Restoring iTunes from an external hard drive
One of the options for backing up your iTunes library involves placing all of the files into a folder and then copying the entire folder to an external hard drive. This method is quick and easy, using up only a few moments of your time. Once you have copied the folder onto an external hard drive, follow the steps below to restore your iTunes library.
1. Make sure that iTunes is NOT open on the computer you will be using to restore your iTunes library. If it is open, make sure to quit the program before proceeding.
2. Attach the external library containing the backup of your iTunes library. Open the external hard drive by double clicking on the external hard drive icon. The icon will be located on your desktop or in the Finder if you have a Mac and under My Computer if you have a Windows PC.
3. Locate the folder containing your iTunes files on the hard drive.
4. In a new window, open either the Finder or My Computer depending on if you own a Mac or a PC. Once there, find the location on your computer to which you would like to add the files in your iTunes library. The default location is the My Music folder on Windows and the Music folder on a Mac, but you can choose any location you want.
5. Drag the backup iTunes folder from the external hard drive into the new location on your computer. Double check that you have dragged it into the exact folder you wish to place it in. If you already have an iTunes library in this folder, it will ask if you want to replace it with the new library. If you agree, the old library will be deleted, so make sure that the backup library contains all of your latest files. If it doesn't, choose a different location for the new folder so it will not delete the other iTunes library.
6. Launch iTunes while simultaneously holding either the Option key on a Mac or the Shift key on a Windows PC. This will pull up a window asking whether you wish to Quit, Create a Library, or Choose Library. Select the Choose Library option.
7. In the new window that appears, locate and the folder in which you dragged your iTunes backup folder earlier. Once you have pressed the Choose (on a Mac) or Open (on a Windows PC) button, iTunes will launch with the new restored library.
That's it! You should now have successfully restored your iTunes library from a backup. If there is an old iTunes library on your computer that you didn't delete during step 5, you may wish to do so just so it doesn't take up extra space on your hard drive. If you choose to do so, just make sure that the new library you just restored is up-to-date with all of the contents contained in the older library.
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