Our iTunes library is our lifeline to all our Apple media purchases whether stored on our computer or in the cloud. What happens when you can longer find purchases you previously had in iTunes? No worries, I've got you covered.
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How to re-download my purchased media to iTunes [iOS 101]


As our computers get filled with more and more “stuff” we’re occasionally left with the tedious task of trying to make space on our hard drives so that we can work more efficiently.  Not everything can be stored in the cloud–not yet at least.  So when I got tired of my 2008 MBP slowing down to a snail’s pace when I had 10-15 tabs open on my desktop at once along with multiple RAM sucking programs, I realized I needed to make a change.

After further review, it appeared that the main culprit bringing my storage into the red was none other than my iTunes library.  I don’t have a ridiculously large library, but it was big enough that if I could find a way to safely move it off my hard-drive I was looking at freeing up 120-125GB of disk space.  Since that was nearly half of the total I had available on my device, I needed to make this happen.

Time-capsuleA quick search found several easy, albeit time-consuming solutions, but I knew there was no quick way to move a library of that size.  One of the biggest challenges I faced was determining where some of my media was located.  Periodically, I had taken the easy route and stored some of my files off my computer, on my 500GB Apple Time Capsule. In addition, my wife and I each had our own iTunes libraries, with many if not most of the media shared on both of our laptops. So when I finished migrating my library, inevitably some of my purchased media never made the transfer.  I was not a happy camper, but a solution was not that hard to implement.


Here’s how you re-download your purchased music, movies, tv shows, apps and books to your iTunes library. In iTunes (I am using version 11) open the iTunes Store, and make sure you are on the home page.  On the far right of the screen, 1/2 way down is a section under the Quick Links called purchased.  When selected, you will be taken to a page populated by all your purchased media.


On the top right of the screen, you can sort between all of your purchased media or what is currently not located on your computer. If you still have media in your iTunes library where an exclamation mark appears next to a title, then iTunes will assume that you already have them somewhere and won’t let you re-download them.  To fix this dilemma, try deleting those purchased items first, then repeat the steps above.

Have you ever been stumped with this problem before?  Were you able to find the answer on your own? If so, please take a minute and leave a comment below, and then head on over to the forums and see if any other readers have had similar issues.

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  • jaiotu

    Thanks for this. I’m a former iPhone user now using Android who just purchased a new Mac (my last Mac was the 2nd Generation iMac which I haven’t owned now for a decade.) Likewise, the PC that I used to sync my iPhone too is also history. I’ve been wondering if there was a way to get my purchased media onto my new Mac. This does the trick!

    • Renkman

      Awesome! So glad I could be of assistance. That’s always a stressful moment when you can’t find previously purchased media, and you surely don’t want to pay for it again.