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How to Fix iTunes Library File is Locked Error?

Shit happens: You want to play your favorite music, you start iTunes and you discover your iTunes Library File is locked. There can be several reasons for this to happen, but that is not very important now. You just want your library back. There are several ways to fix this, but the way described in this tutorial is the simplest one, and it works in most cases. Here are the 9 simple steps to get iTunes up and running again with your own library!

Note: Depending on your settings, your windows can be slightly different than the screenshots used in this tutorial.

Step 1: iTunes Library File is Locked!

When you open iTunes, and you see this window:

iTunes Library File is Locked

Don’t panic! Just click ‘ok’ and read on.

Step 2

Launch the Finder app, by clicking on the finder-icon in the dock.

iTunes Library File is Locked

Step 3

Click on the home folder (with the little ‘home’ icon) on your left side. You will see all you basic folders appear on the right side.

iTunes Library File is Locked

Step 4

Locate the music folder in the right screen and dubbel-click it. This will result in the following screen:

iTunes Library File is Locked

Step 5

Locate the file ‘iTunes Library’ and drag it to your desktop.

iTunes Library File Locked

At this stage, your ‘iTunes Library’ file is on your desktop, and not in the folder ‘music’. Your window should be something like this:

iTunes Library File is Locked

Step 6

Launch iTunes by clicking on the iTunes icon in the dock

iTunes Library File Is Locked

Step 7

Since iTunes doesn’t find an existing library, it creates a new one by itself. A screen like this will appear:

iTunes Library File is Locked

Don’t do anything but closing the application. (Not just the window, but close iTunes entirely, otherwise the next step will not work!)

Step 8

Drag you original iTunes Library file from the desktop to the iTunes folder where you took it from originally.

A window will appear to inform you that a newer item already exists. (The newer item is the file iTunes just made when you launched iTunes in step 7)

iTunes Library File Is Locked

Click on ‘replace’

Your window should look like this again:

iTunes Library File Is Locked

Step 9

Now you can launch iTunes again by clicking on the iTunes Icon in the dock.

And voila! Your library is back!

iTunes Library File Is Locked

Most of the times, a problem like this has a happy ending. But theoreticly it could be worse. In case of big problems, you would be happy to have a back-up. Some things are easily replaced, but all the images in iPhoto, your complete library in iTunes and all your (personal) documents are not replaceable. We recommend using Apple’s Time Machine to make quick and easy backup and to avoid any panic next time your iTunes library file is locked!

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    Liz5 years, 1 month ago

    And me too! Thanks

    BillyBobJoe5 years, 8 months ago

    Thats more complicated than how i do it lol….Heres what I did….Its WAY easier and takes less time if you have less songs!!Go to: Macintosh HD > UsersRight-click on your user name (home folder) and select Get Info.Click the lock at the bottom and enter your password.Your permissions at the moment for that folder should be Read & Write for you, Read only for staff and everyone.Click the gear icon at the bottom, and select Apply to enclosed items.The last step will take a few minutes to complete, but once done, everything in your home folder should now have their proper permissions. If not, holler back and we can manually tweak them some more.

      Tantien5 years, 7 months ago

      @BillyBobJoe: Your simple method did it for me! Thank you very much! :)

      Hayley5 years, 2 months ago

      This method worked for me too.Thank you so much :)!

      Bee4 years, 11 months ago

      it didnt work for me :(