How To Backup Itunes Library On Mac

There are a few ways to transfer your iTunes library from one computer to another. When you get a new Mac, use Setup Assistant (or Migration Assistant, if you’re switching from Windows) to move files—including your iTunes files—from your old computer to the new one. How to set up an iTunes library on a network-attached server Free your iTunes media from the shackles of a hard drive on your Mac.

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To ensure against losing your iTunes library in the event of hard drive failure you should backup your library. As your library grows backing up to CD or DVD can become impractical and copying the entire contents of your library to an external drive each time you wish to make a backup is inefficient. If your computer isn't already supplied with a backup mechanism then a tool such as SyncToy is an ideal approach. In use the program compares two sets of folders and can update each with the changes that have occurred in the other since the last sync; adding, removing or updating files as appropriate.

Note that SyncToy is a Windows only tool. Mac owners can make use of Time Machine, or tools such as Carbon Copy Cloner or Synkron which can do a similar job to SyncToy.

How to use SyncToy to backup your iTunes Library

Download and install SyncToy 2.1, a freely available utility. The first time you run it you should get this screen.

Click on Create New Folder Pair.

Click Browse to set the left folder.

Select your iTunes folder, click OK, then click the right-hand Browse button to set the right folder.

Browse to the drive or network folder you want to use for the backup, use the Make New Folder button to create a new folder, rename it as iTunes, select it and click OK.

Click Next.

Backup Itunes Library To Icloud

Use the Synchronize option if you want to be able to copy new and updated files in both directions. Otherwise use Echo or Contribute. Contribute provides the greatest protection against deleting the backup copy of any file that you might accidentally remove from the main library. Click Next.

Name your folder pair iTunes and click Finish.

Select iTunes in the list of available folder pairs and click Preview.

SyncToy will scan your folders. The more files you have, the longer this phase will take. Check the results of the preview which, on the first occasion, should contain many New and Create Folder operations and nothing else. If you are happy the suggested list of operations makes sense then click Run and wait for it to complete.

Back Up Itunes Library

The next time you preview the folder pair only new or changed files will need updating. Pay attention to any deletions - these may represent files that have been updated and renamed in which case there will be a matching new file or they may represent files that have been accidentally deleted which you will want to restore from the backup file set before you proceed with another sync operation. If they are files you deleted intentionally then you can proceed. It is also worth noting that iTunes will add and remove files and folders from within the Album Artwork directory as and when you update artwork in your library.

As long as your library is self-contained, that is all files are consolidated and the media folder is directly inside the main iTunes library folder, then the backup copy of your library will be fully functional in its own right from whatever drive letter or path it appears on. If, on the other hand, your media folder is split out from the library folder, or scattered among different folders, then you will need to create other folder pairs to take care of that and, in the event of a disaster, you would need to restore the media folders to the same paths that the currently occupy. Alternatively, see Make a split library portable for advice on rearranging your library into the standard layout.

Backing up with SyncToy is an ideal preparation for moving your library to a new computer. Use it to create the initial backup on an external drive. Then move the that drive to your new computer. Install SyncToy on the new machine and use the same steps to copy the library into the local hard drive. You then have everything set up ready to replicate subsequent updates to the library to the backup set. If your new computer doesn't have enough room for your library then it can be run directly from the external drive, but you should obtain a second drive to act as backup to the first.

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N.b. You can also use SyncToy to create other folder pairs for other important data that you wish to back up regularly.

Make additional backups of your library database

As well as backing up the entire library it may also be useful to make additional backups of your library database file from time to time. iTunes will sometimes create a copy of the database in the Previous iTunes Libraries folder as part of an upgrade to iTunes when this involves some change to the internal layout of the database. These files can be useful for recovering playlists deleted in error, for example, and can used to recover the previous working state of the library if it is damaged after a crash or upgrade. See Empty/corrupt iTunes library after upgrade/crash for details.

To make an additonal copy of the .itl file, close iTunes, wait for it finish saving files, locate the iTunes Library.itl file in the main iTunes folder, select and press Ctrl+C to copy, browse to the Previous iTunes Libraries folder, press Ctrl+V to paste. Press F2 to rename the new copy and rename it in the form iTunes Library yyyy-mm-dd.itl to match the others.

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Are you fed up with the frequent errors, issues and problems in using iTunes to transfer media files to iOS devices, purchase songs and other media files from iTunes Store, or backup/restore iOS media files from iOS devices to computer? You don’t have to uninstall iTunes from your PC or Mac because the culprit is not iTunes but media contents you streamed, downloaded or synced to other devices using iTunes. These contents are crowding up your iTunes and making it function less effectively.

Therefore, you need to reset iTunes Library to get a new start. Once your iTunes Library is reset to its default settings, all your media contents, playlists, ratings, and apps will be completely wiped out. So, if you don’t want to lose your files, backup your iTunes Library to an external drive.

  • Part 1: How to Reset iTunes Library
  • Part 2: What If Your iTunes Cannot Work Normally?
  • Tip: How to Consolidate, Find and Backup iTunes Library

How to Reset iTunes Library

If you want to reset iTunes Library on your Mac or Windows PC, then follow the steps outlined below.

#1. How to Reset iTunes Library on Mac

Step 1. Shut down iTunes on your Mac computer.
Step 2. Click on “Go > Home”.
Step 3. Select the Music folder, and click the iTunes folder.

Step 4. You will see two files named “iTunes Library.itl and iTunes Music Library.xml,” delete both files from your Mac.
Step 5. If you’ve completed the above steps, then open your Mac and create your own music library.

#2. How to Reset iTunes Library on Windows PC

Step 1. Shut down your iTunes on your Windows PC.
Step 2. Open Windows Explorer, then click “Music > iTunes” folder.
Step 3. You will see two files named “iTunes Library.itl and iTunes Music Library.xml,” delete both files from your Windows PC.

Step 4. If you’ve completed the above steps, then open your PC and create your own music library.

What If Your iTunes Cannot Work Normally?

If resetting iTunes Library was unable to fix iTunes errors and issues, then a better approach to solve iTunes issues and problems should be adopted. iMyFone TunesFix is the only iTunes repair tool that can fix all iTunes errors and problems without erasing or tampering with your iTunes Library files.

iMyFone TunesFix can correct any iTunes errors, or repair iTunes when it refuses to launch, reset, or respond to certain commands. It can fix iTunes errors such as install, connect, restore, backup, and reset errors. You can use it to boost your PC by freeing up your iTunes caches and media contents clogging up your iTunes.

How To Backup Itunes Library To Flash Drive On Mac

Key Features:

How To Backup Itunes Music Library On Mac

  • Fix and reset iTunes Library when iTunes fails to work.
  • Repair any iTunes issues without losing important files or library.
  • Clear contents clogging up iTunes to free up space and boost your computer.
  • Fix more than 100 iTunes errors and issues in a few minutes.
  • Completely uninstall iTunes and all of its related components.

Steps to repair iTunes via TunesFix:

Step 1. Download and install iMyFone TunesFix on your PC.
Step 2. Launch iMyFone TunesFix and it will auto-detect your iTunes, and if there is no issue with your iTunes or iTunes software components, then you’ll be in the Home interface.

Step 3. From the Home interface, choose “Fix Other iTunes Problems” as the repair mode.

Step 4. Click “Repair”, and make sure you are in a stable internet connection. When the repair is completed, click “Open iTunes” and try using iTunes again.

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How to Consolidate, Find and Backup iTunes Library

It would have been appropriate to first discuss how to consolidate iTunes library, find the iTunes media folder, and backup iTunes library and media files, before discussing how to reset iTunes Library on Mac or Windows PC. However, we let the first come last for a genuine reason.

How to Consolidate iTunes Library

Follow these steps to consolidate your iTunes Library.

Step 1. Launch iTunes, and go to the menu bar to click “File > Library > Organization Library”.
Step 2. Select “Consolidate files” and click “OK”.

How to Find iTunes Media Folder

The iTunes media folder is by default located in the iTunes folder.

  • On Mac: Open the Finder window, and click “Username > Music”.
  • On Windows 7 to 10: Go to Users > Username > Music.

However, if the iTunes media folder is not located in the default folder, then open iTunes and click “Preferences > Advanced > iTunes Media Folder Location” to know where to find your iTunes Media Folder.

How to Back up iTunes Library

You can back up your iTunes library to an external hard drive before resetting it.

Step 1. Close iTunes on PC or Mac, and find your iTunes folder.
Step 2. Drag the iTunes folder from its location and drop it on the external hard drive.

Now, you have a copy of your iTunes library in an external hard drive for safekeeping. Nevertheless, ensure to use iMyFone TunesFix in fixing iTunes whenever using iTunes for file management becomes difficult, and most iTunes operations end in an error.

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