How to Transfer iTunes Library to New Computer or External Drive?

Apple ditched iTunes in macOS Catalina and subsequent releases (11.0 Big Sur and 12.0 Monterey). Still, iTunes remains quite a popular service for storing, sorting, and organizing media files. Also, some of the iTunes’ capabilities continue functioning in Finder and the Apple Music Files in modern macOS versions.

iTunes Store lets you buy books, music, movies, and other media. iTunes syncs your purchases across devices and also stores them locally on your Mac. With time, as your purchases grow in size and quantity, you will face the inevitable lack of space. Therefore, we have prepared a detailed guide about how to transfer the iTunes library to a new computer or external drive. This article describes the easiest ways to transfer data to a new computer from iTunes.

Transfer Your iTunes Media Files to Your New Mac

You can transfer iTunes Library to a new computer in just a few minutes using a special feature called Sharing. Before you start, make sure the target computer has enough storage to accommodate all your purchased media.

  1. Open the Settings app and go to the Sharing section.
  2. On the left, place a checkmark next to the “File Sharing” option. move itunes library to new computer
  3. On the right, you will see a list of share folders other users can access. Click a button with a plus icon to add iTunes Media.
  4. Now configure what users can access shared folders. Do not forget to specify read/write permissions.
  5. The File Sharing indicator will turn green after configuring all the options and adding folders. Now you can grab your new Mac and access the previous one in Finder to transfer iTunes Media Library.

There is another option you may want to consider before moving iTunes Library to another computer. Instead of using the Sharing feature, you can grab an external drive.

Alternatively, sync your old and new computer using the same Apple ID.

  1. Log into iTunes on your new computer and go to Store.
  2. Go to Account Setup and then to the “Purchases” menu.
  3. Download all available purchases (media files) to your new computer. Note that you will have to re-download the files to the new computer to transfer iTunes Media Library. You can do this through an external drive, or directly through iTunes if you previously purchased media files from the App Store.

move itunes library to another drive

Transfer Your iTunes Media Files to External Drive

There is an easy way to move the iTunes library to an external drive from your Mac. Here is what you need to do if you cannot find the iTunes Media Library folder on your Mac: Open Finder and click the name of your drive (SSD or HDD). Then, in the upper-right corner, click the search box and type “iTunes”.

move itunes library to external drive

macOS will return several folders and files in search results. Select the “iTunes Media” folder. This folder contains your entire media library with movies, music, books, and other files. Select the “iTunes Media” folder or the individual folders with the files, then copy them to the external drive. Use a flash drive, an external hard drive, or SSD. Older Macbooks can also use DVD drives, which are now totally obsolete.

how to transfer itunes library to new computer

The storage location for your external drive, DVD, or flash drive appears on the left side of the Finder menu. This is where you can copy all the media files from your “iTunes Media” folder.

Resume

When planning to reinstall macOS or purchase a new computer, active iTunes users should consider migrating their iTunes libraries from old systems. Contrary to a popular belief, the migration process is straightforward and easy. Use our guide to move your iTunes library to another computer. Before transferring your media library to a new computer, make sure you have the latest version of iTunes (you can download the latest version of iTunes from the official Apple website).

Cyril Kardashevsky

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