How To Transfer iTunes Library to Another Location

Running out of space? Why not move your iTunes library to an external drive?

Seagate ST310005EXA101-RK 1TB External Hard Drive
Move your iTunes library to an external hard drive for safe keeping. Image - Courtesy of PriceGrabber

There can be many reasons why you may want to transfer your iTunes songs to another location. You might have recently purchased an external hard drive specifically for storing all your media on, or just want to change where your iTunes songs are stored. Whatever the reason, you can easily move your iTunes library and keep your playlists and song ratings intact by following this step-by-step tutorial.


Difficulty: Easy

Time Required: Setup: 5 Minutes Max. / song library transfer: depends on the number of songs and speed of hardware

Here's How:

  1. Launch the iTunes software. Click the Edit menu tab and choose Preferences from the list of options. For the Mac version of iTunes, click iTunes > Preferences.

  2. Click the Advanced menu tab. First make sure that the Keep iTunes Media Folder Organized option is enabled -- if not just click the check box next to it.

  3. Click the Change... button to specify where you want your iTunes songs stored in future. Navigate to where you want your new folder located (using the + icons in Windows) and click Make New Folder. Type in a name for it and click OK. Click OK again to save settings.

  4. To start consolidating your iTunes library (copy to new location), click the File menu tab and then choose the Library > Organize Library... options. If you are using iTunes 8 then the option to select will be Consolidate Library instead. For older iTunes versions, click on the Advanced menu tab and then select the Consolidate Library option.

  1. On the dialog box that appears, click the check box next to the Consolidate Files option. If you are using iTunes 8 or below, then you'll need to click on the Consolidate button instead. If you see a message asking you if you want iTunes to move and organize your songs, then just click Yes.

  2. After all your songs have been copied to the new folder, you can delete the original files. For Windows, the default location is usually the My Music folder. For Mac, this is usually the iTunes Media folder. If you see any iTunes database files ending in .xml or .itl then to be safe do not delete these.

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