plex there are no items in this library

Wondering why you’re getting the “Plex there are no items in this library” message?

Well, the problem could be related to many things including the permissions, outdated OS, temporary glitch, or simply the media has been deleted.

Regardless of your case, in this post, you’re going to find out what happened and if possible how to fix it.

To fix the no items message, make sure to allow all Plex permissions in the settings tab and refresh the library manually. Next, try adding a new audio file, use a file debug tool then extract the content again, and if it doesn’t work, reset all folder permissions.

If this straightforward workaround is not enough for you to perform it correctly, keep reading because after we review all possible causes, we’ll move on to the step-by-step fixes.

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Why Are There “No Items In This Library” Plex?

First of all, you must determine if you’ve added any items to the Plex library in the first place.

If you happen to add any media but delete it afterward or deleted them directly from your hard drive, you might not be able to bring them back.

Besides deleted media, here is what else might have happened:

1. No Folder Permissions

If you haven’t provided permission to the folder in your library, you won’t be able to see or add any content.

2. Bug or Glitch

A temporal bug or glitch happening with your Plex library might hide some of the content or display the error.

3. Outdated Plex

Sometimes even an outdated firmware version of your Plex might be causing some issues with the media library.

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4. Device Issue

A potential error with the drive can be the reason why all media has been deleted from the library.

Now with all the possible suspects upfront, you’ll be confident navigating through the upcoming solutions so let’s proceed.

How To Fix Plex “There Are No Items In This Library” Issue?

plex no items in this library

Before we proceed, try restarting the Plex Media Server, to see if that will help.

Sometimes a simple glitch or bug can hide the media in your libraries and by restarting the media server, you have a good shot at resolving the issue.

If re-opening the Plex media server didn’t help at all, then proceed with the solutions below:

Solution #1 Refresh The Library Manually

We suggest refreshing your library manually. Even if you already did, by refreshing the library as well as the media server, Plex could hopefully recover what was lost.

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Refresh your library as well as media server following these steps:

  1. Close the library as well as the Plex media server.
  2. Kill the process of your media server from the system tray.
  3. Re-open Plex and enter the library.

This would hopefully bring all of the media back and you will be able to fix the issue easily. However, if the library is still empty, proceed with resetting the permissions.

Solution #2 Reset Folder Permissions

First of all, we suggest resetting the folder permissions for Plex.

The folder included in your Plex library might have been forbidden to access the media you have included that is situated on the hard drive.

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Here is how to reset the folder permission easy:

  1. Open the control panel of your PC by writing “Control” in the start menu.
  2. Once in the control panel, search for all folders associated with the library.
  3. Go to the “Permissions Tab” once you have found the folder.
  4. Open the editing Window below the permissions section.
  5. Set the permissions to be either R/W or R/O.
  6. Tap Okay and close the control panel.

Note: You will have to repeat these steps for all folders in your Plex library if you haven’t allowed them permission in the past.

Once you’re done with this, you might have to reboot the Plex media server in order for the changes to take effect.

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Solution #3 Activate Debug Logging

fix plex no items in this library

A feature Plex has provided for users with similar issues with “Debug Logging”.

To enable this feature, you must be in the Web App, where you will debug all media in your current Plex library.

Here is how to activate debug logging and fix your Plex library:

  1. Open the Plex Web App and head to the settings.
  2. Choose “Advanced” and locate the debug logging feature.
  3. Turn ON the feature and save.
  4. Exit any Plex server currently running on your desktop and wait for ~2 minutes.
  5. Once the time has elapsed, re-open the media and wait for another 2 minutes.
  6. Re-open the library and try fetching any of the files there.

If the debug logging didn’t help, proceed with our next solution.

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Solution #4 Re-Extract The Media

In case the “Plex there are no items in the library” error is still there upon entering, you should try to re-extract all of the media.

Since Plex doesn’t provide a direct feature that will let you extract files in compressed formats, such as WinRar for instance, you will have to store the files on your PC and re-include them in your Plex Media Server.

Here is how to re-extract the media from Plex:

  1. Open “My Computer” on your PC and locate all of Plex’s media in your local storage.
  2. Sort the files and drag & drop them into your media server.
  3. Rewrite the new files by clicking “Confirm” on the pop-up window.
  4. Wait for the upload to complete and check the media.
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If the files you’ve chosen are visible now, repeat for every extra, non-visible file in the library until everything is as it was.

Solution #5 Rename The Files

If you insert files with different names, but with different formats, this might be the reason you’re not seeing them.

Plex strongly suggests creating separate libraries for all varieties of files you upload to the media server.

For instance, if you have a library under the name /Movies, and you upload a file that doesn’t start with /Movies, the file might not be visible for you in the library.

To create a media that will be visible in the library, we suggest creating a template such as “/Movies/TV shows/Kids” and you repeat this for every sub-folder in the library.

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Of course, if you’re uploading a TV show, it won’t begin with /Movies, but with /TV shows instead.

Solution #6 Use A Different Server

It is possible that you’re not able to view the media in your Plex library, due to location issues.

This is why you should use a different media server, that could not be usually provided from Plex unless you’re using a VPN service.

Since you won’t have any media on the new media server, you would have to transfer the media from your old Plex server to the new one.

Here is how to transfer the media between the servers:

  1. Create a desktop folder to carry the media from your old server.
  2. Open the Plex media server and select all files using your mouse cursor.
  3. Choose an extract destination and wait for the files to be transferred.
  4. In the meantime, activate the VPN and establish your new server.
  5. Once the files had been transferred, drag & drop them into your new server.
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If the files are now there, it would mean that your default IP has no access to the media server, thus you are not seeing the items inside the library. In that case, you should contact Plex for further assistance.

Read Next: How to Fix Plex Remote Access Keeps Disconnecting?

Bottom Line:

Hence, to recover gone media from Plex library, refresh the page and grant all folders permission. Rename all files and re-extract the Plex media from the library. Finally, try using a different server and enable debug logging.

Now that you know why the ”Plex there are no items in this library” error appears, you should be able to solve the problem easily.

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After all, you can always re-add the content to Plex and create a new library, which is definitely a good workaround, but in case the problem re-appears, reach out to Plex and report your problem.

Nicole B