How to transfer your iTunes library to a new computer
After buying a new computer, one of the first things you will want to do is transfer your iTunes library over so that you can listen to your music and sync your iDevices from the new computer. Below, we list the options you have for doing so. Thoroughly read our review and then determine which option will best suit your needs.
You have four main options from which to choose. Your first option is to manually transfer your iTunes library by copying all of the files onto an external storage unit and then hooking it up to your new computer. The second option involves connecting your old computer to your new computer while running them simultaneously. The third option is to utilize a built-in solution that iTunes has to offer: burning all of your iTunes files onto DVDs. Finally, you can use a special software that automatically transfers your iTunes library over to another computer. The instructions for each method are found below.
1. Launch iTunes on your old computer.
2. Go to File-->Library->Organize Library, and check the box labeled "Consolidate files." This will place all of your iTunes files in one folder.
3. Locate the folder named iTunes on your old computer. Most likely, it will be located in the folder titled My Music. This iTunes folder contains all of the content that you need to transfer to your new computer. Leave the folder unopened for now.
4. Plug an external storage unit, such as a USB stick, external hard drive, or CD-ROM, into your old computer. Borrow or purchase one if you do not have one. It will show up as new drive such as G: or J:.
5. Right click on the folder entitled iTunes. Select "Copy" to place all of the contents of the folder on your clipboard.
6. Open the folder for your external storage unit. On a PC, you can access it by going to Start-->Computer, and it will be listed under Devices With Removable Storage.
7. Once you have the folder open, right click anywhere inside of it, and select "Paste." All of the contents of your iTunes library will transfer onto the storage device. If it tells you that your iTunes library cannot all fit on the storage unit, either obtain a bigger unit, or copy some of the iTunes folder, transfer it over to your new computer, and then go back and transfer the rest of the folder.
8. Remove the external storage unit from your old computer, and plug it into the new one. It will appear on your screen as a new drive.
9. Copy the contents of the external storage unit onto a folder in your new computer such as My Music.
10. Launch iTunes on the new computer (you may have to install it if you haven't done so already).
11. In iTunes, go to File-->Add Folder to Library. In the pop-up window that appears, select the folder where you recently copied the contents of the external storage unit.
12. Press "Select Folder" to transfer the contents of your iTunes library onto your new computer. You can now listen to your music and sync your library from this computer.
By connecting your old and new computers to the same networks (e.g. with a router), you will be able to view content from one computer on the other. This may allow you to transfer your iTunes library onto your new computer without the help of an external storage device. To do this, follow these steps:
1. Launch iTunes on your old computer.
2. Go to File-->Library-->Export Library, and export your iTunes library to a location you will remember later on. Email the resulting file to your personal email address; it should look something like "library.xml."
3. Open your email on your new computer, and save the library.xml file somewhere you can remember.
4. Launch iTunes on your new computer.
5. Go to File-->Library-->Import Playlist, and import the library.xml file (or whatever it is named). iTunes will now transfer your iTunes library, including your playlists and settings. Note that you will most likely receive a notification letting you know that not all of your files were able to be found.
Transferring iTunes using DVDs
1. Launch iTunes on your ld computer.
2. Go to File-->Library-->Back Up to Disc.
3. Insert a blank DVD into your computer, and then allow iTunes to create a backup disc that you can easily insert into your new computer to transfer the files. You may need several DVDs if you have a large iTunes library.
Transferring iTunes using Software
1. Download the 3rd-party application TuneSwift at this link
2. Obtain an external hard drive on which you can store your iTunes library.
3. Follow the on-screen instructions for TuneSwift to transfer your content over to your new computer.
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