Move iTunes Library to New Computer, Maintain Ratings and Playlists

by Tom Harrison in mac os x

When you get a new computer, you can move your iTunes library over to the new system without losing your settings, ratings, playlists, and other data.


iTunes logo

Got a new computer? Want to move your iTunes library to the new box? Don’t want to lose your settings, ratings, or playlists? Check out “How to transfer a full iTunes library between machines” from Mac site Mac OS X Hints.

The Mac OS X Hints article does a great job of showing you how to neatly package and move your iTunes library, but does have the potential to confuse because they leave out the nitty gritty details of actually transferring the files between computers.

Transferring files from PC to Mac

The official Apple website has an excellent article called “How to use Migration Assistant to transfer files from another Mac“. The article details how to set up sharing on your old PC and your new Mac, and then transfer files from the PC to the Mac, across your home network.

Transferring files from Mac to PC

You can easily use the directions in Apple’s article to send files from Mac to PC instead – just use “My Network Places” on your PC to locate the Mac. You may need to enter your account name and password.

Transfer files without a network

If you are unable to transfer files between your Mac and PC via network, try transporting them with an external hard drive. Attach the hard drive to the source computer, save your files to it, safely remove it (eject it if you’re on a Mac), and then hook it up to the destination computer.

Now that you’re able to transfer your iTunes library between computers, return to the Mac OS X Hints article and get busy. Alternatively, productivity site LifeHacker has a similar article entitled “Move iTunes to another computer and keep library data intact“.