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Move Your iTunes Library to a New Location

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Creating a New iTunes Library Location

Now that we've set up iTunes to manage the iTunes Media folder (see previous page), it's time to create a new location for the library, and then move the existing library to its new home.

Create a New iTunes Library Location

If your new iTunes library will be on an external drive, make sure the drive is plugged into your Mac and turned on.

  1. Launch iTunes, if it isn't already open.

  2. From the iTunes menu, select iTunes, Preferences.

  3. In the Preferences window that opens, select the Advanced icon.

  4. In the iTunes Media folder location section of the Advanced preferences window, click the Change button.

  5. In the Finder window that opens, navigate to the location where you would like to create the new iTunes Media folder.

  6. In the Finder window, click the New Folder button.

  7. Enter a name for the new folder. While you can call this folder anything you wish, I suggest using iTunes Media. Click the Create button, and then click the Open button.

  8. In the Advanced preferences window, click OK.

  9. iTunes will ask you if you want to move and rename the files in your new iTunes Media folder to match the "Keep iTunes Media folder organized" preference. Click Yes.

Moving Your iTunes Library to Its New Location

iTunes can move the original library media files for you. Letting iTunes perform this task will keep all of the playlists and ratings intact.

  1. In iTunes, select File, Library, Organize Library. (Older versions of iTunes will say File, Library, Consolidate Library.)

  2. In the Organize Library window that opens, place a check mark next to Consolidate Library, and click OK.

  3. iTunes will copy all of your media files from the old library location to the new one you created earlier. This can take a while, so be patient.

Confirm the iTunes Library Move

  1. Open a Finder window and navigate to the new iTunes Media folder. Inside the folder, you should see the same folders and media files you saw in the original media folder. Since we haven't deleted the originals yet, you can do a comparison by opening two Finder windows, one showing the old location and one showing the new location.
  2. To further confirm that all is well, launch iTunes, if it's not already open, and select the Music entry in the Library sidebar. You should see all of your music files listed. Use the iTunes sidebar to confirm that all of your movies, TV shows, iTunes U files, podcasts, etc., are present. Check the Playlist area of the sidebar to confirm that it contains all of your playlists.

  3. Open iTunes Preferences and select the Advanced icon.

  4. The iTunes Media folder location should list your new iTunes Media folder and not your old one.

  5. If everything looks OK, try playing some music or movies using iTunes.

Deleting the Old iTunes Library

If everything checks out OK, you can delete the original iTunes Media folder (or Music folder). Do not delete the original iTunes folder or any files or folders it contains, other than the iTunes Media or iTunes Music folder. If you delete anything else in the iTunes folder, your playlists, album art, ratings, etc., could become history, requiring you to recreate them or download them (album art).

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