Using multiple iTunes libraries

Q: I tried to create a second iTunes library on my computer by pushing the SHIFT key as I openned my iTunes and selected new iTunes. After doing this, my previous iTunes library disappeared (with all my selected songs and purchases) and now I have a new empty iTunes library without songs from my old iTunes. Is it at all possible to get back my old iTunes library? My iPod has songs from the previous iTunes and don’t want to loses it, not to mention I spent a fair bit of time creating the old iTunes library.

– Anonymous

A: Chances are that your original iTunes library is still in its original location. When you created a new iTunes library by holding down the SHIFT key and starting iTunes, you would have been prompted for a path in which to create the new iTunes library, and iTunes would then default to using this location from then on.

To get back to your original iTunes library, simply shut down iTunes and then start it up while again holding the SHIFT key, and this time select the “Choose Library” option from the dialog box that appears.

Using multiple iTunes libraries

iTunes will then ask you for the location of the library you would like to use. By default, your original iTunes library should be located in a folder named “iTunes” under your “My Music” folder (Windows) or your “Music” folder (Mac). Simply select this “iTunes” folder, click OK, and iTunes should open your original library database back up again. Once you have set iTunes back to using the original library database, it will continue to use this by default unless you change it again by repeating the above process.


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