Are you thinking of changing your Mac? Do you wish to transfer your iTunes library to another PC? In that case, knowing how to transfer the iTunes library safely is crucial.
It is vital to understand that the iTunes library, if extensive, can cause problems while being transferred to another Mac. That is why using different methods to ensure it is safe is critical. For Mac, you need to backup data using Time Machine and Migration Assistant for restoration.
But, for other PCs, you can use an external hard drive. That way, you can consolidate the files, create a backup, and restore them.
How to Transfer iTunes Library Music from One Computer to Another (PC & Mac)
We will talk about transferring iTunes Library music from one computer to another, whether Mac or PC. Have a look!
- How to Transfer iTunes Library Music on Mac
- Take Backup on Mac
- Restore the Backup in Another Mac
- Method 3
- How to Transfer iTunes Library Music on PC
- Enable Copy Files to iTunes Media Folder when adding to Library
- Enable Manually managing music and videos option
- Consolidate Files
- Find the iTunes Media Folder
- Copy iTunes Media Folder on Second PC
- Set iTunes Library
How to Transfer iTunes Library Music from Mac?
Creating a backup with Time Machine is crucial if you want to transfer the iTunes library from one Mac to another. Time Machine is a built-in feature of the Mac, enabling users to back up personal data automatically. With the backup, it becomes easy to restore files later.
1] Take Backup on Mac
Here is how you can create a backup via the Time Machine –
- Firstly, you need to use a USB or any other storage device and connect it to the Mac.
- Go to the Time Machine menu on the menu bar.
- Choose Time Machine preferences.
- Alternatively, you can also go to the Apple icon and choose System Preferences. After that, select Time Machine.
- Press the Select Backup Disk option.
- Now, you need to choose the disk where you want to back up the data. Select the preferred disk and click on the Use Disk button.
- The Time Machine will start the backup of data immediately.
Note: If it is the first time you are using Time Machine, it will take some time for the process to complete.
2] Restore the Backup in Another Mac
To restore the files, you must back them up using Time Machine. You can opt for Migration Assistant. It is one of the best ways to restore or transfer files to the Mac. Take a look at the steps you must follow –
Before using Migration Assistant, you need to ensure the backup disk used for Time Machine is connected and turned on.
- After that, go to Migration Assistant.
- If you can’t locate it, go to the Applications folder. Now, open the Utilities folder.
- Open Migration Assitant app from there.
- Once it is opened, click on Continue. Please note that all apps will be closed once you click on the Continue option, so it is advisable to save your ongoing work.
- Here, you will be asked to choose an option with the question – How do you want to transfer your information?
- Choose the option – From a Mac, Time Machine backup, or Startup disk.
- Press the Continue button.
- Choose the Time Machine backup.
- Press the Continue button again.
- Here, you need to opt for the backup you want to restore.
- Click on Continue.
- After that, you need to tickmark the information you want to transfer.
- Press the Continue button to move ahead.
- The transfer will start immediately. But, if the files are large, the process will take several hours to complete.
How to Transfer iTunes Library Music on PC
Do you want to transfer your iTunes Library Music to another PC? For that, you first need to consolidate and create the iTunes backup.
Using iTunes directly, it’s almost impossible to transfer music from one computer to another, possibly because Apple restricts the music bought by you to share it with others, specially one you purchased from iTunes store. But that’s almost, and music can still be transferred from one computer to another.
1] Enable Copy Files to iTunes Media Folder when adding to Library
- Start iTunes and go to Edit > Preferences in the menu.
- Switch to the advanced Tab. A folder path is available there, which stores all the Media Info.
- Copy that path to notepad and make sure the option which says Copy Files to iTunes Media Folder when adding to the library is checked.
2] Enable the Manually managing music and videos option
- Now connect your iPad or iPod, or iPhone device to iTunes.
- Don’t sync and stop if it starts automatically.
- Select your device in iTunes on the left.
- Now on your right, under Summary Tab, look for the heading which says Options.
- Under this check, the option of Manually managing music and videos.
3] Consolidate Files
Consolidating the files in the iTunes library folder will enable easy transfer to another computer. To consolidate the iTunes library, you need to follow these steps:
- Go to iTunes on your system
- Open File from the menu bar of the PC.
- After that, go to Library and Choose Organise Library.
- Tick-mark the box Consolidate files and Press the OK button.
Note: Consolidating files ensures the addition of the files outside the iTunes Media folder to within it. You can now remove the original files if you want to save space.
4] Find the iTunes Media Folder
- Since you selected all music to be copied to the iTunes Media Folder, it makes it easy to get songs any where you want.
- Go to the folder, which in my case, is
- There is a Music Folder here that has all the songs in different folders, which are the Album’s name.
- Copy this folder to an external drive depending on the size.
However, if you still cannot see the iTunes Media folder, you can follow these steps –
- Go to iTunes.
- Click on Edit on the menu bar. It is present on the top part of the iTunes window.
- Select Preferences and then Choose the Advanced tab.
- Check out the box with the heading iTunes Media folder location. Here, you will find the location
5] Copy iTunes Media Folder on Second PC
Now, let’s move to your second computer. You will have to repeat Step 1 here again to find your iTunes Media Folder and make sure you have checked the option of the copy.
Navigate to the iTunes Media Folder on a new computer. For me, it was
Paste the Music Folder you have in your External or USB drive here. If there are already a few songs existing, add the content of the folder you have on an external drive to the Music Folder.
6] Set iTunes Library
Now all our music from Computer A is in Computer B. We need to make iTunes aware of it, which can be done by using the import function of iTunes, which is under preference. Since you have chosen for consolidate option, the music stays there.
- Find the location where you want to restore the iTunes library on your PC.
- Right-click here and select the Paste option.
- Open iTunes while pressing and holding the Shift key.
- You will see a pop-up message showing – Choose iTunes Library.
- Click Choose Library button.
- Here, you will need to select the location where the copy of the iTunes folder is present.
- After that, select the iTunes Library.itl file.
- Press Open.
Related: How to share iTunes purchased content between multiple computers
Transferring the iTunes library from one computer to another, be it Mac or other PCs, can be troublesome. To make the process seamless and hassle-free, you need to know the process intricately. Follow the steps mentioned above and easily use the iTunes library in another system!
How Do I Export One of My iTunes Library?
Open iTunes and choose the playlist from the left sidebar. Click on File from the menu bar and select Library from the drop-down list. Click on Export Playlist from there in XML format.
Is It Hard to Transfer iTunes Library From One Computer to Another?
Not at all. Thanks to the Apple team, they have made the process very easy. With the help of Migration Assistant – a pre-build app, you can easily transfer selected or all your iTunes library list from one computer to another.
How Do I Open My iTunes Library From a Different Computer?
For that, you need to enable Home Sharing on your computer. Go to System Preferences, select Sharing, and then Media Sharing. Sign in with the same Apple ID on all your devices to access your iTunes Library from different devices.