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Question: Moving Itunes from old PC to New PC

I been trying to move my iTunes folder on an old PC to a new PC. Several methods found on line but none providing any success. The thread - http://support.apple.com/kb/HT4527 refers to moving from a Mac to a Mac or Windows to a Mac but not a PC to a PC. Have been following other user suggestions but when I copied my old folder to new computer all the songs and playlists showed up, but all of the songs were in a directory that could not be found and would not play. Each song has to be found and located in order to play (have some 5,000 songs)

Song file info on the old computer was C:\Users\Dave\Music\iTunes\itunes Music\The Rolling Stones...

Song file info on the new computer was file://localhost/C:users/Dave/Music/iTunnes/Itunes Media/The Rolling Stones...

(I didn't make a mistake on the slashes)

My Method follows this:

I first went to old Itunes>edit>advanced and clicked on

"Keep Itunes Media folder organized".

"Copy files to iTunes Media folder when adding to library" and

"Share iTunes Library XML with other applications"

Then went to File>Library>organize Library>and clicked on Consolidate files

Copied Itunes folder to an external drive

Copied external drive iTunes folder to new computer into the same Music directory (same as old computer)

Tried starting iTunes and could see all songs and playlists but when choosing a song, itunes error stated song could not be used because original file could not be found. Song info listed above certainly proves that.

Also tried starting Itunes hold the shift key down and "Choose Library" and opened iTunes Library.itl. it made no difference, none of the songs could be found.

Could someone please help me understand what I am doing wrong.

iPad, iOS 8.1.2

Posted on


Mar 3, 2018 1:27 AM in response to drbro In response to drbro

See Move your iTunes library to a new computer. The library on the old computer is in an old layout which ideally you would rearrange into the modern layout before moving. That said it may be sufficient to rename the media folder on the new machine from iTunes Music to iTunes Media since your file://localhost example shows that is where iTunes is expecting to find things.


Mar 3, 2018 1:27 AM

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Mar 3, 2018 7:04 AM in response to turingtest2 In response to turingtest2

First, thank you very much for replying. After spending over 8hrs on this it was very nice to finally get some help. To say I'm frustrated is an understatement and I'm learning much more about iTunes. Thanks again.

The itunes on Computer 1 (old) is Ver I downloaded the latest iTunes ( on Computer 2 (new).

Computer 1 has lots of CD burned music as well as Apple music purchases.

This is the structure of my old iTunes folder


Album Artwork

iPod Games

itunes Media

itunes Music

Mobile Applicaiton

Previous iTunes Libraries

ITunes Library Extras.itdb

ITunes Library Genius.itdb

iTunes Library.itl

ITunes Music Library.xml


Stucture of my "empty" new iTunes on Computer 2


Album Artwork

ITunes Media

iTunes Library Extras.itdb

i Tunes Library Genius.itdb

iTunes Library.itl


The Structure on Computer 2 was deleted (actually I made a copy) and I copied the old structure onto the new computer.

I don't see how I can re name my iTunes Music folder to iTunes media as I already have a folder named that. Isn't that right? Looking at the music folder in the iTunes Media folder, it appears that directory contains different songs than the other iTunes Music folder.

I certainly would like to get the old iTunes into the correct structure if that would facilitate this transfer but not sure how to do that. There are several hot links buried in the message that I am trying to comprehend.

If I am not understanding something please let me know and any further advice would be appreciated

Thanks again

Mar 3, 2018 7:04 AM

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Mar 3, 2018 9:21 AM in response to turingtest2 In response to turingtest2

Yes, no doubt this thing is a mess...my wifes itunes, I don't use it much... and there are over 12,000 songs in music folder.

Media folder under preferences>advanced is

C:\users\maureen\music\iTunes\iTunes media

Also, I did a consolidate before copying. I thought most of the songs from iTunes Music was copied to iTunes Media/music but in looking at the folders there are over 12,000 in the itunes Music and only 3000 in the media/music

It also doesn't seem to matter whether the song is in the itunes music folder or the media\music folder the song won't play until the song is either copied into the media\music file or pointed to by going thru locate.

She has lots of duplicates as well but a bit nervous to just start deleting because i don't understand if the specified path sees only one of the copies...anyway one problem at a time.

Mar 3, 2018 9:21 AM

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Mar 3, 2018 9:44 AM in response to drbro In response to drbro

Hmm, if you consolidated on machine 1 then one would expect anything that is in ...iTunes\iTunes Music\ to have a counterpart in ...\iTunes\iTunes Media, with the library connected to the second copy, but your numbers suggest it is the other way around.

A possible approach to clean things up would be to put the old iTunes Music folder inside the iTunes Media folder, use File > Library > Add Folder to Library, to add the media folder to the library which will add in every file that iTunes isn't already connected to, then use the techniques in Re: Duplicate songs to clean out the duplicates.

In your post listing the parts of the library above iTunes Games and Mobile Applications would nowadays be found inside the designated media folder, and this detail - file://localhost/C:users/Dave/Music/iTunnes/Itunes Media/The Rolling Stones - also points to the old school layout. This should be fixed using File > Library > Organize Library > Rearrange Files in the folder iTunes Media which will move the artist folders down one level. The two folders mentioned are ignored in iTunes 12.7 or later but move them inside the media folder in case you ever want to reuse something that is in them.


Mar 3, 2018 9:44 AM

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Mar 3, 2018 4:13 PM in response to turingtest2 In response to turingtest2

What a freaking mess. I added the folder to the library and as expected duplicated most of the songs. I then first deleted the duplicated songs that had the exclamation sign. I then set about deleting duplicates. Its what I've been doing for the last 4 hrs! (roughly 12,000 songs) Just about to the end and went back to the top to check the list and everything looked ok. Tried playing a song and exclamation sign popped up, tried another same thing and another. I guess I have to try every song to ensure it plays well! Isn't there a way to verify song is in library and operational?

Mar 3, 2018 4:13 PM

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Mar 3, 2018 4:27 PM in response to drbro In response to drbro

Hmm. I was recommending you use a script that automatically identifies and removes duplicates, including those with exclamation marks, in a way that also preserves your ratings, play counts, and playlist membership. 😕


Mar 3, 2018 4:27 PM

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Mar 3, 2018 4:54 PM in response to turingtest2 In response to turingtest2

Don't think I am skilled enough to create a script so I was doing it manually. My darn fault for not checking as I was going along. Going with a script would have been faster but I'm not sure the result would have been different. The song was listed cleanly until you try to play it then the exclamation appears. Obviously something else is wrong. I wondering If I shouldn't try going back to my old computer, get that all straight and then try a transfer but I'm hesitant to mess up the only good working copy I have

In my old itunes directories I have songs in the Music>iTunes>itunes Music and in Music>iTunes>iTunes Media>Music.

As I mentioned earlier there are a lot more songs in iTunes Music than in iTunes Media, in fact when I check songs for info I can't seem to find one with an iTunes Media location. I really think everything in Media>Music is in the iTunes Music folder. Isn't that just opposite of what is supposed to be? I'm at a loss what to do next.

Mar 3, 2018 4:54 PM

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Mar 3, 2018 5:22 PM in response to turingtest2 In response to turingtest2

I've got all the duplicates removed. Some of the songs do play others appear with exclamation but only after I try to play. Does one have to try playing each song? Isn't there a way to check all the songs to see what shape the library is in?

Mar 3, 2018 5:22 PM

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Mar 3, 2018 5:26 PM in response to drbro In response to drbro

Here are two approaches that can clear up the dead links in the library.

Lost & Found Playlists

Create a playlist called Found, select everything in the Songs view in Music and drag it into the Found playlist. Create a smart playlist called Lost matching All the rules Playlist is Music and Playlist is not Found. Your lost tracks will be in this playlist. Select all with Ctrl+A then use Shift+Delete to remove.

Or use iTunes Folder Watch and enable its option to check for dead tracks on startup.


Mar 3, 2018 5:26 PM

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Mar 3, 2018 7:43 PM in response to turingtest2 In response to turingtest2


Thank you for your efforts. I think part of the problem is I just don't understand how the files work. The library is a real hodgepodge of storage locations and I can't seem to get it organized to transfer or after transfer in current state able to fix it. I would really like to start over but don't know how or where I can get some hands on help. Thank you anyway.

Mar 3, 2018 7:43 PM

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Mar 4, 2018 12:24 PM in response to drbro In response to drbro

There is an alternate approach given here: Re: iTunes can’t locate my music files. I.e. move everything the way you did already, and then repair the broken links afterwards. It should be possible to lick your library into shape with a little perseverance.


Mar 4, 2018 12:24 PM

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Question: Moving Itunes from old PC to New PC