How to Move Your iTunes Library to a New Location

Running out of space? Here's how to move your iTunes library to a new folder

What to Know

  • Select Music > Preferences > Files. Turn on Keep Music Media folder organized > Change. Input new location.
  • In Music menu bar, select File > Library > Organize Library > Consolidate Files.
  • Confirm the files copied over and delete the originals.

This article explains how to move your entire iTunes or Music library to a new folder or destination, such as an external hard drive or cloud backup service.

Choose a New Location for the iTunes Files

There are two sets of instructions to complete moving your music files to a new destination. The first is to change the location of your media folder, and the second is to copy your existing music files to the new location.

  1. Open Music and select Music > Preferences.

    Earlier versions of iTunes require you to select iTunes > Preferences or Edit > Preferences.

    With macOS Catalina (10.15), Apple replaced iTunes with three apps: Music, Podcasts, and TV. These apps serve the same function as iTunes.

  2. Open Music. Select the Files tab.

    On older versions of iTunes, select the Advanced tab.

  3. Make sure the Keep Music Media folder organized option is enabled. If it's already checked, skip to the next step.

  4. Select Change to change the media folder location. The folder that opens is where your songs (or podcasts, video, etc.) are currently stored. You can change this destination to any location you like.

    To put your media in a new folder that doesn't yet exist, select New Folder.

  5. Select the folder for where you'd like to store media and then select OK.

Copy Your Existing Music to the New Location

Now you can begin consolidating your media library to the new location.

  1. In the Music menu bar, select File > Library > Organize Library.

    Older versions of iTunes may list the Organize Library option as "Consolidate Library." If not, try looking for it under the Advanced tab in the Preferences window.

  2. Select the check box next to Consolidate files and select OK.

    In older versions of iTunes you may need to select Consolidate.

  3. Once any prompts and windows have disappeared, it's safe to assume that the files have finished copying to the new location. To be sure, open the folder you chose in Step 4 to look for the transferred media. You should see a folder labeled Music.

  4. After all your songs have been copied to the new folder, it's safe to delete the original files.

    The default location for Windows users is C:\Users\[username]\Music\iTunes\iTunes Media\.

It's a good idea keep any XML or ITL files in case you need them in the future.

These instructions apply to systems running macOS Catalina (10.15) and later. For earlier versions of iTunes, the instructions are similar but the names and locations of buttons may be slightly different.

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