iTunes Music Albums

The best thing about getting a new computer is that, well, you’re getting a brand new computer. It’s exciting to have a shiny new toy to play with, making you wonder how you could have been using that old machine for so long.

To me though, the major downside of getting a new computer is that you have to set it all up from scratch. I’m not going to lie; some of that is part of the fun, but it can also be stressful and time consuming. Take migrating your iTunes library to your new computer for example. There is nothing really fun in that, and if you have a large library, it could take hours.

In this post, I will show you how to move your iTunes library to a new computer. Unfortunately I won’t be able to save you time or stress, but at least, you’ll have simple instructions on how to do transfer all your iTunes songs, albums, album covers, and playlists to a brand new computer.

All the meta data for music tracks will also be migrated over. For example, the play count, skip count, star ratings, date added, and other related info will be successfully ported to your new computer as well.

Before we get started, it must be noted that there are several ways you can migrate your old iTunes library to your new computer. We will go over other options in the near future, but for the time being, we will focus on the most basic one. For the purpose of this tutorial, I am also assuming you have a brand new computer with no music on it.

Transferring an iTunes library to a new computer

On your old computer

Step 1: Open a new Finder window and go to the Music folder, which should be under yourusername > Music.

Step 2: You should see a folder named iTunes. Make a right click on this folder and copy it.

iTunes Library Music folder

Step 3: In a new Finder window, open your external hard drive or USB stick.

Step 4: Paste the iTunes folder in the external drive or USB stick. Depending on the amount of music you have in your library it could take a while.

Migrating iTunes Library

On your new computer

We’re just going to do the exact opposite of what we just did.

Step 1: Plug your external hard drive or USB stick in the new computer.

Step 2: Double click it to open and see what is inside. If the steps above were completed correctly, you should obviously see your iTunes folder.

Step 3: Launch a new Finder window and find the Music folder of your new computer.

Move from old to new iTunes library

Step 4: From the external drive or USB dongle, drag and drop the iTunes folder inside the Music folder of the new computer. Items will be copying over, which again could take a while depending on the size of your library.

Done! You can now launch iTunes and all your music, including all songs, albums, album arts, as well as playlists should be in there.

Note that if you migrated songs that were purchased via iTunes, you will have to authorize the new computer to play these songs. To do so, go to Store > Authorize This Computer in iTunes and enter your iTunes username and password.

  • Emmy Farrell

    Where to find the folder on Windows: go to your user folder, find my music, and the iTunes folder is in there.

    • Favna

      Given that you haven’t selected a folder for your one, obviously. Mine defaulted to my 120 gigs SSD, didn’t know how quickly I moved that to my 2 TB HDD but it sure was quick lol.

      • Morris Redding

        The quick way is iMoresoft TunesGo. It helped me transfer 300+ songs library in less than 5 minutes.

      • Favna

        Or just open 2 file explorers and move it from the one place to the other…. windows can do that literally natively without any need of junkware.

  • Rares

    I just put my “iTunes Media” folder on onedrive.

    • socrates

      I did that with my “.minecraft” folder, and for my girlfriend’s Surface Pro 3. Symlinks make everything work. Only problem is, MS is removing the Smart File function in the near future, so everything that’s on your OneDrive will have to be selectively synced, as opposed to made available “online-only.”

  • Jordan Stevens

    +1 for Deftones Adrenaline!

    • Which tells me you’re definitely in your 30s 🙂

      • Jordan Stevens

        27! And oh my gosh Sebastian Page just replied to me. I listen to your podcasts religiously!

      • Regardless, you have good tastes in music then!

  • Soy tu papi

    I’m using Google playmusic, it gives you the chance to upload 50k song and play it directly on their app or download to play it offline.

  • Vinny Perez

    When applying this method, does the play count, Skip counts, date added, date modified etc etc drag along as well?

    • I just tried again to find out, and I can confirm that yes, it saved my play count, date added, and star ratings. I din’t check for more meta data but I assume *everything* is saved and moved over to the new computer.

      • Vinny Perez

        Thanks!! I’ve been waiting for this post & answers for awhile now. Much obliged!(:

  • Vinny Perez

    So the date you added a certain song still held that date? Or did it change to when you added to your new pc?

  • gittlopctbi

    Nice article! Thanks for the info. And thanks for having non-Watch stories the last couple of days. Yea!

    • Johnny T Dane

      Couldn’t agree more 🙂 So tired of only watch news..

  • The question is how to I used my iPhone in my new computer withiut having to erase the data on it?

  • Tim

    This only works for media downloaded through iTunes, if you added media say from an external or a folder elsewhere then it will show up as broken links on your new computer.

    • Aniket Bhatt

      You can right click and select consolidate files to add those other links to the iTunes media folder

  • Ibnnjya

    Download iTunes on your computer .Then connect iPhone via USB port on your computer.Open the “Applications” folder in “Finder.” Double-click the “iTunes” icon, if you are using a Macintosh computer. Click “File” at the top of the menu. Select “Transfer ” from the drop-down menu.Unplug the iPhone only after the “OK to Disconnect” message is displayed.

  • chuck harris

    old lady here and not tech smart, where do I find the user folder on windows 10?

  • Josh Ganz

    My playlists didn’t transfer along with all of my music. The songs are all listed, but there are no playlists. How do I fix this??

    • Linda

      I had the same problem. I double clicked on the iTunes Music Library.xml file. That’s a dreamweaver and restarted my computer. Everything showed up. Hope it works for you

      • Jordan DiCarlo

        How does this work exactly? I double clicked on the file but it only opened up the text format. Nothing happened. I am having the same problem as you guys when transferring my iTunes stuff from external hard drive to new computer.

      • Linda

        I have the dreamweaver program on my laptop. Don’t know how it worked. If you have an apple store near you and you have a laptop take it there. They have very good tech support and it doesn’t cost anything.

      • Jordan DiCarlo

        I figured out how to solve it. You just need to hold SHIFT when starting iTunes and it will ask you to choose your Library file. Then you just select your file and everything goes back to normal.

      • Linda

        Good to know!

  • Archer

    Does this also transfer Podcasts, audiobooks, videos, etc?

  • Adrian Phoenix

    Thanks so much this helps a lot!

  • Scarlett Mariah Bahira

    I have a whole lot of Playlists on one laptop on Itunes. Can I preserve those Playlists when I move to a new computer or will it just bring over all the tunes and I have to put them back into the same Playlists?