If you open iTunes and expect to access your local music library collection, you might be perplexed when you find that a music library is not immediately visible. Instead, launching modern versions of iTunes goes directly to the iTunes Store. Some iTunes users then attempt to access their iTunes music library by selecting the ‘Music’ dropdown menu but still are unable to find their local music library. Not to worry, if you can’t find your local music collection in iTunes, we’ll show you how to quickly access the local music library in iTunes on the Mac or Windows PC.
Note this tip is for accessing and seeing the full iTunes library within iTunes itself. This is not aiming to access iTunes music files which is discussed here if that’s what your objective is.
How to Access iTunes Music Library in iTunes on a Computer
- Open iTunes app
- Look near the top of the iTunes window and click on the ‘Library’ button (sometimes this is labeled as “My Music”)
- This will switch iTunes to the iTunes Library view rather than the iTunes Store
This may sound obvious to some Mac and Windows PC users, but after visiting with someone recently I learned they were convinced their iTunes Music Library had been deleted or vanished. In fact the iTunes Music Library was still there, but because iTunes opened directly to the Store and they kept using the pulldown menu to try and access Music, they stayed stuck in the iTunes Store and never found their actual music library within iTunes. Basically they were unable to find their iTunes Music because they were looking in the wrong part of the app, so don’t go for that menu item to find a library – the dropdown menu chooses the type of content seen (Music, Movies, etc) rather than the library itself:
This might be a helpful tip for users who rely on iTunes to manage a local music library collection.
A similar difficulty for some iTunes users is when selecting an iPhone or iPad in iTunes, which can be counterintuitive or confusing for some people. Fortunately that is also quite simple. Sometimes simply learning how to do things reveals just how easy it is, even if the task is not initially obvious.
Older versions of iTunes defaulted to launching directly to a users local music library, but that behavior changed with modern iTunes releases which now default to opening directly to the iTunes Store instead.
Remember this is for interacting with an iTunes Library in iTunes itself. If you need to gain access to the actual audio files from iTunes you can follow these instructions to find iTunes files, or you can simply navigate to the iTunes library location as discussed here.