How to Transfer Your iTunes Library From Many PCs to One

7 ways to merge iTunes libraries from various sources

Do you have tons of music files spread out across multiple devices? Here's how to merge iTunes libraries onto a single computer.

Information in this article applies to iTunes for Windows and Mac. Make sure you've downloaded the latest updates for iTunes.

What Does Merging iTunes Libraries Mean?

All of your iTunes apps and movies are stored in your iTunes library along with your music. While some of the software described below won't transfer all of these kinds of files, methods that involve moving the iTunes folder will transfer these non-music files as well.

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How to Authorize iTunes on Your Computer

To ensure that your new iTunes library can play everything in it, you need to authorize the computer to play the music you've transferred. Open iTunes and select Account > Authorizations > Authorize this computer.

Open iTunes and select Account > Authorizations > Authorize this computer.

When the iTunes account sign-in window pops up, sign in using the Apple ID associated with the device you are transferring from. iTunes accounts support a maximum of five authorizations, so if you've authorized five other computers to play content, you'll need to deauthorize at least one.

Before you get rid of the old computer that you moved the iTunes library from, deauthorize it to preserve your five authorizations.

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Enable iTunes Home Sharing

Enable Home Sharing for iTunes

Home Sharing, available in iTunes 9 and higher, allows iTunes libraries on the same network to copy items back and forth. This feature works on up to five computers and requires that each sign into iTunes using the same iTunes account.

To consolidate libraries, turn on Home Sharing for all the computers you want to merge and then drag and drop the files to the computer that will store the merged library. You'll find the shared computers in the left-hand column of iTunes. Home Sharing does not transfer star ratings or play counts for music.

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Transfer Purchases From an iPod

Connect the iPod to your computer and select File > Devices > Transfer Purchases.

It's possible to transfer songs purchased on iTunes from an iPod to you computer. This option is ideal if your music library comes primarily from the iTunes Store. Connect the iPod to your computer and select File > Devices > Transfer Purchases.

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Transfer Music From an External Hard Drive

Locate the iTunes folder and drag it into the Library section of iTunes.

If you store your iTunes library on an external hard drive, consolidating libraries is even easier. Locate the iTunes folder on the drive and drag it into the Library section of iTunes. Using this method, you will lose the star ratings and play counts on the songs being moved to the new library.

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Sync/Merge Software

Download SuperSync at the official SuperSync website

There are a few programs that help streamline the process of transferring iTunes libraries to a new computer. The benefits of such software is that you can retain metadata, such as star ratings, play counts, and comments, which all get lost using other transfer methods. For example, SuperSync is a premium program made for managing iTunes and Apple Music libraries on Windows and Mac.

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iPod Copy Software

Download SynciOS from the SynciOS website

If your entire iTunes library is synced to your iPod or iPhone, there are also free solutions for copying music from mobile devices to a computer. One example is SynciOS. Unlike some of the other methods mentioned above, such software allows you to retain star ratings, play counts, and other metadata. Most apps don't transfer, but you can always re-download apps to the new iTunes library using your Apple ID.

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Online Backup and File Sharing Services

The iCloud sign-in screen

If you use an online backup service, you can upload all your songs to the cloud and download them on a single device. Mac owners can use iCloud while Windows users have OneDrive. If you're a more technically advanced user, you can create a shared network so that you can drag-and-drop iTunes files from one machine to the other.

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Organize Your Libraries

Select File > Library > Organize Library to consolidate your iTunes library.

After you've moved all your music files onto one device, select File > Library > Organize Library to consolidate them into iTunes. The program will make copies of all the media files it finds and store them in your iTunes library. You can then delete the files from their original locations.

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