How to Copy Music From Your iPod to Your Computer

By Jason Artman

To deter the illegal copying of music, iTunes does not have the ability to copy music from an iPod. It can only move files from the computer to the iPod. However, you may experience a situation in which you accidentally delete the music from your computer, or lose it in a hard drive crash. Use Windows Explorer to copy the music files from your iPod and re-import them into iTunes.

Things You'll Need

  • iPod with internal hard drive
  • USB sync cable

Step 1

Connect the iPod to your computer. iTunes will launch automatically. Close iTunes, but leave the iPod connected.

Step 2

Right click on your desktop, and click "New Folder." Name the folder "iPod Backup," or any title you like.

Step 3

Double click the "My Computer" icon on your desktop. You should see the iPod show up as a removable disk. Right click it, and click "Explore." If you are running Windows XP, click Tools > Folder Options. If you are running Windows Vista or 7, click Organize > Folder > Search Options. Either option will bring up the Folder Options window.

Step 4

Click the "View" tab. Select the radio button labeled "Show Hidden Files and Folders." Click "OK." This will take you back to the Explorer window, showing the contents of your iPod.

Step 5

Double click iPod_Control > Music. Click on one folder, then press "Ctrl" and "A" on the keyboard simultaneously. This selects all folders. Press "Ctrl" and "C" together to copy them.

Step 6

Double click the "iPod Backup" folder on your desktop. Click anywhere in the folder, and click "Ctrl" and "V" on your keyboard. The folders from your iPod will be copied to your computer. Depending on the capacity of your iPod, this may take several minutes. The files will have names that appear to be nothing but random letters and numbers. This is normal. As long as the files are tagged correctly, they will be imported into iTunes with the correct artist and song names.

Step 7

Launch iTunes. Click File > Add Folder to Library. This will bring up a window titled "Browse For Folder." Click iPod Backup > OK. All your music will be copied back into your iTunes library. Once this process is complete, you will be able to play the music from iTunes and can delete the "iPod Backup" folder.