Why is there a ‘file not found’ error on iTunes when I try to open a song through the library?

Marie December 29, 2010

I’m having a problem with iTunes. I open the Library and click on a song to be told that the file cannot be found. I have to then go back to the music folder, find the artist and click on it to play in iTunes.Very frustrating.

I have a vast library and it takes me hours to re-import all the files into my Library. What confuses me is that some of the songs play, but mostly not. I love iTunes and would like to know what I’m doing wrong. Please help.

  1. Lens
    January 2, 2011 at 9:53 am

    Hi Guys, thanks a mill for your anwers/solutions.I will implement your suggestions and see if I can be a happy "Ituner" again.The other thing I need to find out, I live in S.A. and want to buy songs, does Itunes support accounts/sales in South Africa?
    Have a fab 2011 and thanks again.

    • Tina
      January 2, 2011 at 7:11 pm


      regarding your question about iTunes supporting accounts in South Africa, you can get an account, but there may not be a lot of material available within your country's iTunes store. You can browse the content of other countries, but you cannot buy it using your South African account.

      You may be interested in this article:
      [Broken Link Removed]

      Also, purchasing gift cards for an iTunes store in another country may be an option.

  2. Gustavo Ibarguengoytia
    December 30, 2010 at 3:38 pm

    A few things could be going on here. Lets check some settings first. Go to your iTunes settings page and check your library settings. Do you manually sort your own files or do you let iTunes do it for you? What folders have you told iTunes to act as your library?

    I would recommend this:
    Try playing a song that you know doesn't work. Then right click it and select More Info (or properties, where you change the song info like artist, song name, etc.) and look carefully for the file path of that particular song it should look like this "C:/User/Admin/My Music/iTunes..." now using the file browser go to that path and find that file in there. If it's not there, then someone moved it. There could be a few reasons why its not there: Either iTunes moved it, or you did, or someone else (program or person) did. Some programs don't get along with each other if you try to use iTunes and Windows Media Player (for example) they will battle against each other for the library and make a mess of your files.

    I suggest you handle your libraries manually (disable iTunes file management) and re order your files manually, it will take you a long time, but you only have to do this once instead of struggling with iTunes everyday. After you are done, I suggest you defragment your disk because you just moved a whole bunch of data and your HDD could be a mess.

  3. Jonathan Mould
    December 30, 2010 at 11:10 am

    This happens when a file location changes. I got a new laptop recently and moved my files onto it. Because I had moved the files, iTunes on my old laptop could no longer play the songs. So, have you reorganised your files, perhaps changed folder names or sorted them? If you have a lot of songs I would reccomend that you, firstly, save all your music files in one folder. Then delete all the music in iTunes and import the folder where you have saved your music. That way you don't have to import individual songs. Hope this helps