How Do I Force iTunes to Update My Music Library?

iCloud Music Library has great features. It allows you to stream and download songs from your Mac to your other devices. This Apple service is quite convenient as it stores your music library online. It does this by matching your songs to the ones found on the iTunes Store. And if there are no matches, iCloud uploads tracks directly. However, this amazing app also comes with bugs that can stall updating of your music library.

In this article, we share tips on how to force iTunes to update your music library.

How Do I Force iTunes to Update My Music Library?

You can force iTunes to update my music library by turning iCloud Music Library off and on or manually updating it.

Turn iCloud Music Library Off and On

Start simple by turning iCloud Music Library off and then back on. You can turn off the service by:

On an iPhone or iPad:

  • Tap on “Settings”
  • Select the “Music” icon and tap on it
  • Toggle off “Sync Library” (when off the button turns to grey from green)

On a Mac:

  • Open “Apple Music” or “iTunes”
  • Click “Music” from the menu
  • On the dropdown menu, click on “Preferences”
  • Uncheck “Sync Library” (if you are not subscribed to iTunes or Apple Music, this option will not be available in the “General” tab)
  • Click “OK” to save changes
  • To re-enable syncing, you can check the box next to Sync Library again

On a PC:

  • Open “Apple Music” or “iTunes”
  • From the menu bar found at the top of the screen, click “Edit” and select “Preferences”
  • Uncheck the box next to “iCloud Music Library”
  • Click “OK” to save changes

After turning iCloud Music Library off, you can then turn it on and iTunes may be forced into updating new tracks.

Manually Update iCloud Music Library

When uploading new tracks with your Mac or syncing new tracks via Apple Music, you may have to manually update your iCloud Music Library to get it to work well. You can do this by following these steps:

• Open “iTunes”

• Click “File”

• Select “Library”

• Click “Update iCloud Music Library

Once this is done, your “Waiting” tracks will be uploaded to iCloud Music Library or matched to the iTunes song list.

After running the update function, you may have to give it a few minutes for the server to communicate to your computer. If in an hour the tracks are not updated, you may have to reset and reboot your iCloud Music Library.

How Do You Update iTunes Library?

iTunes can be installed from either the Microsoft Store or the iTunes Download website. If you installed iTunes from the iTunes Download page, you can:

  • Manually check for iTune updates by selecting “Help” and tapping on “Check for Updates”
  • Set iTunes to automatically check for new versions weekly. Go to “Edit” then select “Preferences” and click “Advanced. Ensure to select “Check for new software updates automatically”
  • With automatic updating, iTunes will check for new updates every week. Once you quit and restart iTunes once in seven days, iTunes will start checking.
  • If iTunes was installed via Microsoft Store, automatic downloading of new versions will commence. You can also check for updates manually on the Microsoft Store app.
  • To get this done, open the Downloads and Updates section of the Microsoft Store app.

How to Update the Latest iTunes Versions

When you update your Mac to macOS Catalina or later versions, iTunes media library can be accessed in the Apple Music app, Apple Books app, Apple TV app, and Apple Podcasts app.

Update to the latest iTunes versions up to iTunes 12.8 through these steps on your Mac:

  • Open “App Store on your Mac
  • Click “Updates” located at the top of the App Store Window
  • If any updates are available, click to install

On your PC:

If your iTunes is not installed on your PC, you can download it from the Microsoft Store (Windows 10). Alternatively, you can download it from Apple’s website. You can update different iTune versions through:

Automatic updating in the case of iTunes installed from Microsoft Store. Once new versions are released, updating begins.

If downloaded from Apple’s website, update through the following steps:

  • Open “iTunes”
  • From the menu bar select “iTunes, click “Help” and Check for Updates
  • Follow through with all the steps to install the recent version

If your Help Menu does not have option to “Check for Updates” as it means that you downloaded iTunes from the Microsoft Store.

All About iCloud Music Library

Once you subscribe to “Apple Music” and “iTunes Match service, Apple conducts scanning of the iTunes music library to confirm which tracks are listed in the iTunes Store.

In a bid to save space and time, songs in your track library will be matched to those in the iTunes Music Store Catalog. Therefore, when you play a track on your Mac or iPhone, you’ll enjoy the iTunes Music Store version rather than your original file.

Apple employs metadata matching and fingerprinting to match your personal song to the iTunes Store versions. While this service may encounter several issues in terms of live or rare tracks, you should be able to use the services effectively.

For songs that do not match the iTunes catalog, they will be uploaded to iCloud in their original form. Tracks that are too big, too low-quality, too long, and have no authorization to be played will not be uploaded.

The benefits of iCloud Music Library include access to Mac’s library across all other devices and allows Apple subscribers to add songs and playlists to their library. The saved tracks can then be played offline.


Do I Need Backup Prior to Enabling iCloud Music Library?

Yes. While iCloud Music Library can provide multiple copies of your saved songs, it is not a backup service. Therefore, it is important to save all your music on your external hard drive or PC before switching on iCloud Music Library.

How to Back Up iTunes Library

If you have enabled iCloud Music Library, but all your music is not in one computer, ensure that your music is set as Matched or Uploaded, but not Apple Music. Now download all the missing tracks to your main Mac.

When Should I Not Use iCloud Music Library?

 If you have no backup for your Mac’s library, or have numerous tracks with lots of metadata, or have trust issues with iCloud, it is better to leave iCloud Music Library switched off.

Can I Use Apple Music Without iCloud Music Library?

Yes, iCloud Music Library can be used with some devices such as PCs and iPod.

Why Can’t I Sync my iTunes Library?

To Sync your iTunes Library, you need to:

  • Update your iPod touch or iPhone to the latest iOS version. This goes to iPad, Mac, and PC. For PCs, ensure they have the latest version of iTunes for Windows
  • Subscribe to iTunes Match and Apple Music
  • Use the same Apple ID you use with iTunes Match or Apple Music to sign in to all your devices
  • Have your devices connected to the internet via cellular network or Wi-Fi. For Macs and PCs, you can connect devices to the internet with the help of Ethernet

Does iTunes Update Library Automatically?

Yes, iTunes can update library automatically if you add your new tracks to the “Automatically Add to iTunes” folder. By adding your music to this folder, you will be able to automatically update your library. This folder is located inside the iTunes Media folder. You can access this folder through:

  • Open “Finder” and press ⌘- Shift-G
  • A text entry field will appear
  • Type in Music/iTunes/iTunesMedia
  • Click Go

Alternatively, you can drag this folder and tuck it in the Finder’s sidebar for accessibility. Once you do that, just drag and drop music files onto the folder to automatically update iTunes library.

How Do I Refresh My iTunes Library in Windows 10?

Many iTune users face a challenge when it comes to removing old tracks from the library. This could be a nuisance, especially if you are looking to add new tracks to your list and cannot because these files occupy a huge space. To refresh iTunes Library:

  • Open the “iTunes” app on your PC
  • Click on “File” and select “Add to Library”
  • Now locate the iTunes library
  • Once you select the location of the library folder, iTunes will be refreshed and with it all your newest tracks will be easy to locate

How Do I Rescan My Apple Music Library?

After upgrading your iPhone/iPod/iPad, you may discover that your iTunes app is nowhere to be found. If this is the issue you are dealing with, then the most probable solution is to rescan your Apple Music Library. You can do this through:

Method 1: Retrieve the lost iTunes with professional using third party tools such as Syncios

  • Download and install Syncios on your computer
  • Plug your iPhone/iPad/iPod into your computer
  • Transfer music to your iTunes library (export music from devices to the computer)
  • Import music to iTunes library

Method 2: Replacing old files to recover missing iTunes library

  • Locate the folder that stores your iTunes Library file and delete the most recent library file
  • Go to “Libraries” and click “Music” then “iTunes” and select “Previous iTunes Libraries.” Copy the most recent library file and rename it as iTunes library
  • Once the file replacement is done, the missing iTunes Library will reappear


iCloud Music Library allows both Apple Music and iTunes Match to enjoy storage of music online and easy access on all devices. In some instances, iTunes requires some nudging for it to update the music library, which can be solved by either turning the device on and off or manually update iCloud. We hope our article has been insightful regarding this concern.

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