How to Transfer Your iTunes Library to a Flash Drive

by David Weedmark Google

    Transferring your iTunes library to a flash drive will ensure that if your computer crashes you'll still have all of your music and videos in a safe place. Using a flash drive is also a handy way of moving your music to another computer. Depending on the size of your music collection, and how old your flash drive is, you may not be able to hold your entire iTunes library on that single flash drive. At the time of publication you can get a 32GB or 64GB USB flash drive -- perhaps for even less than the cost of a much smaller flash drive purchased several years ago.

    Consolidating Your ITunes Library

    Step 1

    Launch iTunes. Click the "Edit" menu and select "Preferences." Click the gear-shaped "Advanced" button at the top of the window. This displays the location of your iTunes media folder. It is displayed in the format "/Users/your_name/Music/iTunes/iTunes Music."

    Step 2

    Make a note of the iTunes media folder location. This is the "iTunes" folder that contains the "iTunes Music" folder.

    Step 3

    Make sure the "Copy Files to iTunes Media Folder When Adding to Library" option is selected. If it isn't, enable this option by clicking the check box. Click "OK."

    Step 4

    Click the "File" menu. Select "Library," "Organize Library" and then "Consolidate Files." A dialog box opens, warning you that all your iTunes music files will be copied to the iTunes media folder. Click "Consolidate."

    Copying Your ITunes Library

    Step 1

    Close iTunes.

    Step 2

    Connect the flash drive to your computer by inserting it into any empty USB port.

    Step 3

    Click the Windows Start button and select "Computer." Note that the flash drive is located in the Devices With Removable Storage section of the Computer window.

    Step 4

    Navigate to the iTunes media folder located on your hard drive.

    Step 5

    Drag the "iTunes" media folder onto the flash drive icon.

    Step 6

    Wait for the progress indicator to close, indicating that the files have all been copied to the flash drive, before ejecting the flash drive. This may take several minutes or even longer depending on the number of files you have.


    • Note that the "iTunes" media folder contains several other folders including "iTunes Music," "Album Artwork," "Mobile Applications" and other files and folders. If you just want to transfer your music, you can drag the "iTunes Music" folder to your flash drive instead. Album covers and copies of your mobile applications will not be copied.
    • If your music files were scattered in different locations before you consolidated them into the iTunes Music folder, you can delete these files from the other locations. They have all been copied to the iTunes Music folder. This will clear up space on your hard drive.

    About the Author

    David Weedmark's articles have appeared in dozens of publications since 1989, including "The Windsor Star" and "The Ottawa Citizen." As well as being a technology consultant, he is the author of several books, including "The Tanglewood Murders." Weedmark studied English at the University of Toronto.

    Photo Credits

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