Move iTunes Library To a New Computer / Mac / PC / Hard Drive

You may need to transfer your iTunes library to another computer or external hard disk when you have run out of space on your mac or PC. This is very possible. This guide contains three parts depending on where you are transferring the iTunes library to.


A. How To Move Your iTunes Library From Mac To Mac
B. How To Transfer Your iTunes Library From Windows PC To Mac
C. How To Move Your iTunes Library To a New Hard Disk Drive.

Before you begin,you need to decide on the best possible way to create or free up more space on your Mac or PC. Browse through the Library and find things you do not need anymore, then delete them. You may have saved some music ans shows in the past which you do not care about anymore; find them and delete them, you will be surprised at how much space will come out of that.

If after pruning you still need a lot more space, then the next option will be to transfer them to a device that has much more free space. You can either transfer them to another computer (Mac or PC), a hard drive which you can keep safely, or even your iPhone. The first part of this article explains how to move an iTunes library from Mac to Mac, the second part explains how to transfer iTunes libraries from PC to PC, while the third part shows how to transfer it to an external drive.

Before you move your iTunes to a new computer, you should understand that copying iTunes data from one Mac computer to another will overwrite the iTunes data on the Mac you’re copying to. So if you still care about the iTunes content on the second mac, you may want to copy that first to a hard drive using the third part of this guide.

A. Move iTunes Library To New Computer (Mac To Mac)

The Migration Assistant on the Mac OSX comes handy when migrating to a new Mac computer as it transfers all your content from your old Mac to the new one automatically. However, if you need to move specific content or would like to transfer your data to a new Mac without using the Migration Assistant, then follow the step-by-step procedure below:

First, allow me to define the terminologies to be used within this guide in relation to the source and destination computers of the library. We shall call the Mac computer you’re moving the library from “Old Mac” (or First Mac) and then call the Mac computer you’re moving the library to “New Mac” (or Second Mac), you get the idea. It is possible that your “Old Mac” may be actually newer than your “New Mac”, but it’s best you forget I mentioned it would only confuse things further.

1. On the old Mac (the mac you’re moving from), navigate to System Preferences > Sharing, then switch on the ‘File Sharing’ option.

2. On the new Mac (the computer you are copying to), open Finder and you’ll see the old Mac on the ‘Shared’ section. Click on it and choose Connect As, you’ll be shown a login dialog box afterwards.
If it happens that you don’t see the old Mac in the ‘Shared’ section of Finder, navigate to Go > Conect to Server, then enter the server address displayed in the Sharing area of the old Mac (discussed in step 1).

In the login area, choose Registered User, then login with the username and password of the old Mac.

3. After you login, you would see the see the file system and folders of the old Mac. Open the Music folder on it, then open the equivalent music folder on the new Mac itself. Now move the iTunes folder from the file system of the old Mac into the new Mac itself.

4. Now that you have done the transfer, you need to give the new Mac rights to play media content that you have bought from iTunes. If you try to play one of your purchased media files from the iTunes library you just transfered, you would see a Digital Rights Management “Authorize This Computer” dialog box asking for Apple ID login information. Type in the Apple I’d and password you used on the old Macand you will be all set.
If you have reached your authorization limit and you need to deauthorize a particular computer, go on that computer then navigate to Store > Deauthorize This Computer. Note that the last resort “Deauthorize All” option in your iTunes account can only be used once per year.

How To Copy iTunes Library From Windows PC To Mac

Merely copying the iTunes folder from your windows PC to your Mac computer will only copy the media files and may omit your playlists and relevant metadata information such as ratings, date last played, and so on.

Before you begin, make sure you are running the latest iTunes version on both computers.

1. Launch iTunes on the Windows PC. Go to Edit > Preferences, then go to the Advanced tab. Tick the check boxes for both Keep iTunes Media Folder Organized and Copy Files to iTunes Media Folder When Adding to Library. The first setting would organize the media folder and arrange them based on album, artist, e.t.c, while the second setting will ensure that the media files are sent to the main iTunes media folder when copying to your Mac. Click OK to save the new settings.

2. Navigate to File > Library > Organize Library then tick the check box for Consolidate Files. This setting ensures that the library has correct pointers to the locations of those files.. You may also tick “Upgrade to iTunes Media Organization” if it is not greyed out. Click OK to save the setting.

3. Now, copy the iTunes folder from the Windows PC to an external hard drive. The location of the iTunes folder depends on your windows version.

For Windows XP: Documents and Settings Your Name My Documents My Music iTunes

For Windows Vista: Your Name Music iTunes

For Windows 7 and 8: Your Name My Music iTunes

If you do not have an external storage device, you may copy the iTunes folder over your wireless network, but it is going to be incredibly slow especially if you have a huge library.
Don’t worry about your Mac understanding the format of the data you are about to transfer, Mac OSX can read FAT or NTFS volumes.


About The Author
Stanley Ume
Hi there, my name is Stanley. I spend most of my time learning new technology and doing freelance web design. If this article helped you, please use the comments box below ?. You can connect with me using the social icons below:
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