If you are changing computers or want to enjoy all your files on another machine, you can transfer your iTunes library from one computer to another. The transfer will require a USB stick or an external hard drive.
Part 1 of 3: Consolidate Your iTunes Library
Step 1. Open iTunes
Click or double-click the iTunes application icon on the computer you want to copy your library from. The app icon looks like a multicolored musical note on a white background.
- If you are asked to update iTunes, click Download iTunes then follow the on-screen instructions. You may need to restart your computer before you can continue.
Step 2. Click File
This option can be found either at the top left of the iTunes window (if you're using a Windows computer) or at the top left of the screen (if you're using a Mac). Click on it to open a drop-down menu.
Step 3. Select Library
The option Library is in the drop-down menu and opens a context menu next to the drop-down menu.
Step 4. Click Organize Library
Organize the library is in the context menu and opens a new window.
Step 5. Select the Consolidate files check box
This option is at the top of the window.
Step 6. Click OK
The button OK is at the bottom of the window. Click on it to save your iTunes library to the iTunes Media folder.
Step 7. Wait for the process to complete
The process may take a few seconds to several minutes depending on the size of your iTunes library.
Part 2 of 3: Copy iTunes Folder
Step 1. Insert your USB stick or external hard drive
The USB flash drive or external hard drive should connect directly to one of the USB ports on your computer.
- If you're using a Mac, you may need to use a USB-C dongle (or a USB 3.0 to USB-C adapter).
- Your USB flash drive or external hard drive should be large enough to hold your entire iTunes library.
Step 2. Go to the iTunes folder
The folder path varies depending on whether you are using a Windows computer or a Mac.
- If you are using a Windows computer: open file explorer
, click on Music on the left of the window (you may have to scroll down to find it) and look for the iTunes folder.
- If you are using a Mac: open the
Finder, click on Go at the top of the screen, select Home in the drop-down menu then double click on the folder Music. The iTunes folder should be there.
Step 3. Copy the iTunes folder
Select the iTunes folder by clicking once on it and then press Ctrl + C (if you're using a Windows computer) or Command + C (if you're using a Mac) to copy the entire folder.
If you already have music in iTunes on the new computer, double-click the iTunes folder first and then copy the iTunes Media folder it contains
Step 4. Open your USB flash drive or external hard drive
In the left side pane of the File Explorer or Finder window, click the name of the USB flash drive or external hard drive.
If you're using a Mac, you'll find a shortcut to the USB flash drive or external hard drive on the Desktop
Step 5. Paste the iTunes folder
In the USB flash drive or external hard drive window, press Ctrl + V (on Windows) or Command + V (on Mac) to paste the folder.
Step 6. Eject your USB flash drive or external hard drive
Once you have successfully ejected the USB flash drive or external hard drive, you can proceed to transfer your iTunes library to the other computer.
Part 3 of 3: transfer the library
Step 1. Make sure iTunes is installed and up to date
If you haven't yet installed iTunes on the computer you want to copy your library to, download it first and then install it.
If iTunes is not up to date, you will be prompted to update it when you open it
Step 2. Insert your USB stick or external hard drive
Use one of the new computer's USB ports to connect your USB flash drive or external hard drive.
Step 3. Open the USB flash drive or external hard drive
Click the name of the storage device in File Explorer (on Windows) or Finder (on Mac) or wait for its window to open automatically.
Step 4. Copy the iTunes folder
Click on the iTunes folder in the storage device window then press Ctrl + C (if you are using a Windows computer) or Command + C (if you are using a Mac).
Step 5. Open the Music folder on your computer
Go to the folder location Music where the iTunes folder on the first computer is located. If you haven't used iTunes on this computer yet, you won't see an iTunes folder there.
- If you copied the iTunes Media folder, double click on it and then double click on the folder. Automatically add to iTunes before continuing.
Step 6. Paste the iTunes folder
Press Ctrl + V (on a Windows computer) or Command + V (on a Mac). The iTunes folder should appear in the folder Music. Once it's copied, you'll be able to open iTunes and view your music.
If you see an iTunes folder when you haven't used iTunes on this computer yet, you can delete the folder by clicking on it and then pressing Delete (if you're using a Windows computer) or dragging it to the Trash (if you are using a Mac)
- To make sure that the songs you add to iTunes in the future are automatically added to the iTunes folder open the preferences window, click Advances then check the box Copy files added to library to iTunes Media folder.