How to Transfer the iTunes Folder to an External Hard Drive

Moving your iTunes Music Folder to an external hard drive can be done in a few simple steps. This method will allow you to move all music and media files in your iTunes Library Folder to another hard drive while retaining all your playlists, ratings and play history.

You will need

  • iTunes
  • External hard drive
  • Computer with USB port


  1. Boot up and connect your external hard drive to your computer’s USB port before opening iTunes.
  2. Open iTunes and ensure that the “Keep iTunes Music Folder organised” option is checked in iTunes Preferences > Advanced.
  3. From the iTunes menu, choose preferences.
  4. Click the Advanced button in the Preferences window.
  5. Click Change in the iTunes Music folder location pane.
  6. In the Change Music Folder Location window that appears, navigate to the name of the external hard drive.
  7. Click the New Folder button in the Change Music Folder Location window.
  8. In the New Folder window that appears, enter the name of the new iTunes Music Folder.
  9. Click Create.
  10. 10. Click Open in the Change Music Folder Location window.
  11. 11. Click OK in the Advanced window.
  12. 12. From the File menu choose Library > Consolidate Library; a message appears saying: “Consolidating your library will copy all of your music into the iTunes Music folder. This cannot be undone.”
  13. 13. Click Consolidate; this action copies all of your music and media files to the new location. There must be enough hard disk space available to copy all of your music and media files.
  14. 14. After the folder has been copied, disconnect the external hard drive carefully.


  1. Ensure that you power up and connect your external hard drive BEFORE you open iTunes. If you don’t, iTunes will prompt you to either locate the library or to create a new library–which result in an empty library.
  2. Ensure your external drive has enough capacity to hold all the music in your library before attempting to copy your files to it.
  3. Drag the original iTunes folder to the trash if you do not want it anymore; delete the contents of the trash bin.