Disappearing Songs in iTunes

This is something that has happen to me a few times. You go to look for a file (in my case a podcast) only to find that it is missing. Just gone for no real reason because I know that I didn’t delete it. Guess it just got bored and left.

The good thing for me is that its just a podcast and not something that I have payed for like some other people have had happen. But what is the reason because there has to be one. Files just don’t disappear by them self. Does iTunes just pick random crap and say “You don’t need this”. Or is there something really wrong in the program?

In my case it was from the podcast You Look Nice Today Ep. 3a. I know for a fact it was there because I remember clicking on the get button and then syncing it to my iPod and iPhone. As you can see below its still on my iPhone. So whats going on Apple? Is just because I am on a Windows system or does your program and a major flaw?

Anything like this happen to you?


  1. I have the exact same problem – some of the podcast files are downloaded to a temp folder, others disappear. Have you found any solution jet? I’ve tried changing the settings without any success so far. They should be grateful that I’m using their crappy software in the first place!

  2. I haven’t found any solution or any answer for why it happens. I’m just glad its only a podcast thats missing and not something from the iTunes store.

  3. disabling the “auto delete” option in itunes seems to work for me – although no solution for 30+ podcasts…

    1. I’ve got my music backed up on 2 other hard drives and not only are my songs just magically not on my itunes list anymore but not even in the music folder or backup hard drives. Now that takes some work that I am not doing.

  4. found your website as I googled “podcast disapearing from itunes”. I’m having the same exact problem even if I select “do not auto delete”. What I did notice is that the file itself is still on my hard drive, but it’s not listed in itunes – strange.

    To make it even more frustrating there are podcasts that ARE NOT deleting that I have set to “auto delete”.

  5. same problem, but i have lost albums and videos. some that i have bought from itunes. i have found this page after searching loads of sites full of people with this same problem. i have lost music that i just dont have anymore. and im not going to buy anything from itunes again if they are just going to remove it from my computer!!!!!

  6. I’m having a kind of problem like this one. The only thing is that, every single songs that were in the library of my itunes disappeared, and I didn’t delete and re-installed itunes or anything. I just opened it and everything disappeared.

  7. Having the same problems, my entire library on itunes has gone, and isnt backed up unfortunately. All of my £50 worth of music is gone forever. Seriously narked off… And I am totally not buying it from i-tunes again, what a rediculous notion. On their website it states that when you buy music you only get a single download of it. Yet then it mysteriously disappears from the computer? Strange… How can they expect people to buy music twice?! Surely something will be done about this.

  8. Have those of you that lost your libraries checked that they’re gone from your hard drive? They may still be there, if you go into Music>iTunes>iTunes Music. If they’re there, in iTunes File menu just select “Add to Library” and you’ll be back in action. If the files are totally gone… call Apple and bitch them out!

  9. my itunes library is slowly vanishing off the face of my PC(I only have songs). Grey exclamation mark in the library, files NOWHERE on the computer.

    I’d noticed it before (last year or two), and it was worrying but confined to a couple of tracks: I sat down to check, and I’ve lost ~4000 by now. FOUR THOUSAND SONGS.

    It’s iTunes 7.2.6. My Mac remains fine… My faith in appledom wanes.


  10. Hi

    I found this through a search engine too. I am starting to get really angry with itunes now and if I didn’t have an iphone, I would no longer be using the bloody thing.

    It keeps eating my music, not just the purchased stuff now, but things I’ve imported from albums. One day it is there, next day I go on and I have a grey exclamation mark. It is gone from my computer completely too, vanished! I have no idea what is going on. I have already had to ask itunes to restore my purchased music because all of it went in one day and they did, now it’s happening not only to purchased, but to my imported too.

    It takes bloody ages to keep reimporting music to my laptop. But, not only that, it has now made four/six duplicates of other files within itunes and if I try to delete any of the duplicates, I get a grey mark against the one that is left.

    I have no idea what is going on. I am not installing anything new or removing anything, I have no viruses, no spyware. It is itunes doing it, I’m sure of that.

    I’m off to write an angry e-mail to itunes to ask what the hell is going on.

  11. I don’t know if anyone can help.
    but today, i went on my itunes

    and EVERYTHING has disappeared.

    and there is no trace, on my computer, on itunes store, or anything.
    I had so much stuff on there, worth quite a bit of money,
    And i have tried everything to get it back.

    Majorly pissed!

    i thought id leave a comment cause no one else seems to be having exactly the same problem – all slightly different.

  12. Ive bin readin lots of these post and it seems ive got the same problem as most, a grey exclamation mark is poping up next to the vast majority of my itunes songs and when i click on them to play them theres a pop up box saying “the song can not be used because the origanal file could not be found,would you like o locate it?”
    It was only a few songs at first but now full albums are going fairly regulary!! can someone please advise me on how to fix this or how to stop it,,PLEEEEEZZZZZ

  13. I went on my itunes last week and about 3000 of 5000 songs were gone. I didn’t delete them and nobody else uses my com so I gotta guess its itunes. I had them all spell corrected and rated. What a pain .I’m not even sure what is gone. I know that two whole albums are gone and who knows how many others. This is music I had on for at least a couple of years. And I’m Canadian so nobody should be able to delete songs I got from other web sites. Canadians pay an extra tax on blank discs to cover pirating. If they can delete songs completely off my com, what other files can they get into.

  14. This has been happening to me a lot lately as well. However, I want to stress that all my files are still there in their original location. I simply go to my iTunes music folder and “add folder to library”. This may cause some tracks to duplicate. The tracks with question marks may still be there but the “real” tracks will also be there.

    It’s a very odd problem. At least the music is not really gone. So if you bought music or imported it, check the actual hard drive folders. I have not really lost any music so far and this has happened to me more than a dozen times.

    It’s an annoying problem but at least I don’t have to re-rip the music or anything.

  15. You can transfer purchased from your ipod to itunes to get your songs back.. i think that works it worked for me

  16. Same thing but smaller,

    This happens on my iPhone too I buy a song leave it for a few days and like that it’s gone ive heard rumors that songs have set expiry dates is this true and also how to get theese songs back this just seems like one big apple scam to make you buy two copies over £40 worth of stuff vanished

  17. DS >> you're lucky then, because I've checked all over my harddrive and the music files are absolutely NOWHERE. Sometimes iTunes doesn't even give me the courtesy of the grey exclamation point; some of the albums just have one song left in the list. I looked today and half my music was gone; it's like an episode of the twilight zone or something. Its as if the music was never there. the other half has the exclamation points, and so at least on that account its not trying to drive me insane….

    Still, I'd like a solution because its kind of extremely ridiculous.

  18. I have lost thousands of songs many different times— I run a studio and my misc libraries are key to my business—
    right now I’m in the middle of producing a show and BAM— I go to make a new playlist and 5,000 songs are just gone— not to mention the hundreds of purchases videos, shows and movies, and music on there too. I have found like 400 songs still on my computer but not the the stuff I really need– I have tried to restore my system— doesn’t work– and this is the 10th time i have had to re-do itunes— PLEASE– someone give me an easier alternative!! I should be working on my show– not playing computer geek–

  19. This is also happening to me and it is driving me crazy. To be more precise, what is happening is that I open my ITunes library and all of my songs – a few thousand of them – have disappeared, vanished. It has just happened today, for the fifth time this year. Yes, I am aware that I simply go to File ==> Add Folder to Library, and they all come back again. However, like other posters above, I have spent many, many hours rating all my songs and putting them into playlists. And now I am back to the start again. Does anybody in this world know how to stop this most infuriating vanishing of my ITunes Library?

  20. The first time ALL my music disappeared from iTunes, I redid it and now just about 1/2 is missing. I read and read and try everything, but no success. So annoying with no real solutions.

  21. Guys, iLounge helped me get this link: http://support.apple.com/kb/TS1493 (“Windows confuses iPod with network drive or hard drive and may keep iPod from mounting or songs may seem to disappear”) With this I have retrieved some of the lost albums; now, it’s tricky, because some different albums got lost in the way. My final conclusion will be: if in Windows, keep your music files to your local hard disk, and only use external as back ups, triying to maintain the same drive letter assigned

    1. After reading your comment something popped in my head. I switched to a Mac over a year ago and since then haven’t lost anything from iTunes. Don’t know if that is because of being on a Mac or just because iTunes stop deleting files. Just a idea.

  22. Hi All, I have a similar but different problem . Our PC Crashed recently and we went out and purchased a MAC – I then left on hols and havent been able to get the Itunes librasy retrieved rom the hard drive of our PC – so currenlty NO itunes library. Anyway two nights ago i went to listen to music on my iphone after downloading a new ringtone (Itunes Top 10 ringtone) and presto now I have now music in library at all – thousnads of songs just gone!!! What?? Has nothing to with syncing – I am interstate and not near another computer! So how can this happen – does Apple sync automatically without approval if you purchase something via I tunes on ur phone??? Is the music still in the phone somewhere

  23. YES, it sucks. iTunes has f**ked up some where and now every time I go into my music a few more songs go missing. What the hell, Apple!?! I’m extra pissed off about this because alot of my music is really hard to find, even on the internet. Apple and iTunes have really got to get their sh*t back together if they ever want me to make the switch to a Mac.

  24. i’ve had itunes libraries get damaged numerous times, losing all the play count data and ratings etc, most songs missing from itunes. but the MP3’s and AAC’s are still in their original folders. i assume everyone here checked that.

    Losing valuable files is a good lesson to backup! I periodically make a copy of my itunes music folder on another drive just in case.

  25. YES!!!! As soon as I had donwloaded the latest iTunes……ABOUT 400 OF MY SONGS WERE GONE! And unfortunately I have too many songs to all fit on my iPhone so not all of them were saved. Sooo this was the point I started to use Limewire.

  26. Wow! I am truly digusted with Apple allowing this to happen. Someone should complain to consumer protection and get a class action going against the bastards. It makes me realize Microsoft is not so bad afterall.

  27. ughhh same here at first it was just 3-4 exclamation marks & d music files nowhere to be found but i thought that was just my mistake maybe i had deleted them without realizing it but now dozens are disappearing every time i load itunes & most of them cant even be found on d hard drive..its not a problem wid d comp iv done virus checks & this is my personal laptop wtf is going on its gotta be a serious glitch in itunes!
    shouldnt they have freakin corrected it by now after receiving so many complaints?!! whats the point of a music library which can’t retain music!!! jeezzzz #__#

  28. Argh, well, it’s not too bad for me, just a few albums here and there over the last few days have disappeared, and I’m not sure whether to blame itunes, apple, or something (one?) else.

    A few days ago and Andrew Bird album disappears (one that I’d downloaded). Today, it’s a Polyphonic Spree (that I have the CD for). Very mysterious.

    Perhaps my computer doesn’t like Indy.

  29. I am having a slightly different problem, but along the same lines as you guys. This is only occurring in one genre so far as I can see, but all of my tracks from that genre that are not 5 starred are no longer existing in the library. They do physically exist on the HD so I have not completely lost the tracks. I have never had this kind of mishap with iTunes EVER and I have not done anything differently at all lately. Could it be something to do with syncing with the ipod? Has anyone else had a similar situation happen to them lately? If so please e-mail me! Thanks :)

  30. Glad I’m not the only one my case is every time I turn off my labtop my whole library disappears! Its still in the Itunes music folder but adding it constantly over and over just gets on my nerves and I have no clue whatsoever on this just plain frustrated

  31. i’m confused. i swear i bought a song yesterday through my iphone. i even listened to it. today i bought two more songs through itunes in my laptop. then i decided to syncronize my iphone 3gs but there was an error. something like:

    your iphone could not syncronized because there was an error writing to the disk.

    something like that. i unplugged my iphone from itunes and plugged it in again. this time it back up and syncronized just fine. then i opened the Recently Added smart playlist and found the two songs i bought through my laptop but not the song i bought through my iphone. i looked everywhere but there is just no trace of it in my computer nor in my iphone. what happened to it. i thought maybe i could find a record of it in my itunes account purchase history but there is not! This is the second time it happens. the other time was more than a year ago. i just have no explanation to what just happened.
    oh well…

  32. Hi

    Found all your comments as I googled the same phrase..I am having the same problem with podcasts randomly disappearing. Additionally, I synced my podcast in iTunes with my iPhone for a bit and then decided not to so unchecked sync…only to find that when I plug my phone in now, it lists music, movies, tvshows and purchased under my iPhone but no podcasts..this was there before. Any ideas?!?!?!

  33. I have a similar problem with songs disappearing from my itunes and ipod. Even stuff ripped from cd’s. I’m starting to get really pissed off with it.

  34. I had the same problem and I just randomly figured it out! I’ve been missing all my music for months!
    Go to Computer, then C:, then find a file called backup. Click on it, click on your user name, click on my music. It’s all there! Then open iTunes, click on file, then add folder to library, and follow the links back to your backup file….you can start adding your files back in!

  35. same. i go to my ipod to look for a music file and its gone. I know I didn’t delete it and in itunes it says purchased so I can’t even buy the songs again. Why does this happen?

  36. I think when you change the location of your songs or video folder Itunes points to empty location. That is why they disappear. Itune does not physicality save them to its library

Leave a Comment

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s