Apple deleted my complete iTunes library

Discussion in 'Apple Music, Apple Pay, iCloud, Apple Services' started by alfard, Aug 9, 2017.

  1. alfard macrumors newbie

    Aug 9, 2017
    After moving from Holland to Sweden, I found that Apple works with distinct App-stores per country. To be able to purchase a specific app, Apple advised me to switch to the Swedish store and in order to switch stores, I needed to stop my Dutch subscriptions.

    After doing so, my apple library was suddenly empty. All my uploaded music (iTunes Match), and all my purchased music and films (iTunes) had disappeared. Apple-support explained that by moving the account to another country, the library is automatically emptied, without any possibility to repair, not even by moving back to the original country. I just lost hunderds of uploaded CDs and hundreds of euros in purchases, by one push of a button. Can Apple just do this?

    First, I do not see any valid reason why Apple would need to delete anything. I don't know better than that there is trafic fo people and goods within the EU.

    Second, even if there would be a technical or legal necessity, I believe I should have been informed before. I did not get any warning, I just followed instructions from Apple's system. The removal of my properties from the library came completely unanounced and unexpectable, without my consent.

    Apple-support simply states that is had been my personal responsibility to have a backup.

    Please share this experience to hopefully prevent others from making the same mistake.
  2. Julien macrumors G4


    Jun 30, 2007
    First you thread title is WRONG. Apple did NOT delete music files from your iTunes Library which is located on your Mac, PC or iOS device. You must have deleted them yourself and was steaming online files. Apple IS correct that it is YOUR responsibility to keep a backup of ALL (not just iTunes Library) data. FACT: Not keeping current backups of your data all but guaranties you will lose data at some point.
  3. Rigby, Aug 10, 2017
    Last edited: Aug 10, 2017

    Rigby macrumors 601

    Aug 5, 2008
    San Jose, CA
    Sorry this happened to you. Apple has a support article that pretty clearly spells out what happens and what you should do before switching countries:

    If Apple Support advised you to switch but didn't mention this, that's pretty pathetic IMO. However, I am not convinced that it's true that purchased content (i.e. movies etc.) cannot be re-downloaded if you set the country back to where you did the original purchases. Since you have nothing to lose now, if I were you I'd try to switch back to the original country and see if the purchased content becomes available again. Your uploaded music will probably be gone, but I assume you have a backup of your own music files.
    --- Post Merged, Aug 10, 2017 ---
    It should be noted though that in the case of purchased apps you'll no longer be able to update them even if you keep backups, which makes them worthless over time. I think Apple currently handles this badly. I would recommend to never switch countries, but rather create a new account. iOS devices and Apple TVs can handle multiple store accounts.
  4. alfard thread starter macrumors newbie

    Aug 9, 2017
    Thanks for clarifying. It cannot be emphasized enough, just hope to raise awareness, others may also be off guard. So, when you purchase a movie on your AppleTV the next thing you must do is start your PC (if you still have one) and download it in iTunes.
    --- Post Merged, Aug 11, 2017 ---
    A new response from Apple suggest that it might work to re-download the purchased media if I swop back to the original store. I will try that, but I can not swop back before the AppleMusic subscription runs out, end of this month.

    If I then start to use spottify instead it should be simple to switch up and back between countries.

    In the process of moving to a new country, I got rid of all the boxes with old CDs. Why carry stuff around which is safely uploaded in the cloud? -Lesson learned.
  5. Rigby macrumors 601

    Aug 5, 2008
    San Jose, CA
    I think it's better to just create a new account in the other country in addition to the existing one, since that way you retain full access to all your content. When I moved from Europe to the US I created a new account here. I still use a number of apps I purchased through the old account together with new stuff I purchased through the US store.
    iCloud music library was not designed as a backup solution (the matching process can replace your original files with iTunes versions, and sometimes it mismatches). Depending on the size of your music library, I'd strongly recommend to simply get a USB stick or portable HDD and make a local backup.

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