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Move iTunes Library to External Drive [2022 Updated]

Axel Nash

Written By Axel Nash |

When people want to free up their disk space on their computers or even plan on switching to a new computer, they wish to move or back up their iTunes Library to an external hard drive. But, the problem arises when they don't know how to do it.

No worries, if you were looking for its solution, you landed in the best place. In this post, we will talk about the best workable solutions that can help you with backup and restore your iTunes library painlessly.

So, reading this post to the end is a must.

library painlessly

Things to Do Before Moving iTunes Library to External Drive

The iTunes Library is a database prepared with all sorts of media, music, movies, or even TV shows. The library is organized into two parts, the iTunes Media folder and the iTunes Library files.

Before you move the iTunes library, here is what you should do:

#1 Consolidate iTunes Library:

Follow the mentioned steps to consolidate your iTunes library:

  1. Launch and open iTunes
  2. Head to the top of the window of iTunes, select File, then Library, and hit Organize Library
  3. Check on Consolidate files
  4. Then, hit OK

consolidating files

Consolidating copies of any files not included in the iTunes Media folder will be added. Ensure the files are added, and you may delete all the files from your computer.

#2 Re-download Purchased Items:

You must re-download all purchased items, including movies, music, and TV shows. This is the primary way to back up all purchased items.
Here is how you can re-download music:

  1. Launch iTunes
  2. Head to Account, then Purchased, and if you own Family Sharing, you will see Family Purchases
  3. From the left corner, select Music
  4. Select the music you wish to re-download
  5. Hit the download button

Move iTunes Library to External Hard Drive On Windows 10

After consolidating and downloading your files, you need to move your iTunes library to your external drive. Follow the mentioned steps:

  1. Exit iTunes
  2. Locate and navigate to the iTunes folder on your PC

locating itunes folder

  1. Right-click on the folder, and from the options, select Copy
  2. Head to the external drive, right-click, and Paste it.

Note: You can also follow similar steps to move the iTunes library to an external drive on Mac. But only on the previous macOS version. In macOS, Catalina or later does not have iTunes; you can back up the whole mac instead.

Things To Do After Copying iTunes Library to External Drive

After you have copied the iTunes library to your external drive, the job is not done yet. So here is what you have to do next.

#1 Point iTunes Library to a New Location

Once you have transferred your iTunes to an external hard drive, you will need to redirect the path to the external hard drive rather than your local drive and then delete the files on your PC.

Steps to Point iTunes Library to a New Location

If you have been wondering how to relocate your iTunes library, here is how. Follow the mentioned outline:

  1. Launch Music and head to Preferences
  2. Next, hit on the Files tab
  3. Make sure that the Keep Music Media folder Organized option is enabled. If already done, skip the step

advance tab page

  1. Hit on Change, and change the location to the external drive
  2. When done, click OK
  3. Now you can delete the files on your computer.

Quicks Tips:

● If you use the latest versions of iTunes, you will open iTunes, then select Preferences

● If you have an outdated version of iTunes, you will need to click Advanced Tab

#2 Restore iTunes Library to a New PC

If you are changing to a new PC, you may also need to know how to restore the iTunes Library to a new PC. However, you will need the latest version of iTunes on the new computer.

To restore the iTunes library, follow this outline:

  1. Connect your external hard drive to your new computer
  2. Head to Files or This PC, and choose the external device
  3. Then, select your iTunes folder. Right-click and hit Copy

locating itunes folder

  1. Now, head to the folder or the desired location where you wish to keep your iTunes library. Right-click and hit Paste
  2. Now, open iTunes. But press and hold Shift while you open it
  3. A pop-up window will appear, asking you to choose the iTunes library. Select Choose Library

hit choose library

  1. Next, select the location where you copied the iTunes folder
  2. Then select the iTunes Library.itl file
  3. Hit Open

Final Thoughts

So, moving your iTunes library to an external drive is possible, and even transferring the media folder to a new PC is possible.

Use the outline mentioned above to move the iTunes library to a different location or a new PC.

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Axel Nash

Axel Nash

staff Editor