Copy iTunes Library to Laptop

Edited by Leomar Umpad, Charmed, Jerry Rivers, Lynn and 4 others

If you just bought a new laptop and want to transfer the iTunes library from your computer to your laptop, you may follow this Howiki. After reading this Howiki you should be able to sync and play music to your laptop.

Methods to Transfer iTunes Files

We have listed four ways copying iTunes from your computer to your new laptop. Take note that this can be applied for other computer to computer iTunes transfer. The following methods are:""

  1. 1
    Home Sharing - Home sharing is the easiest way to transfer iTunes library between computers
    .
    This allows you to share music between multiple computers. Further information about this method will be discussed below.
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  2. 2
    External Drive - External drive method creates a backup of your iTunes library on an external drive
    .
    This allows you to copy files between computers. This method is more complicated than Home Sharing but creates a backup of your iTunes library.
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  3. 3
    Transferring Purchases - This is the easiest method
    .
    But this only moves the content purchased through iTunes Store. This method requires and iOS device with the purchased contents on it.
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  4. 4
    Windows Migration Assistant - This method works when you transfer iTunes from your Windows computer to a Mac device.
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Using Home Sharing

Home Sharing is the easiest way to sync your iTunes library to multiple computers. This section will discuss on the requirements and how to use Home Sharing to transfer files between multiple computers.

Requirements for Home Sharing to Work

  1. 1
    iTunes 9 or later installed on your computer.
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  2. 2
    An Apple ID
    .
    You can check on this Howiki on how to Make an Apple ID
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  3. 3
    A working internet connection.
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  4. 4
    A Local Area Network connection (Ethernet or Wi-Fi).
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Copy Files using Home Sharing

After making sure that you have complied to all the requirements above, the steps below will allow you to copy your iTunes library from your source computer to your new laptop or other computers:

  1. 1
    Make sure that iTunes 9 or later is installed on your source computer and the destination computer.
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  2. 2
    Open iTunes on both devices
    :
     
    1. On the source computer, do these:  
      1. iTunes 11 and later will display an option to Turn Off Home Sharing (Account) under the File > Devices menu when Home Sharing is enabled. If this is the case, you can now proceed to step for the destination computer. Otherwise, you may continue.
      2. When you are on iTunes 11 or later, turn on Home Sharing by going to File > Devices > Turn On Home Sharing from the menu bar.
      3. When you are on iTunes 9 or 10, turn on Home Sharing by going to Advanced > Turn On Home Sharing from the menu bar.
      4. On the left side of iTunes where you choose the music, movies and TV shows, choose the Home sharing icon.
      5. You will be prompted to enter your Apple ID and password.
        1. You will be prompted to enter your Apple ID and password..PNG
      6. Click on Turn On Home Sharing button
    2. On the Destination computer, do these:  
      1. Click on the "Store" Menu then click "Authorize Computer". Enter your Apple ID and password.
      2. From the menu bar, click on Advanced > Turn On Home Sharing
      3. On the left side of iTunes where you choose the music, movies and TV shows, choose the Home sharing icon. Take note that once you enabled Home Sharing, the Home Sharing option will disappear on the left side of iTunes until a Home Share library is located on the source computer.
      4. When your destination computer detects the Home Share from the source computer, click that Home share located on the left side of iTunes on your destination computer.
        2. When your destination computer detects.PNG
      5. From the Home Share, choose the content that you want to transfer from your source computer's iTunes library to your destination computer. You can select all by choosing Edit > Select All. After that, click Import button located at the lower right portion of iTunes
        3 From the Home Share, choose the content.PNG
      6. Wait for the process to finish.
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Transfer Playlist

If you want to include the playlist in transferring, you can do these:

  1. 1
    On your source computer, go to File > Library > Export Library.
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  2. 2
    Check for an XML file that will be created on your desktop.
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  3. 3
    You can either use File Sharing, email, or a flash drive to transfer the XML file to your destination computer.
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  4. 4
    With the file on your destination computer, go to File > Library > Import Playlist
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  5. 5
    The process will remove any item on the playlist that was not shared via Home Sharing.
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Using External Drive

This method will create a backup of your iTunes library on an external drive (USB or portable HDD) and move there files to a destination computer. Just follow the steps below to do it:

  1. 1
    Locate and consolidate the iTunes Media folder
    .
    This is to make sure that all media that you want to backup is on the same location. To know the location of your iTunes Media folder, do these:  
    1. Open your iTunes Preferences. If you are on Mac, go to iTunes > Preferences. If you are on Windows, go to Edit > Preferences.
    2. Click on Advanced. Take note of the location of your iTunes Media folder.
      4 Click on Advanced. Take note.PNG
    3. Check on "Copy files to iTunes Media folder when adding to library" so that any new content that you add to your iTunes library gets added to the iTunes Music Folder.
      5. Copy files to iTunes Media folder when adding to library.PNG
    4. Click on OK.
    5. If your iTunes is version 9 or later go to File > Library > Organize Library... > Consolidate Files.
    6. If your iTunes is version 8.2.1 or earlier go to File > Library > Consolidate.
    7. A prompt saying: "Consolidating your library will copy all of your music into the iTunes Media folder. This cannot be undone."  
      1. Note for MAC OS X: This option will not create duplicate files on your computer since Mac OS X keeps a consolidated library. Thus, the process will not affect your computer's space in any way.
      2. Note for Windows OS: This option will create duplicate files on your computer since Windows does not have a consolidated library. Windows files are consolidated per folder so you may have to manually delete every duplicate from their location folder. This process may eat some of your hard drive's space unless you delete duplicate files.
    8. Click Consolidate.
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  2. 2
    Copy iTunes folder from your source computer
    .
     
    1. Follow these steps in order to copy all your music files to an external drive. The library file with the playlist and other settings will be included in copying too.
    2. Close iTunes on you're the source computer.
    3. Find your external drive. If you're on Mac OS X, it's located on the desktop. If you are on Windows, it is located In My Computer.
    4. Find your iTunes folder.
    5. If you are on Mac OS X, iTunes folder is located in /Users/username/Music  
      1. If you are on Windows XP, iTunes folder is located in \Documents and Settings\username\My Documents\My Music\
      2. If you are on Windows Vista, iTunes folder is located in \Users\username\Music\iTunes
      3. If you are on Windows 7 and Windows 8, iTunes folder is located in \Users\username\My Music\iTunes
    6. Copy your iTunes folder into your external drive. Wait for the whole process to finish.
      6. Copy your iTunes folder into your external drive.PNG
    7. If the copying is done, safely remove the external drive and you are done.
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  3. 3
    Ready iTunes on the destination computer
    .
    Do the following steps to get your iTunes ready to accept all the music to your destination computer.  
    1. Download and install iTunes latest version.
    2. Open the application (iTunes) on your destination computer.
    3. Connect the external drive to your Mac or PC via USB cable.
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  4. 4
    Backup any music file on your destination computer
    .
    If you have music files in iTunes on your destination computer, the following the procedures will save the music files on it even if you replace the existing iTunes folder with the files from your source computer.  
    1. Open up Preferences on iTunes  
      1. For PC using Mac OS X go to iTunes > Preferences.
      2. For PC using Windows go to Edit > Preferences.
    2. Click on Advanced.
    3. Click on the Reset button located next to iTunes Media folder location.
      8 Click the Reset button next to iTunes Media folder location..PNG
    4. Click OK
    5. If you are using iTunes 9 or later, go to File > Library > Organize Library... > Consolidate Files.
    6. If you are using iTunes 8.2.1 or earlier, go to File > Library > Consolidate.
    7. A prompt saying: "Consolidating your library will copy all of your music into the iTunes Media folder. This cannot be undone."  
      1. Note for MAC OS X: This option will not create duplicate files on your computer since Mac OS X keeps a consolidated library. Thus, the process will not affect your computer's space in any way.
      2. Note for Windows OS: This option will create duplicate files on your computer since Windows does not have a consolidated library. Windows files are consolidated per folder so you may have to manually delete every duplicate from their location folder. This process may eat some of your hard drive's space unless you delete duplicate files.
    8. Click Consolidate.
    9. Quit iTunes on your device,
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  5. 5
    Copy music to the destination computer
    .
    Follow the steps below to copy all your music files and the library file that has all the playlist including the settings:  
    1. Based on your computer OS, find the go to the following folder:  
      1. If you are using a Mac OS X, go to /Users/username/Music
      2. If you are using Windows XP, go to \Documents and Settings\username\My Documents\My Music\
      3. If you are using Windows Vista, go to \Users\username\Music\iTunes
      4. If you are using Windows 7 and Windows 8, go to: \Users\username\My Music\iTunes
    2. Copy the iTunes folder from any of those locations and put it to your desktop.  
      1. If you are on MAC:
        9 If you are on MAC.PNG
      2. If you are on PC:
        10 If you are on PC.PNG
    3. Find the external drive connected to your destination computer. If you are on MAC OS X, it is on the desktop. If you are on Windows, it is on My Computer
    4. Open the external drive.
    5. Drag the iTunes folder from the external hard drive to your computer's Music folder.  
      1. If you are on MAC:
        11 If you are on MAC.PNG
      2. If you are on PC:
        12 If you are on PC.PNG
    6. Open iTunes on your destination computer.
    7. You should be able to see that all your music files, playlists and other settings and information are now transferred to it.
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  6. 6
    Add any music file on the destination computer back into the library
    .
    If you have some music that you want to add to the music folder you just moved, you can move that file to:  
    1. If you are using Mac OS X, go to File > Add to Library
    2. If you are using Windows, go to File > Add Folder to Library.
    3. Go to your iTunes folder on your Desktop
    4. Click on Choose if you are on MAC OS X or OK if you are on Windows.
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Transferring Purchases

This method will transfer purchased content from the iTunes Store to a computer. To transfer purchased content from your iPhone, iPad or iPod, follow these steps:

  1. 1
    Open iTunes on your computer.
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  2. 2
    Go to Store menu.
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  3. 3
    Choose "Authorize This Computer".
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  4. 4
    Enter your Apple ID details (username and password).
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  5. 5
    Click the Authorize button.
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  6. 6
    Connect your iOS device (iPad, iPhone or iTouch) to your computer.
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  7. 7
    If the device is already synced to another iTunes library, you will be asked if you want to "Erase and Sync" or "Transfer Purchases.", click on Transfer Purchases
    .
     
    1. Note: Clicking on the Erase and Sync button will delete all the contents on your device and will be replaced by the content of your computer.
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  8. 8
    If you will not be prompted to transfer purchases, do the process manually by going to File > Devices menu > Choose "Transfer Purchases from 'Your device name.'"
    13 If you will not be prompted to transfer purchases.PNG
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  • Note: This method will only work if you transfer purchased items from your phone to your computer. You cannot synchronize items that are not purchased from your phone to your computer.
  • If there is anything that you want to clarify, or you have question in mind, or a reaction or correction, please let us know by dropping us a word at the comments section.

If you have problems with any of the steps in this article, please ask a question for more help, or post in the comments section below.

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Categories : Apple

Recent edits by: VisiHow, Eng, Hitesh Singh Nagyal

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