Fix the “iTunes Library.itl” Cannot Be Read Version Error When Downgrading iTunes
We recently showed you how to delete iTunes and uninstall iTunes from Mac OS X, which is typically done for the purposes of downgrading iTunes to a previous version. If you’ve done this and you are now encountering an error about “iTunes Library.itl” not being readable due to it’s creation by a newer version of iTunes, this tutorial will show the fix which is nice and easy.
And yes, this should work to remedy other reasons why “iTunes Library.itl Cannot Be Read” errors occur regarding differing versions of iTunes on a Mac, whether for downgrading, concurrent versions in use, or otherwise.
How to Fix “iTunes Library.itl Cannot Be Read” Error on Mac
- Remove the newer version of iTunes and install the older version as originally intended
- Hit Command+Shift+G and type ~/Music/iTunes/
- Rename “iTunes Library.itl” to “iTunes Library.old” – this serves as a backup in case something goes wrong
- In the same iTunes folder, open “Previous iTunes Libraries” and track down the most recent version of an iTunes Library file, these are named by dates of iTunes installations in the format of “iTunes Library 2011-08-29.itl” etc
- Copy the most recent version of that file to your desktop (or elsewhere, or use cut and paste)
- Navigate back to ~/Music/iTunes/ and move or paste the file here, renaming it to “iTunes Library.itl”
- Relaunch iTunes
iTunes should now load trouble-free and without the “iTunes Library.itl cannot be read because it was created by a newer version of iTunes” error message.
Note: If you have moved the iTunes Library to another location, you’ll need to enter that directory path rather than ~/Music/iTunes/. Likewise, if you’re using Windows the iTunes directory is going to be located in My Documents > My Music > iTunes.
For Windows users, you can also use the Previous iTunes Library folder and copy it just the same, but the location is slightly different within your Music folder, typically residing within My Documents.