Have you bought a new computer, or are you planning to format yours, but don’t want to lose all the files you have carefully organized in your computer library? iTunes? Don’t worry. Among the many functions of Apple’s multimedia program, there is also the one to transfer and restore the contents of the library.
Follow the directions on how to export iTunes library that I am about to give you and you will be able to transfer all the songs, videos and multimedia files in your iTunes library from one computer to another without any problems. The procedure works on both Windows PCs and Apple computers with the macOS operating system.
How do you say? Have you subscribed to the Apple Music streaming music service and would you like to import songs from your online library onto your new PC? Nothing could be easier: configure iTunes to show Apple Music and the iCloud Music Library (the cloud storage service that allows you to store your favorite songs online and synchronize them on all devices connected to the same Apple ID), carry out the Login to your account and you’re done. For more information, read on: you will find everything explained in the tutorial I am about to offer you.
How to Export your iTunes library For Windows Mac user
If you want to learn how to export itunes library, you should know that the first step to complete this operation is to consolidate the program library. This way, all the videos, songs and media files imported into iTunes from various folders on your PC are all grouped into the iTunes library folder.
To consolidate the iTunes library, you must start the program using its icon on the Windows desktop or in the macOS Dock bar and select the item Preferences from the menu Edit (or from the menu iTunes, if you’re using a Mac). In the window that opens, go to the tab Advanceput a check mark next to the items Copy files to the iTunes Media folder when adding them to your library And Keep your iTunes Media folder organized and click on the button Okay to transfer all iTunes library files to the program folder.
At this point, go to the menu File > Library > Organize iTunes Library and, in the window that opens, put the check mark next to the items Consolidate files And Reorganize the documents in the “iTunes Media” folder (if available) to consolidate your iTunes library while leaving the original files intact.
Once the consolidation operation has been carried out, you can export the iTunes library by exiting the program and going to the folder where it keeps the multimedia files.
On Windows, the folder should be C:\Users\Your Username\Music\iTunes\. On macOS, however, it should be /Users/Your Username/Music/iTunes/. In any case, you can know its exact location by going to the menu Edit > Preferences or iTunes > Preferences program by selecting the tab Advance from the window that opens and checking the path indicated in the box iTunes Media folder location.
Once you locate the iTunes folder, select it with the right mouse button, select the item Copy from the context menu and transfer it to an external storage device (e.g. a USB hard drive) with a simple copy and paste. If you’re having trouble with this process, check out my copy-and-paste guide.
Import your iTunes library
You now have your complete copy of your iTunes library. All you have to do is transfer it to your new computer (or to the same computer, after formatting the system).
If you have a Mac, you can jump right into the action. If, on the other hand, you have a Windows PCsyou have to download and install iTunes as I explained in my tutorial dedicated to the theme (just start the program installation package and click on the buttons in sequence Yup, Come on, Install, Yup, Yup And end).
Once you have verified the presence of iTunes on your computer, make sure that the program is not running (otherwise close it) and copy the library you have on the external hard drive to the default iTunes folder . The default iTunes folder is the one I indicated in the previous chapter of the tutorial and which varies depending on the operating system you use.
Once the folder has finished copying to your computer, press and hold the key Shift of your PC keyboard (or the key options/alt if you’re using a Mac) and launch iTunes by selecting the program icon normally. In the window that opens, click on the button Choose a libraryselect the library folder you just copied to your PC and choose the file Library.itl that is inside to complete the restoration of the library and find all your files in their place.
Import iTunes Store purchases
If you don’t have your iTunes library at hand or if you noticed that your backup is missing some songs or movies downloaded from iTunesStoreyou can fix the problem by logging in with your Apple ID and re-downloading items you purchased from the iTunes Store to your PC.
Start, therefore, iTunes, select the item Log in from the menu Accounts (above) and sign in with the Apple ID information you used to purchase content from the iTunes Store. If you don’t remember your login credentials, try to implement the instructions you find in my tutorial on how to recover an Apple ID.
Once logged in, go back to the menu Accounts of iTunes and select the entry Shopping from the latter. A page will open with a list of all the items you have purchased from the iTunes Store. To browse between various categories of content, such as music And movieuse the drop-down menu located at the top left.
When you locate content that you want to download in your library and also play offline, select it and press the icon cloud which is next to their titles. Easier than that?!
Export Apple Music library
You have subscribed to the music streaming service Apple Music and want to know how to transfer your library to a new computer (or to the same computer after an operating system reinstall)? I assure you that there is nothing simpler.
Apple Music, in fact, matching the iCloud Music Library, Apple’s cloud storage service that allows you to keep online copies of your favorite songs (even those that are not available in the Apple Music library) and synchronize them for free with all your devices, allows you to import your entire music library on a new computer by simply logging in with your Apple ID information. The only caution you need to have is to check that the options relating to the use of Apple Music and the iCloud Library have been activated in the iTunes settings.
To carry out the checks in question, run iTunes and go to the menu Edit > Preferences (on Windows) or in the menu iTunes > Preferences (on macOS) of the program. In the window that opens, then select the card generalsplace a check mark next to the items Show Apple Music features And iCloud Music Library (email address) and click on the button Okay to save the changes.
Within a few minutes, if you’ve logged in to your Apple ID via the menu Accounts > Sign in of iTunes, you’ll see your iTunes library populate with all the content you’ve added to your Apple Music library and your iCloud Music Library.
If some steps are not clear to you, you can try reading my tutorial on how Apple Music works and find out more information about how it works.
Other solutions to export iTunes library
The procedures for exporting the iTunes library that I have shown you in the previous chapters of this tutorial are the simplest and fastest to put into practice. However, they are not the only ones.
For example, if you intend to transfer your iTunes library from one Mac to another, you can rely on Migration Assistant: a utility present “standard” on all Apple computers (you can find it in the folder Other of the Launchpad), which allows you to transfer data, computer settings and applications from one Mac to another through a very intuitive wizard. Or you can restore a previous Time Machine backup.
If, on the other hand, you need to copy the iTunes library from a Windows PC to a Mac, you can use the Windows Migration Assistant program, which allows you to transfer data and settings from a Windows computer to a Mac using the macOS Migration Assistant (as explained in the previous paragraph of the tutorial).
For more information about using Migration Assistant, I invite you to consult the Apple website: there you will find all the information you need.