How to Restore an iTunes Library With an XML File

By Mario Calhoun

i Justin Sullivan/Getty Images News/Getty Images

A lost iTunes library due to accidental deletion can be restored as long as the iTunes library XML file remains in your iTunes music folder. The XML file retains your music library's information, including play count, playlists and ratings. The XML file can be copied to your desktop and back to your iTunes folder to rebuild your library and playlists without any data loss.

Step 1

Close your iTunes application.

Step 2

Open your music folder. For Macs, click the "Finder" icon and click the "Music" tab on the sidebar. Double-click the "iTunes" folder, and drag the "iTunes Library.xml" file to your desktop.

For PCs, open Windows Explorer, and go to "Documents and Settings/(user name)/My Documents/My Music. Double-click the "iTunes" folder and drag iTunes Music Library.xml to your desktop or into your Documents folder.

Step 3

Send the "iTunes Library" folder to your Trash bin. Empty the Trash bin, and open your iTunes application.

Step 4

Click "File" at the top of the screen, and move your cursor to "Library" and click "Import Playlist."

Step 5

Locate the "iTunes Music Library.xml" file and double-click it to open it.