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If you try to play a song in iTunes that has an exclamation point (!) next to it, iTunes displays the error message, "Original file could not be found." Some simple troubleshooting steps can fix this error, whether it appears for an individual song or multiple missing songs in your iTunes Library, and help prevent the error from happening again.
Instructions in this article apply to iTunes on macOS Mojave (10.14) or earlier and iTunes on Windows 10. Apple replaced iTunes with the Music app in macOS Catalina (10.15), but many of the steps here are the same.
Causes of the Missing Original File Error
An exclamation point appears next to a song when iTunes doesn"t know where to find the MP3 or AAC file for that song. This situation occurs because songs aren"t stored in the iTunes app. Instead, iTunes functions like a directory for the music files stored on a computer"s hard drive. When you double-click a song, iTunes searches the place on the hard drive where it expects to find the file.If the music file isn"t in the location the application expects, it can"t play the song.
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The most common causes of the error include a file that has been moved from its original location, a file that isn"t stored in the Music folder, or a song file that has been deleted. Also, another media application may have moved the file without telling you.
In the Music app: Home/MusicIn iTunes on Mac: Home/Music/iTunes/iTunes MediaIn iTunes on Windows 10: Music/iTunes/iTunes Media
How to Fix the Error for a Single Missing Music Documents
If iTunes displays an exclamation point beside a single song in your iTunes Library, complete the following steps: