What Is an ITL File?

Keep track of your iTunes library with ITL files

What to Know

  • An ITL file is used by iTunes to organize files in the program's music library.
  • iTunes uses just one ITL file, and it's called iTunes Library.itl.

This article explains what an ITL file is and how it's used by iTunes on your computer.

What Is an ITL File?

A file with the ITL file extension is an Apple iTunes database. iTunes uses the ITL file to keep track of song ratings, the files you've added to your library, playlists, how many times you've played each song, how you've organized the media, and more.

ITDB files, as well as an XML file, are normally seen alongside this ITL file in the default iTunes directory.

ITL files in Windows 10 that open with iTunes

Cisco Unified Communications Manager (CallManager) uses ITL files, too, but they're Initial Trust List files and have nothing at all to do with iTunes or music data.

How to Open an ITL File

Opening an ITL file launches iTunes, but won't display any information other than the media files in your library. Instead, iTunes uses the ITL file by reading/writing to it from a specific folder.

In other words, you don't need to open an ITL file in iTunes because you don't need to actually use it like you'd use iTunes to play an audio file.

Cisco Unified Communications Manager has been retired, so we don't have a download link for it.

How to Convert an ITL File

There's no way to convert an iTunes library file to any other format because the ITL file carries information in binary, and iTunes is the only program that makes use of the information it stores.

The data that the ITL file stores might be helpful to extract, which might be why you might want to "convert" it, but that's also not possible directly from the ITL file. See the XML discussion below for more on a possible solution to that problem.

Still Can't Open the File?

It's possible that you're not really dealing with an ITL file. If it doesn't seem related to iTunes or a Cisco program, then you're probably misreading the file extension.

ITT, for example, is the file extension used for IconTweaker theme. They have nothing to do with iTunes music or an Apple program at all. They're created by IconTweaker and used to store icon theme settings.

Typelib generated C/C++ inline files that use the TLI file extension is another example of a file that could easily be confused for an ITL file.

More Information on the ITL File

The current version of iTunes uses the iTunes Library.itl filename while older versions used iTunes Music Library.itl (although the latter is retained even after updates to iTunes).

iTunes stores this file in a specific folder depending on your operating system.

This is the folder used in Windows 11 through Windows 7:


A similar folder is used in macOS:


Newer versions of the program sometimes update the way the library file works, in which case the existing ITL file is updated, and the old one is copied to a backup folder.

Some errors shown in iTunes may indicate the ITL file is corrupt or can't be read for whatever reason. Deleting an ITL file normally fixes such problems because reopening iTunes will force it to create a new file. Deleting the ITL file is completely safe (it won't remove the actual media files), but you'll lose any information iTunes stored in the file, like ratings, playlists, etc.

  • How do I unlock the iTunes library ITL file?

    Right-click the ITL file and select Properties, uncheck the Read-only box (it may be under the Security tab), then select OK.

  • How do I repair a damaged iTunes ITL file?

    There's no way to update or repair an ITL file. If you encounter problems with your ITL file, delete it, then update iTunes to get a new one.

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