How to Transfer iTunes Library to a New Computer

How do I move my iTunes library from my old computer to my new computer?
by Updated October 26, 2012

So you just got a new computer... now it's time to get your entire iTunes library of music, podcasts, playlists, apps, and purchased files from your old computer to your new computer.  The following step-by-step will show you how you can move all of your iTunes files and music to your new computer.  Keep in mind that this process should work when transfering between Windows and Mac computers or vice versa. (The step-by-step example below was done using iTunes version 9 on a Windows Vista computer)

  1. Open iTunes on old computer -> click on File -> then click Library -> then Organize Library... -> then check Consolidate files -> and click OK.
    • By Consolidating files, you will insure that any files in your iTunes library that were not actually in the iTunes folder will get copied into the iTunes folder (if you don't do this, files may end up missing when transfering the iTunes folder to a new computer).
  2. Now go to the Music folder on your computer -> and find the iTunes folder (on a Windows XP computer it would be: My Documents -> My Music -> iTunes).  You now need to copy the iTunes folder to your new computer.  To do so, use either an external drive, or upluad it to Google Drive or Dropbox, or a home network drive (if both computers are on the same network), or burn it onto a DVD disc (if the iTunes folder is smaller than 4.7GB).
  3. So now you should have your old computer's iTunes folder copied to a storage drive or disc that can be accessed by your new computer...
  4. On your new computer install iTunes (if it isn't installed already), then close down iTunes if it's open. Then on the new computer, go to the Music folder -> and find and delete the existing iTunes folder.
  5. Now copy the old iTunes folder off your storage device and put it on the new computer exactly where the iTunes folder was that you just deleted. 
  6. Open iTunes up once again, and you should now have your entire iTunes library from your previous computer on your new computer.

If you want to see a video of that talks about how to do the steps outlined above watch this video to see the steps in action.

Keep in mind, the one thing you will also need to do to make sure all your purchased music, files and apps continue to work with your new computer is to Authorize your computer with your iTunes account.  To Authorize your computer in iTunes click on Store -> Authorize Computer...

Note: you can only have 5 computers authorized for your account, so if you're about to sell your old computer, make sure you Deauthorize the computer before selling it.



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