How to Fix a Corrupt File in iTunes

by Catherine Johnson

The file system for the popular Apple iPod can sometimes become heavily fragmented, making it difficult for Windows to read information off the device. When this happens, a message usually displays in the system tray stating that iTunes.exe is a corrupt and unreadable file. Although Windows recommends running the Chkdsk utility to fix this corrupt file, Apple recommends a far easier solution of restoring your iPod. This will usually be enough to defragment the iPod drive and fix the file system.

Download and install the latest version of the iTunes program (see Resources).

Open the new version of iTunes. Connect your iPod to your computer using the USB cable that came with it.

Wait until your iPod appears in the left navigation panel of iTunes in the "Devices" section. Select your iPod, and information about your device should appear on the main screen of iTunes under the "Summary" tab.

Click the "Restore" button. The iTunes program will then prompt you with four possible options. The "Restore" option simply restores your iPod with the software version that is already installed on it. The "Use Same Version" option restores your iPod with the same software version even if a newer version is available. The "Use Newest Version" and the "Restore and Update" options both restore your iPod with the latest version of the software. Choose which option you want and click "Restore".

Leave your iPod connected to your computer during the entire restore process. You should see a progress bar on your computer screen during the first stage of the restoring process. During the second stage, you will see the Apple logo as well as a progress bar on your iPod. It is very important that you do not disconnect your iPod or interrupt the restoring process.

Rename your iPod and choose your syncing preference when the iTunes Setup window appears after your iPod is restored.

Resync your iPod. When you restore your iPod, iTunes automatically deletes all of the files and playlists on the device. Select your device and press the "Sync Now" button in the "Summary" tab of the main iTunes screen to transfer your music back to your iPod.


  • check Avoid another corrupt file in the future by making sure to always eject your iPod properly. Wait until the orange light stops blinking before disconnecting your device from your computer.

Items you will need


About the Author

Catherine Johnson is a freelance writer and designer. Her writings on computer software, electronics, cooking, digital photography, home office productivity, organization, and online technologies have been published by Demand Studios, eHow, Bright Hub, and Associated Content. She has also produced award-winning graphic design, digital images, and websites since 2003.