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:
Don’t panic! Just click ‘ok’ and read on.
Launch the Finder app, by clicking on the finder-icon in the dock.
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.
Locate the music folder in the right screen and dubbel-click it. This will result in the following screen:
Locate the file ‘iTunes Library’ and drag it to your desktop.
At this stage, your ‘iTunes Library’ file is on your desktop, and not in the folder ‘music’. Your window should be something like this:
Launch iTunes by clicking on the iTunes icon in the dock
Since iTunes doesn’t find an existing library, it creates a new one by itself. A screen like this will appear:
Don’t do anything but closing the application. (Not just the window, but close iTunes entirely, otherwise the next step will not work!)
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)
Click on ‘replace’
Your window should look like this again:
Now you can launch iTunes again by clicking on the iTunes Icon in the dock.
And voila! Your library is back!
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!