iTunes 8: Moving Your iTunes Library

I talked about moving your iTunes Library to a new location in a previous Quick Tip, but times change, and so do the steps you follow to perform certain tasks -- like moving your iTunes Library to a different hard drive.

Here's how to move your iTunes Library from its default location to a different folder or hard drive:

  • Start by making a folder to hold your iTunes media library once it's moved. Be sure to name the folder something descriptive so you know that's where your music, movies and TV shows are stored.
  • Launch iTunes and select iTunes > Preferences
  • Click the Advanced button.
  • Be sure Keep iTunes Music folder organized is checked.

Check here to let iTunes keep your playlists intact.

  • Now click the Change button. It's in the iTunes Music folder location near the top of the Preferences window.
  • Navigate to the location of your newly made iTunes music folder, select the folder and then click the Open button.
  • Click the OK button to close the Preferences window.
  • Now go to File > Library > Consolidate Library.
  • iTunes will warn you that consolidating your libraries can't be undone. Go ahead and click OK to continue.

The Change button lets you pick a new iTunes media folder.

iTunes will dutifully copy all of your music, movies, TV shows and podcasts to the new location. Depending on how big your library is, this might take a while, so be patient.

Once iTunes finished copying your library to its new location, you can go ahead and delete your original iTunes Music folder. It's hiding in your home directory/Music/iTunes. Just be sure to leave the rest of the files and folders in your iTunes folder alone.

Moving your iTunes Library to a different hard drive is a great way to free up space on your computer's built-in hard drive. Don't forget that your iTunes content won't be available when that hard drive isn't connected to your computer.