iTunes Error: The iTunes Library.itl file is locked

When you try to start iTunes for Windows, you get an error message that says:

The iTunes Library.itl file is locked, on a locked disk, or you do not have write permission for this file.

iTunes locker error

This happens because, somehow the iTunes Library.itl file got set as read only. You can fix this by doing the following steps:

1. Open the My Documents folder.

2. Open the My Music folder.

3. Open the iTunes folder

4. Right-click the iTunes Library.itl file and select Properties.

5. Uncheck Read-only.

6. If you have a Security tab, select it. Ensure that your account has Full Control permissions to the file. If you don’t have this tab, ignore this step.

7. Click OK.

Now you should be able to start iTunes without the error. If not, your music files may actually be set to where you don’t have proper permissions. Check it with these steps.

1. Navigate to the location where the music files are located. For Windows 7 users, it’s normally in theĀ C:\Users\username\Music\iTunes\iTunes Media folder.

2. Right-click the iTunes Media folder, then select Properties.

3. Ensure that the Hidden and Archive boxes aren’t checked. If you have a permissions tab, check to see that you have it set to “Full Control” and that nothing is set to “Deny”.


  1. Bj says

    Hey guys I followed DarioManosalva suggestion and it worked. I had downloaded iTunes version 11. It displayed two options, to go to the store or scan for media. I selected the scan option and my music library was restored.

    Hope this helps!

  2. DarioManosalva says

    Hey guys! i’ve had the same problem with iTunes, I followed these tips and the problem still, so i just deleted in the folder iTunes in Music the folder with the name iTunes Library, after i did that, i’ve just opened iTunes again and the problem was solved! obviously all the music and the apps was delete, so just go to the folder iTunes in Music, when you are there open de folder iTunes Media and all your Apps, music, videos, etc, going to be there! now, just drag the folder or the archive you want to iTunes and ready! the problem is solved! I did that and now my iTunes works!

  3. m h rana says

    thanks dear. my issue solved. I had in fact zipped this folder ie music . now ok.

  4. Chris says

    I ran into this same problem. All of the “read only” attempts did not work for me. I did however get it to finally work by right clicking on the itunes icon, going to preferences, choosing the shortcut icon, clicking on advanced and checking the “run as administrator” box. Has worked ever since.

  5. dhruv says

    1. Open the My Documents folder.

    2. Open the My Music folder.
    3. remove all file of itune
    4. start itune it will work fine
    5. new file automatically created

  6. Paul Wilczynski says

    I followed the instructions to unclick the read-only box on the iTunes folder. It appears to be changing a lot of files. However, if I close it and come right back in, the read-only box still still checked. As far as I can see, everything is “Full Control”.

    I’m using WIndows 8. I’ve had it for a week or so and up until yesterday everything was working fine. Nothing that I know of changed, but all of a sudden I have this problem.

  7. Richard Hein says

    Changing the name of the iTunes folder did it for me. Off the way, but it worked. I had tried all of the other changes to no avail. Thanks for the tip.

  8. Matthew says

    Thank you sooooo much im so glad i came across your website cheers mate. I wass doing all this complicated business thinking i had to change the coding or something but then realised it was my FOLDERS that had that wee “read only” box ticked. Thanks alot :)

  9. Chris says

    Jay if you have Itunes you do…. Just keep at it you will find it. It took me a couple of goes!

  10. mike says

    this was the only thing that worked for me. simple renaming the main itunes folder. doesn’t make much sense, but believe it or not that was the key. Thanks Chris/Ann

  11. Ev Khu says

    The instructions were clear and worked!
    Make sure the right ‘user’ has the right permission.
    Thanks Don (#3)

  12. David says

    Don you are the greatest I was als having problems with Outlook mail as well as Itunes and this has fixed both all of the love to to you

  13. Tim says

    Not working for me. I get to the Read-Only box, and uncheck it. But when i leave properties, it just rechecks it… anyone else?

  14. Joseph says

    More info*
    After everything was restored to my itunes i attached my ipohone and it said that this phone was synced with another library so I updated it and it deleted my videos and music off my iphone so make sure you have them on your computer

  15. Joseph says

    That did not work for me and I got the same error message so I deleted the iTunes Library.itl file (only delete the file and not your music folder) and clicked for itunes to open and it did. My music did not show up so I just dragged and dropped the iTunes Music folder and it added my music, movies and apps back.
    Hope this helps.

  16. pete says

    Re itl file locked ; I tried all the solutions with no result , what did finally work was , right click i tunes , then click ‘run as administrator’ . Before that I gave full permission for all the users on the security tab , that in itself did not work , but then seemed to allow the run as admin to work . I am no expert , and this was all hit and miss , but it did work for me .

    Good luck

  17. Heather says

    I also have windows7 and I was having the same problem after I downloaded iTunes 10.2…I was also getting a message about “AppleSyncNotifier.exe system error” when i started my computer. It took me awhile to figure this out but here ya go…

    Browse C:/Users/~users name~/music/iTunes…right click on “itunes library” click properties, click “Security” tab, click “Edit” button to edit permissions. I checked all the boxes under the “allow” collumn except for the “special permission” box…it wouldn’t let me. I also did this for “iTunes Music Library”…good luck

  18. Mark S says

    The read-only thing didn’t work for me. What did however was modifying the permissions of the iTunes Library.itl file. Basically, I added the current user (ie me) to the users in the Security tab of the Properties dialog, with full permissions.
    If you’re not sure who to add, rename the ‘iTunes Library.itl’ file to (eg) ‘iTunes Libraryx.itl’, then open itunes. It should create a new ‘iTunes Library.itl’ file. Compare the permissions of this new itl file with the renamed one, and modify the permissions of the renamed one to match the new one. Then delete the new one and restore the existing one to its original name.

  19. nickthemenace says

    When I had this problem I fixed it by enabling the “Apple Mobile Device” and “iPod Service” services, which you can do by typing doing start->run, then typing in “services.msc” (without quotes), finding the services in the list, and right clicking them and selecting Start. You may have to go into the properties for them and change start-up type to either manual or automatic.

  20. ricky says

    Hey thanks a lot, for the other people having this problem, you need to uncheck the read only option in properties for all of the files. ie Itunes library, itunes library extra and itunes library genius
    hope this helped

  21. Cory says

    Yeah i have tried this and a error has occurred when i uncheck the box it says something like some files could not be unread and i still cant get into iTunes

  22. Sk says

    Nothing worked for me until i went to the iTunes music folder itself gave all permissions to the user(me). and voila it worked

  23. Theresa says

    I’ve got Windows XP. I was having all the same frustrations that everyone else was and tried everything suggested, including trying to delete the file using the DOS prompt (it couldn’t find the file because of the space in the name). I finally tried a variation — I dragged it into the Share Documents folder, then I copied it back into my My Music folder. Once I did that, it let me remove the read-only setting from the entire iTunes folder and it’s now up and running again.

  24. chelsea he says

    please help me…
    it doesnt work in my PC, it still locked.
    i didnt find iTunes Library.itl
    oh God, i couldnt sync my ipod as usual… need your help :D

  25. Christine says

    I have windows 7 and the read only thing didn’t work for me, deleting the itl file did though. itunes is working fine now.

  26. spotter says

    If you’re using Windows 7 and the read-only box is already unchecked, try clicking on the Security Tab (in the iTunes Library File Properties) and ‘Edit…’ the permissions for your user name so that all the boxes under ‘Allow’ are checked. Hit ‘Ok’ and re-open iTunes. This was the only solution that worked for me.

  27. Ken Spring TX says

    Thanks for this info!!! I upgraded to Win 7 as well… Sure wish iTunes would post this in their troubleshooting section…. and Microsoft as well…. do these people just not hear us..??..!! Thanks again!!

  28. dan vella says

    hi, i tried ur instructions but the read only file is already unchecked, is there any other solutions?

  29. Chris Lemon says

    Had this problem for a while, the above did not work but running iTunes as administrator worked fine :) (I’m using Windows 7)… Right click iTunes, Compatability, Run as Administrator… Done

  30. Matthias says

    This problem came up for me and I almost had a fit…tried a bunch of different things and nothing worked. I did the above fix and it also failed. However, the simplest of all solutions did end up working. I used Time Machine on my iMac to go back to soon before the error message started to appear, and a grabbed my iTunes Library file (the same file from above) and I restored it. I clicked “Replace” to change out the locked file with the one that worked and after that iTunes started right up with everything intact. By the way, just a little FYI, I think all this started for me because I was trying to rip a DVD onto my computer…I didn’t know what I was doing with the file conversion and I screwed myself.

  31. Paul says

    This didn’t work for me.., but this did. On Windows PC simply add the .itl extension to the itunes library file in your itunes music folder and presto! (itunes library.itl)

  32. David says

    none of this works for me. my file already has Read only unchecked. The file itself is the problem. I have NO access to it. I can’t rename it; I can’t delete it. This is CRAZY. It’s my computer, and I am the admin., yet, I can’t get any access to this file. Can someone please suggest a course of action?

  33. Pff says

    I got this error but the file is not read-only.
    I suspect something related to McAfee antivirus

  34. Teresa says

    I’m having the same problem, try all the options her and nothing worked! I went to the Genius Bar at the Apple Store the guy burn me a CD and gave me some instructions, that didn’t work either.
    I’m desperate!

  35. sue says

    Thanks for this! I was tearing my hair out. But unchecking the read only attribute of the music folder worked. thanks Nate!

  36. Nate says

    Another way to help resolve this problem is uncheck the “read-only” attribute of your MUSIC FOLDER and apply it to all files and subfolders. I got the same message but my iTunes Library.itl was fine; the problem stemmed from the folder.

  37. Burt says

    I finally figured it but I has to make a new pro on my computer than s
    put iTunes files on a shared folder n I got my I tunes back the way I mean my songs m videos I bought …Wouldn’t let me open this way buy yeah that’s how I got mine back

  38. Keith says

    Same F#%@ing problem here…. the “read only” keeps
    rechecking itself even after I have UNchecked it. Frustrating.


  39. Cassidy says

    I agree with Laur blaming it on the iTunes update… Now, There’s only one user besides the direct Admin on my computer (only allowed on safe mode) and I have full Admin powers over my computer. my iTunes has been fine the I’d say 4 years I’ve had it. And I have only once had a problem, with my entire library deleting on me…But last night I downloaded the iTunes update (I’ve been procrastinating for a bit cause I’m just that lazy lol) and it worked all fine up until today. This happened to me this morning while in the process of finishing a playlist for a workout at school today. Now I’ve read pretty much everything I could on this topic from this site and when I go to properties on my iTunes Library file, my read only box is already unchecked, and I also have no Security tab on mine. Whenever i try to change anything with it, I get an Access Denied. Any help with this asap??

  40. ALL242 says

    Having the same problem, but when I go to uncheck the read only (for all items in the folder) in security settings for the folder it brings up an error box saying “access is denied”. When actually dealing with the itl file itself I am unable to rename it, or change anything with it at all. Itunes is really more trouble than it’s worth. So sick of spending countless hours dealing with the various problems with Itunes and on the phone with support.

  41. laur says

    obviously #13 hasn’t worked because we are all still having the same problem of the box re-checking itself, so is there any other suggestions? I blame the iTunes update!

  42. Nim says

    Hi, i have tried all the suggestions above and nothing works. I still keep getting that message! I would love to throw this stupid laptop out of the window, but its actually not my laptops fault! So can someone please help! Btw i don’t have that secruity tab when i right click on itunes library.itl

    Please can someone give me a solution! I have uninstalled and installed itunes 6 times!!! Arrrggghhh!!


  43. Antonio says

    the suggestions by #13 was on the money , though before you are able to click the allows you have to add the allowed users on your pc.

  44. Teresa says

    I am having the same problems with itunes library .itl is locked. The “read only” is not marked in itunes .itl or .xml, but is marked in “my music”. When I tried to uncheck, it rechecks itself. I could not make changes as mentioned above on security because I have no security tab in the .itl folder. It is my PC, and I am administrator. I am running Windows XP. PLEASE Any Help is much appreciated!

  45. Ahsan Anderson says

    Yeah, this didn’t work for me. I have rebooted my machine, etc, but in the first place, the box wasn’t even checked! I am in a panic, as I cannot afford to lose my whole 10gb’s, and 1675 tracks that I have!!! Please Help!

  46. chad says

    i tried this, but when i clicked on properties, the “read-only” was not marked, there was no check. so now i checked it, and then un checked it, and it still was “locked” any other suggestions?

  47. kelsey says

    sorry but it didnt work it said something like :
    an error occurred applying attributes to th file .

  48. missy says

    im in the same boat as zac, or the read-only boxes are unchecked and still not working! been trying to figure this out for two weeks now – any advice anyone??
    although my message says .itl file cannot be found or created. like i said followed the advice here – please help!! x

  49. august says

    hey iv tried everything every1 has said here (the “read only” thing AND the security one) but it still doesnt work. its my personal computer so im the admin… is there ANYTHING else? please help

  50. Zak says

    I am having the same problem with my iTunes and it is driving me nuts. The first solution to remove the read-only check does not work because it’ll automatically recheck itself after I apply and ok the change. Any ideas? Please help!

  51. Megan says

    i tried this, and it probably would’ve worked, but then it said there was an error in applying attributes to the file and said access denied… what can i do?

  52. don says

    if the read only thing doesn’t work.. try this (on a windows box)

    Follow the steps above..

    4. Right-click the iTunes Library.itl file and select Properties.

    5. Select the Security tab

    6. In the “Group or user names” box select “Users”

    7. In “Permissions for Users” box select “Allow” all the way down the list.

    8. Click OK.

  53. Katana says

    i’ve tried this…mine is already read-only unchecked but i get this error…i been all over the internet and cant find a solution…anyone try anything else that worked for them?

  54. Joe says

    This didn’t work for me at first, vista was telling me I needed permission to change the read only status, and then after ‘getting permission’ failed to change the status. I deactivated User Account Control and after restarting the computer iTunes worked imediatly.

  55. chris says

    didn’t work for me i tried to erase the folder but it wouldn’t erase so i finally just renamed it that worked.

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