012 at 7:31 pm

      I’m happy to see this helped others because it will make you lose sleep when you have a huge library and playlist to accompany days worth of music.

  11. 14 Kaos May 4, 2013 at 8:36 am

    You. Saved. My. Life.

  12. 15 kim-in-melb June 5, 2013 at 10:32 pm

    THANK YOU! I’d thought I’d lost all my files and was up all night trying to get them back. Just came across this and it worked. Thanks heaps.

  13. 16 Tobore June 30, 2013 at 12:41 am

    Oh my gosh!!! You do not even know how happy this has made me. I thought i lost all my songs forever. Thank you so much!!!!!

  1. 1 Damaged iTunes Library XML File? « Chicago Mac/PC Support Trackback on February 14, 2010 at 4:28 am

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Another twenty some odd young adult who believes he sees things from a unique perspective. Here be my poetry & prose, short stories, favored school papers, rantings, and "blogs." Comment, critique, and profit.

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