Transfer iTunes library to another computer
Learn how to transfer iTunes library to another computer on Mac
For most users, iTunes does a great job of handling all of the details of managing your media library for you, allowing you to manage your content through iTunes itself and not having to worry too much about the underlying files and folders that make up your iTunes library.
Most of us have pretty large iTunes libraries. Whether that means 25 CDs and a TV show or two, over 200 CDs, three full seasons of TV, and a few feature-length movies, our iTunes libraries take up a lot of hard drive space.
The size of these libraries presents some challenges when you’re trying to back up your computer or transfer your iTunes library to a new computer. After all, you spent all that time importing your CDs once – you don’t want to do it again.
This tutorial is intended for both the average and slightly advanced iTunes user and will provide the necessary information that you need to know about transferring your iTunes library to another computer.
ITunes offers a built-in back up tool that you can find in the File menu. Just go File - > Backup to Disc.
This method will back up your full library to CD or DVD. All you need are blank discs and some time.
However, if you’ve got a big library, or a CD burner rather than a DVD burner, this will take many, many CDs. This may not be the most efficient way to back up, since you’ve already got hard copies of the CDs you’ve added.
If you’ve got a DVD burner, this will make more sense, as a DVD can hold the equivalent of nearly 7 CDs.
If you’ve just got a CD burner, you may want to consider choosing the option to only back up iTunes Store purchases or make incremental backups – backing up only new content since your last backup.
External Hard Drive
Hard drives these days offer more storage capacity for lower prices than ever before. Thanks to this, you can get a very large external hard drive for an affordable price. This is another good iTunes backup option.
If you find an external hard drive that you like, you can just connect it to your computer, find your iTunes library, and copy it to the hard drive to make a backup.
Depending on the size of your library, this may take some time, but it’s effective. Backup utility programs can also be used to make the process more efficient – such as only backing up new files.
Once you have this backup, you can just copy it to your new computer or your old one, if you have a crash.
On a Mac, the easiest way to transfer your iTunes library to a new machine is to use the Migration Assistant tool. This can be used while you’re setting up the new computer, or after it’s already done. The Migration Assistant tool is used to move data, settings, and other files from your old computer to your new one. Though it isn’t 100% perfect, it moves most files very well and will save you a lot of time.
The Mac OS Setup Assistant will offer you this option as you set up your new computer. If you don’t choose it, you can find the Migration Assistant in your Applications folder, inside the Utilities folder.
To do this, you’ll need a Firewire cable to connect the two computers. Once you’ve done that, restart the old computer and hold down the “T” button. You’ll see it restart and display an orange Firewire icon on the screen. Once you see this, run the Migration Assistant tool, and follow the onscreen instructions.