How to sync an iPod without deleting the music

Written by andrew smith
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How to sync an iPod without deleting the music
There's more than one way to transfer music to your computer. (earphones image by Christos Kyratsous from

If your computer has crashed, if you've purchased a new computer or if you're plugging your iPod into your friend's computer, when you sync your iPod, you risk losing all your music. However, by letting the computer know that the music on the iPod should transfer to the computer, you preserve your music, which can ameliorate the pain of your computer crash or make it easier to set up a new computer.

Skill level:

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Things you need

  • USB cable

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  1. 1

    Click “Start” and start iTunes, either from your list or from your Applications folder.

  2. 2

    Plug the iPod into the provided USB cable and connect it with your computer.

  3. 3

    Click the icon for your iPod located on the left side of iTunes. If your computer displays an error message asking you to reformat your iPod, your iPod won't work in Windows as it is formatted for Mac computers; you may still transfer the music, but you will need to download a third-party application to do so.

  4. 4

    Scroll down to Options and click the “Enable disk use” choice.

  5. 5

    Use "My Computer" to view your iPod drive.

  6. 6

    Click the "Start" button, "Control Panel," and then "Appearance and Personalization." Select "Folder Options" and then the View tab. Under the "Advanced Settings," choose the option to "Show hidden files, folders, and drives," and then the "OK" button. This makes the hidden files and folders on the iPod available for viewing.

  7. 7

    On the iPod drive, select "iPod_Controls," and then "Music." Select all the folders and drag them to the music folder on the hard drive on your computer. The transfer proces may take some time if you're transferring a large number of music files.

  8. 8

    Select the iPod folders again, right-click them and select "Properties." De-select the option to hide the files and folders, then close the window.

  9. 9

    In iTunes, sync your iPod. This cleans up the titles of your music on your computer and properly imports the files into your computer.

Tips and warnings

  • The "Transfer Purchases" option in iTunes transfers any purchased iTunes items from an iOS device to your computer. However, it will not transfer music you've ripped from your CD collection.
  • This procedure doesn't work with the iPod Touch.

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