How to Remove the Exclamation Point Icon in iTunes

Our music collection lives on a network-shared drive. One of my ongoing annoyances with iTunes is, if it can’t find that drive because the network is down, it marks all of the music with an exclamation point icon. That icon keeps iTunes from synching the songs with your iPod or iPhone. Once the drive is again accessible, you can remove the icon by loading each track’s information individually, but there’s no good way within iTunes to tell the program, “Hey, idiot, my songs are back. Re-scan my library and you’ll see.”

There’s a workaround, though. When you start up iTunes, hold down option (Mac) or shift (Windows). iTunes will ask you what iTunes library it should load. Select your original iTunes library. iTunes will re-load it and, as a by-product, strip the exclamation point from all the files it can now find.

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2 Comments

  1. H. W.
    on November 10, 2011 at 6:51 am | Permalink

    I have followed the instructions with the Shift button. I have all my iTunes library on an external drive (all actual tracks are there any playing). However, iTunes refuses to locate the music and I have exclamation marks on each song. Any ideas? Thanks in advance!

  2. TimB
    on November 11, 2011 at 6:17 am | Permalink

    HW, you might have displaced voluntarily, or involuntarily your iTunes media tracks location. After a quick online search there are a number of tools which claim to fix your iTunes missing songs like this one for example:
    http://www.copytrans.net/itunes-missing-songs-fix.php

    Otherwise, it might be as simple as a change in the drive letter of your external hard disk. I had an identical issue on my HP laptop. I have my sD card slot take the letter of my eternal HDD when I insert a card. The letter sequence is restored once I took the card away.