How do I transfer my iTunes to a new computer?

Written by angie gambone
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When you purchase a new computer, you want to move most of your data from your old computer to your new computer. Among that data are the music and videos you have in iTunes. You can transfer your iTunes library from your old computer to the new machine. This saves you the hassle of reimporting all of your songs or downloading them again from a third party. Transferring your iTunes library is simple, and it can be done on a Mac or PC.

Skill level:

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  1. 1

    Open iTunes on your old computer. Click the "File" drop-down menu, select "Library" and choose "Organize Library." Click "Consolidate Library" and click "OK." This will copy all of your music into an iTunes folder on your hard drive.

  2. 2

    Close iTunes. The files will be copied to your iTunes folder on your hard drive.

  3. 3

    Move the iTunes folder to an external storage device. This can be an external hard drive, a mass storage device such as a USB flash drive, a CD or DVD or even an iPod if it has enough space. Move the iTunes folder by clicking on it and dragging it to the icon that represents your external storage device.

  4. 4

    Navigate to the iTunes folder on your new computer.

  5. 5

    Attach the external storage device to your new computer. Move the new iTunes folder from the storage device to the same location as it was in your old computer. Replace the old folder with the new folder.

  6. 6

    Open iTunes on your new computer. iTunes will automatically import all of your music into its library. All settings from your old computer, including your playlists and song ratings, will be transferred.

Tips and warnings

  • Using a USB flash drive is the easiest way to copy your iTunes music from your old computer. Be sure that the flash drive is large enough to hold all of your music. Determine the size of your iTunes music folder by right-clicking on the folder icon and clicking "Properties."
  • iTunes versions 8.0 and above have a "Back up to Disc" option that will automatically save your entire iTunes folder to a CD or DVD.
  • Avoid using third-party software to transfer your iTunes library to a new computer. These software programs are costly and unnecessary, and they may infect your computer with viruses or corrupt your iTunes software.
  • If you use an iPod to transfer your iTunes music, the iPod must be formatted for a Mac to transfer music to a Mac. To transfer music to a PC, the iPod must be formatted for a PC.

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