The Folder Containing iTunes Library Cannot Be Found
Updating my installation of iTunes recently triggered the message “The folder containing “iTunes Library.itl” cannot be found, and is required. Please choose or create a new iTunes library.”
Now that is a fairly understandable message, but not very useful. Clicking on the “OK” button doesn’t do anything at all. iTunes simply does not start.
I worked out that the message occurs because the Music folder on my machine is not in the default place. I store my music files on a secondary hard drive and had moved all the shortcuts and pointers to it. The reinstalled iTunes update simply reset the location settings for the Music folder to the defaults.
All that needed to be done in order to get things back up and running was to find a way to get the updated installation pointing to the right folder again. And whilst this sounds straightforward enough, all my solutions-to-the-problem searching on the internet uncovered were suggestions to make manual changes to registry settings.
Now I’m not adverse to fiddling in the registry. But I’d rather avoid it if possible. As luck would have it, I remember a neat shortcut to get the same result without having to go near the registry settings.
Simply hold down the “Shift” key on your keyboard when starting iTunes!
Yes, I know it sounds ridiculously simple, but I assure you it works. Holding down the Shift key as you click on the iTunes icon to start up the programme will trigger the “Choose iTunes Library” message. This dialogue allows you to choose an existing iTunes library or to create a new one just as the original error message suggests is required.
Once you have the message on screen, it’s a simple task to click on the “Choose Library…” button, browse to the location of your music files, find the iTunes folder, and select the library file in it. This will also automatically correct the registry settings for you, and you should be good to get rocking once more.
Awesomely easy solution, right?! You can thank me in the comments below.
For those who insist on complicating their lives, the long way round is to manually edit two registry settings to ensure the location of your music folder is correct.
Run “regedit” from a command prompt, navigate to the following two keys, and ensure the settings for “Music” or “My Music” are accurate:
- HKEY_CURRENT_USERSoftwareMicrosoftWindowsCurrentVersionExplorerShell Folders
HKEY_CURRENT_USERSoftwareMicrosoftWindowsCurrentVersionExplorerUser Shell Folders