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How to Move an iTunes Library from One Computer to Another

First, ensure that your library has been consolidated in one location

  • Find your music library by going into iTunes Preferences > Advanced
  • Then go to the Finder and ensure all the associated library files are together with your music files in one location as discussed here.

Once you have verified your library is consolidated in one location, you can copy or move it to a new location:

  • Connect the storage device onto which you’d like to move or copy your library
  • Using the Finder, copy the entire folder, including all the library files and the underlying media
  • Once the files have been copied or moved, disconnect the storage device, and connect it to the new computer


Opening a New or Moved Library for the First Time with iTunes

After the entire music library has been moved or copied to the new location or storage device, you need to tell iTunes where to find the library. Follow these simple steps:

  • Quit all applications
  • Launch iTunes by clicking on the iTunes icon in your Dock (or in your Applications folder) while holding down the OPTION key
  • iTunes will prompt you to either Quit, Create Library or Choose Library
  • Click on Choose Library
  • The next dialog box will be “Open iTunes Library” (lower photo). You may need to click on a Down Arrow to get the detailed view as pictured below
  • Select the folder (in this example, “iTunes Mac Pro”) and click on Choose
  • Your library will open with all your music, artwork etc.
  • Going forward, you do not need to hold down the OPTION key when launching iTunes, unless you want to point to a new or different iTunes library

Pay close attention to the location of your library. The folder and library you are opening should reside on the storage device of your choosing (e.g. Drobo, G-Tech drive or drive arrays, etc.). You can tell by looking at the left-hand side under “Devices.” Then be sure to select the iTunes Library folder within this folder, as pictured below.