How to Transfer My iTunes Music Library to a New Computer

By Crystal Bonser

If you are upgrading your computer to a newer one, you will want to transfer many files to the new computer, including your iTunes library with many audio and video files. Transferring your iTunes library from one computer to another may be time consuming–especially for those who have thousands of songs and videos–but when you think of the time you spent adding your media to iTunes, this process will seem like a cinch.

Things You'll Need

  • Stack of DVDs or CDs

Step 1

Download iTunes onto your new computer (if you have not already done so). You will see the download option on the main page of the iTunes website (see Reference). Make sure you have iTunes 7 or higher on your old computer. You can check the version you are using by clicking on "About iTunes" in the "Help" menu. If you have an older version, then click on "Check for updates" in the "Help" menu and follow the prompts to download the newest version.

Step 2

Click on the "File" menu in iTunes on your old computer and click on "Back up from disk". This option will be in a different place depending on which version of iTunes you are using. For iTunes 9, it is located in the sub-menu of "Library," in the "File" menu.

Step 3

Click on one of the following three options in the pop-up box: "Back up entire iTunes library and playlists," "Back up only iTunes Store purchases" or "Only back up items added or changed since last back up." Click on "Back up" after you have made your selection.

Step 4

Insert a blank disk into your computer after being prompted to do so by iTunes. Your computer will begin burning your files to the disk automatically.

Step 5

Insert another disk when prompted to do so. You will be asked to do this each time the disk you are burning is full. Continue this process till all of your files are backed up to disk.

Step 6

Open iTunes on your new computer and insert one of your backup disks.

Step 7

Click on "Restore" when asked if you would like to restore from disk. iTunes will then begin copying all the files on the disk. Once this prcess is complete, insert the next backup disk and repeat till all your files are in your new iTunes library.

Tips & Warnings

  • The disks you create to backup your iTunes library are data disks and cannot be used to play music in a CD or DVD player.
  • Do not remove a disk from your computer while a backup is in progress.

References & Resources