Apple How to Windows

iTunes Library-How to Fix the “Cannot be Read” Error

So, you downloaded and installed the iTunes beta for iTunes Match without first thinking about the consequences. No sweat. After I update iTunes, I received a strange error message in iTunes library when starting the application.

The File “iTunes Library.itl” cannot be read because it was created by a newer version of iTunes.

If you are trying to downgrade your iTunes beta back to a publicly released version of iTunes. Resulting in the horrible ‘”iTunes Library.itl” (cannot be read). Because the newer version of iTunes’ creates this error message. Don’t succumb to tears just yet; we have got a fix that might just work. I face many problems in iTunes but this one is strange. Because I was fully upgraded to the newest version of iTunes. Yet still got this error. To solve the issue follow the following steps.

How to Downgrade iTunes and Save it

  • Uninstall the new version of iTunes, and install the previous version.
  • Navigate to your Home folder and go to the Music/iTunes/ primary folder.
  • Locate ‘iTunes Library.itl’, and rename it to ‘iTunes Library.old’.
  • Navigate to the ‘Previous iTunes Libraries’ folder. And locate the most recent library file. e.g. ‘iTunes Library 2011-09-21’. This is the most recent backup of your library file.

Note: if you have used the new version of iTunes for some time. You may need to use an older backup file. Try the most recent first. And if it does not work, then try the second most recent, etc.

  • Copy the most recent backup of your file, and paste it in the Music/iTunes primary folder.
  • Next, rename the backup file to ‘iTunes Library.itl’.
  • Open iTunes. And your library should be back to normal prior to the upgrade.

OR You can also try this on Computer

  • Navigate to where the library.itl file is located.
    • MacOS – /Users/username/Music
    • Windows XP – C:\Documents and Settings\username\My Documents\My Music
    • On Windows Vista – C:\Users\username\Music
    • Windows 10, 8 or 7 – C:\Users\username\My Music
  • Delete the iTunes file.
  • Start iTunes. Your music database will now be blank. But your music files should still be available in the iTunes Music Library folder located in one of the locations noted above.
  • Drag and drop the iTunes Music folder and any other folders that contain your music files to the iTunes application window. iTunes should then take some time to rebuild the database of music.


First thing first, always be sure to back up any file you modify. However, give us your feedback if this article was helpful for you. Also if you guys have further queries related to this article. Then let us know in the comments section below. Have a Great Day!

Also See: YouTube Buffering Fix-How to fix if Videos keep buffering

About the author

Windy Moore

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