iTunes Library Transfer: Move Your Music to a New Computer

Transferring your iTunes Library to a new computer might seem daunting, but it’s actually pretty straightforward. All you need is an external hard drive or a way to network your old and new computer together. By following a few simple steps, you can have all your music, playlists, and settings transferred over to your new machine in no time.

Step by Step Tutorial: Transferring Your iTunes Library

Before we dive into the steps, it’s important to note that this process will move your entire iTunes Library, including all your music, videos, and any other content you’ve added to iTunes, as well as your playlists and play counts. This is great if you’re looking to pick up exactly where you left off on your new computer.

Step 1: Consolidate Your iTunes Library

First things first, we need to make sure all your media is in one place.

Consolidating your library ensures that all media files are stored in the iTunes folder. This makes the transfer process smoother and means you won’t lose any files that might be stored in other locations on your computer.

Step 2: Find the iTunes Media Folder

Next, you need to find where your iTunes Media folder is located on your old computer.

By default, iTunes stores your media in a folder within your user’s music folder. You can find the exact location by going to iTunes’ Preferences, clicking on the ‘Advanced’ tab, and looking at the ‘iTunes Media folder location’ field.

Step 3: Copy the iTunes Media Folder to an External Hard Drive

Now, you’re going to copy your entire iTunes Media folder onto an external hard drive.

Make sure your external hard drive has enough space to accommodate your iTunes Library. Then, simply drag the iTunes Media folder to your external hard drive and wait for the files to copy over. This could take a while if you have a large library.

Step 4: Download and Install iTunes on Your New Computer

Before you can transfer, you need to have iTunes installed on your new computer.

Go to the Apple website and download the latest version of iTunes, then follow the installation instructions. Make sure you have the newest version for the best compatibility.

Step 5: Copy the iTunes Media Folder to Your New Computer

Finally, it’s time to move your iTunes Library to your new computer.

Connect your external hard drive to your new computer and open it. Find the iTunes Media folder you copied earlier, and drag it to the corresponding location on your new machine. It’s usually the Music folder of your new user account.

After you complete the action, you’ll have your entire iTunes Library on your new computer. Open iTunes, and you should see your music, playlists, and other content just as it was on your old computer. If everything is in order, you can go ahead and decommission your old computer or wipe it clean, knowing that you’ve safely transferred your iTunes Library.

Tips for Transferring Your iTunes Library

  • Make sure to back up your old computer before starting the transfer process, just in case something goes wrong.
  • If you have a large library, transferring via an external hard drive may be quicker than over a network.
  • Ensure that your external hard drive is formatted correctly, so both your old and new computers can read it.
  • Keep your old computer around until you’ve confirmed that the transfer to your new computer is successful.
  • Update your iTunes to the latest version on both your old and new computer before beginning the transfer.

Frequently Asked Questions

What if I don’t have an external hard drive?

You can also transfer your iTunes Library over a network, although it may be slower, especially for large libraries.

Will my playlists be transferred as well?

Yes, if you follow the above steps, your playlists and other settings should transfer over to your new computer.

Can I transfer my iTunes Library to a computer with a different operating system?

Yes, the process is the same whether you’re moving from Mac to Mac, PC to PC, or cross-platform.

What if I only want to transfer part of my library?

You can choose to only move certain files or folders. However, for playlists and other settings to transfer properly, it’s recommended to move the entire library.

Will my play counts and ratings transfer too?

Yes, these are stored in the iTunes Library file and will transfer along with the rest of your content.


  1. Consolidate your iTunes Library.
  2. Locate your iTunes Media Folder.
  3. Copy the iTunes Media Folder to an external hard drive.
  4. Download and install iTunes on your new computer.
  5. Move the iTunes Media Folder to your new computer.


Transferring your iTunes Library to a new computer might initially seem like a complex task, but as we’ve seen, it’s actually quite manageable. With the proper preparation and a bit of patience, you can seamlessly transition all your music and media to your new computer without missing a beat. Remember to back up your library before starting and double-check that the transfer was successful before disposing of any equipment. Now, with your new computer all set up, you can enjoy your music collection just as you did on your old device. Happy listening!

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