How to Move Your iTunes Library to a New Computer.
When you buy a new computer, the first thing you probably want to do is copy all of the content from your old computer to your new one. This will ensure that you can continue the work you did on your old computer.
One of the things you might want to transfer to a new computer is transfer your iTunes library to your new computer. Although Apple ditched iTunes on recent Macs, the app is still used in older versions of macOS and on Windows computers.
Transferring your iTunes library to your new computer is actually quite simple. The application itself has functions that will help you with this.
Put all of your iTunes content in one folder
If you know the basics of how iTunes works, you probably know that the app doesn’t really need to copy your music files into its folders to play them. Your songs can be anywhere on your computer, and you can still find, organize, and play them in the app.
Due to the nature of the application, there is not a single folder that can be copied from an old computer to a new one and transferred the library. But actually iTunes has a feature that lets you put all your files in one folder. This is called merging files and you can do it from an application on your computer.
Your files will continue to exist in their original location and the following procedure will create a copy of these files only in the iTunes folder. Make sure you have enough storage space on your computer as you will have a total of two copies of each of your iTunes files.
- Launch iTunes application on your computer.
- Click the File menu at the top of the screen and select Library and then Organize Library. This will allow you to collect all your iTunes files together.
- A window will appear on the screen allowing you to enable or disable two options. The first option is to say “Combine files” and you need to check that. Enable this option and click “OK” at the bottom.
- It will start copying your iTunes library files from anywhere on your computer to the iTunes folder. Wait for this to happen.
After copying the files, you can delete the original ones from their folders if you like.
Find the iTunes folder and copy it to your external drive
After combining your entire iTunes library, you can copy the combined folder to an external drive for transfer. However, the iTunes folder is not easy to access as it sits deep in various subfolders.
Also, if you or anyone has ever changed the original iTunes media folder, it won’t be available in the default location. Then you will need to find out exactly where it is stored on your computer.
Fortunately, iTunes provides you with an easy way to find your media folder. All you have to do is access the option in the app and it will tell you where your iTunes files are. Once this is done, you can copy the folder to your external drive and start the migration process.
- Open iTunes on your computer.
- Click the Edit menu at the top, and then select the option labeled Preferences. The iTunes preferences menu will open.
- On the settings screen, you want to go to the tab labeled “Advanced”, because that’s where the parameter you’re looking for is located.
- On the Advanced tab, you’ll find a titled window that lists the location of the iTunes Media folder. Make a note of the path displayed there, as you will need it in the next steps.
- Close the iTunes application on your computer.
- Open an explorer window and follow the path you wrote down earlier. You should see a folder called iTunes, and if not, go back one folder and you should find it.
- When you find your iTunes folder, right-click it and choose Copy.
- Open the external drive storage, right-click anywhere on an empty spot and select Paste. Then wait for your files to be fully copied.
Restore your iTunes library on new computer
Your entire iTunes library should now be accessible on your external hard drive. All you have to do now is connect your hard drive to your new computer, copy the library files, and then tell iTunes to import the files into the app.
This may sound too technical, but it is not. It’s just copying your files and then setting iTunes to recognize your new library. That’s all.
- If iTunes is open on your new computer, close it before doing the following.
- Connect the external drive to your new computer. and copy the iTunes folder which is your iTunes library folder.
- Use File Explorer to find and select a location for your iTunes library on your new computer. It can be anywhere on your system. Then paste in the iTunes folder so it will be saved on your new computer’s internal storage.
- Wait while all your files are copied from the external drive to your computer.
- When the files are copied, press and hold the Shift key on your keyboard and launch iTunes.
- You will be prompted to select an existing library or create a new one for use with the application. You want to click on the “Select Library” button.
- Go to the iTunes folder on your new computer and select the iTunes Library.itl file. The app will then start importing your content.
When all your files are imported, you should see them in the same interface and menu as they were on your old computer.
Have you ever had to transfer your iTunes library to a new computer? How was the procedure? Let us know in the comments below.