I have seen lots of articles purporting to explain how to move an iTunes library from one PC to another or one hard drive to another. Unfortunately, many of them did not work for me, or they only transferred the music (no playlists).

Some people also claim that you cannot change the default location for all of the iTunes database files. That is not true. Here is a simple method for a PC to PC transfer.

  1. On the source machine, launch iTunes, click Edit>Preferences>Advanced.
  2. Make sure that "Keep iTunes Music folder organized" and "Copy files to iTunes Music folder when adding to library" are checked. Otherwise you may leave some things behind.
  3. Click OK and then Quit iTunes.
  4. The default location for all of the iTunes files on Windoze is C:\Documents and Settings\username\My Documents\My Music\iTunes. Copy the entire folder to some transfer medium.
  5. On the target machine, which can be the same machine, but a different folder or partition, copy the iTunes folder and all contents from the transfer medium to the destination.
  6. Now comes the magic ... Launch iTunes on the target machine while holding down the SHIFT key.
  7. A dialog appears allowing you to target the new library location. Click on "Choose Library" and navigate to the new location.

This will transfer all of your playlists, podcast subscriptions, ratings, etc.

Page last modified on October 13, 2008, at 01:09 AM