How to Transfer iTunes to a Laptop

Updated April 17, 2017

If you have a new laptop, one of your first priorities might be transferring iTunes from your old computer to your new one. Obtaining the iTunes program can be done by visiting the Apple website and downloading the program, as you probably did on your older computer. Moving your music from one computer to another to finish transferring iTunes onto your new laptop, however, is more involved.

Plug your iPod into your old computer and ensure that all of the music from iTunes on that computer has been successfully transferred to your iPod. If you plug in your iPod regularly, this synchronisation process should only take a few moments. When the synchronisation is complete, unplug your iPod from this computer.

Install iTunes on your new laptop if you do not already have it. Do this by going to the Apple website (see Resources), clicking on the "Download iTunes" link and following the prompts. Open iTunes once the installation is complete.

Plug your iPod with all the songs you want to transfer into the laptop onto which you want to transfer them. This will prompt iTunes to open a window with three options: "Cancel," "Erase and Sync" (which erases all the songs on your iPod that are not on your laptop and then synchronises your iPod to the laptop) and "Transfer Purchases." This last option transfers all the authorised iTunes purchases on your iPod to the new computer.

Click on "Transfer Purchases." This will open a new window asking you whether you want to "authorise this computer for items purchased from the iTunes store." Click "Authorize." Next, iTunes will prompt you to log in with your Apple ID and password. Click "Authorize" again when you have done this.

Click the "OK" button on the window that appears telling you how many computers you have authorised with this account (out of a limit of five). This will prompt the transfer from your iPod to your new laptop to begin.


This procedure only works for tracks purchased or obtained through iTunes. If you have other music in your old iTunes, such as music from CDs you have ripped, you will have to transfer them by copying them onto an external hard drive, flash drive or similar item. Next, unplug this drive from your old computer and plug it into your laptop, then copy the music onto a folder on your new laptop. Finally, open "iTunes," click "File," click "Add Folder to Library," and find the folder you just copied onto your laptop. Click "Select Folder" to import that music into iTunes and complete the transfer.

Things You'll Need

  • iPod with cord
  • Flash drive or external hard drive (optional)
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About the Author

Morgan O'Connor has been writing professionally since 2005. Her experience includes articles on various aspects of the health-insurance industry for health-care newsletters distributed to hospitals as well as articles on both international and domestic travel.