Last updated: Jan. 10, 2017
It can be annoying even devastating when you wanted to delete several items in iTunes, but ended up with deleting the entire library — now all your music, videos, photos, etc. are gone...what a bummer.
If this just happened to you, take a breath first and don't worry you'll probably be able to recover those deleted iTunes library files with the following tips we're going to show you.
Don't forget to let us know in the comments, if any of the methods work for you.
1. Check Trash (Mac) or Recycle Bin (Windows)
Though you probably have already checked it out, we want to remind you just in case. Sometimes we are overwhelmed about the mistake we made, and forget to try the easiest possible solution.
Depending on how you deleted the items or wiped the entire library, the lost files may have been sent to the Trash (if you are on a Mac) or Recycle Bin (for a Windows PC). So go ahead and check it out. If you find them, select them and click Pull Back or Restore.
2. Restore via Time Machine (If You Have Backup)
Unfortunately, this tip only applies to those of you who use iTunes on a Mac machine. If you've emptied Trash or could find your files in it, leverage Time Machine (see how) to restore from a previous backup you've made. Find your external hard drive for the backup and roll your Mac back to the right snap. Then copy all your iTunes items and transfer them.
If you haven't set up Time Machine backups, or previous backups fail to retrieve your desired items, see next tips.
3. Restore Purchased Items from iTunes Store
The nice thing about iTunes is it saves all your downloaded or purchased items, many of which can be re-downloaded.
So if the above methods fail to recover your iTunes data, try to access the past purchases in the iTunes Store. Make sure you have all your Apple ID credentials ready. This Apple support article has more detailed step by step instructions.
4. Try a Digital Media Recovery Software
We recommend Stellar Phoenix Photo Recovery — a program specifically designed to rescue deleted or inaccessible photos (videos and songs too) from a variety of storage media including PC and Mac hard drive.
Get the program and install it to your computer, launch it and select the hard drive where your iTunes library music, videos, etc. were saved, then let the program scan it to look for recoverable items. The software itself is very intuitive to use. In case Stellar didn't help, here's a list of best photo recovery tools worth giving a try.
5. Use iTunes Data Recovery Software to Extract Your Files
Professional iPhone file recovery software like PhoneRescue has features to extract iTunes backups and restore all the library media quickly. Note: the iTunes backups is different from other kinds of backups made by for example by Time Machine. The process to recover is quite similar to the 4th tip we've introduced.
iTunes is an important part of our digital life if you are an Apple fan who's using an iDevice or a Mac. The software is like a hub of everything. While it makes it extremely easy for us to manage all our media files (music, movies, pictures, apps, etc.), accidental deletion could happen, and when it does, the consequences are huge.
We hope the above tips have helped you retrieve your lost iTunes library files. If you do, remember to make several backups of those precious data in the future.
Image courtesy to The Daleisphere.
Chris is a computer geek for a decade. He loved talking to computers via codes, and now he finds it more interesting communicating with the real people. He now writes everything related to computer issues and loves helping people solve problems.