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Moving iTunes to external hard drive, free up space?

377 Views 3 Replies Latest reply: Dec 8, 2012 10:32 PM by Limnos RSS
G Buner Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
Currently Being Moderated
Dec 8, 2012 10:14 PM

So, I recently have totally filed up my Mackbook pros memory (500gb), almost completely with the items in my itunes library. This has forced me to place my new documents into my dropbox, which as you know does not have much memory. I know that i is possible to "back up" my itunes library to an external hard drive. So my question is, is it possible to move it to an external hard drive and free up space on my computer? I know this may pose a problem when syncing my devices with my computer (for music and such), but would it be possible to sync music from my mac to my iphone using iCloud?

  • John Galt Level 7 Level 7 (33,085 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Dec 8, 2012 10:27 PM (in response to G Buner)

    Quit iTunes then drag your entire iTunes folder to another volume. This usually exists immediately within your Mac's Music folder. Be sure to copy the entire iTunes folder and its contents.


    Next time you launch iTunes hold an Option key while opening it. iTunes will ask you to locate your music library. Navigate to your external hard disk drive (if that is where you decide to keep it). iTunes will remember its location.


    Don't start iTunes unless the external volume is mounted and available, otherwise iTunes will revert to its default location. If that happens just use the Option key again.


    When you are certain everything has been copied and everything works as you expect, you can delete the original iTunes folder.


    Be sure to have a backup strategy for the external hard disk drive, as you would for anything you do not wish to lose.

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  • John Galt Level 7 Level 7 (33,085 points)

    By the way the above assumes you have both "Keep iTunes Media folder organized" and "Copy files to iTunes Media folder when adding to library" checked in iTunes Preferences > Advanced.

  • Limnos Level 8 Level 8 (36,585 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Dec 8, 2012 10:32 PM (in response to G Buner)

    iTunes: How to move [or copy] your music [library] to a new computer [or another drive] - - a somewhat bewildering and not always easily understandable set of options.


    Quick answer if you use iTunes' default preferences settings:  Copy the entire iTunes folder (and in doing so all its subfolders and files) intact to the other drive.  Open iTunes and immediately hold down the Option (alt) key (shift on Windows), then guide it to the new location of the iTunes Library.itl file in the moved iTunes folder.
    For the record there's this reference for iTunes 11 but it really doesn't strike me as having the specifics you need. iTunes 11 for Mac: Move your library to another computer - 


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