Saturday, November 10, 2012

Moving All iTunes Information to a New Computer

This morning I decided that since my PC has not had a fresh OS load in almost 3 years and that I recently added in a super fast SSD drive that I would take the time today to do a reload of Windows 7 x64 and all applications.

One of my biggest concerns was losing my family's iPhone, iPad, and iPod syncs.  After doing a lot of research on the web about this I didn't really find any articles that addressed moving EVERYTHING!  I know how to move the music, movies, etc.  I know how to copy the database.  What I wanted to know was how to move everything so my phone and other ijunk will still sync properly.

So I did my own homework on it, tested a few things, and now I have step-by-step instructions here on how to do this.

First I identified the four folders in which iTunes stores everything and can add up to multiple gigabytes of data:

  • C:\Users\Username\AppData\Local\Apple Computer\iTunes
  • C:\Users\Username\AppData\Roaming\Apple Computer\MobileSync\Backup
  • C:\Users\Username\AppData\Roaming\Apple Computer\iTunes
  • C:\Users\Username\Music\iTunes (this may be different if you moved your media folder)

Note:  On your system username would be replaced by the username logged on.

 Here's the new folder structure I will be using after the system is reloaded:  **Note I am not moving the location of C:\Users\Username\AppData\Local\Apple Computer\iTunes.  This folder is not that large but does contain some important XML data.

  • E:\Backup\MobileSync\Backup to relocate C:\Users\Username\AppData\Roaming\Apple Computer\MobileSync\Backup
  • E:\Data\iTunes to relocate C:\Users\Username\AppData\Roaming\Apple Computer\iTunes
  • E:\Data\iTunes to relocate C:\Users\Username\Music\iTunes
The last item of business is to put a pointer in place so that iTunes can find the data where I have moved it to without issue.  This is done by making a link to the new locations from the old.  Below are the commands to run that will accomplish this:

1. C:\mklink /J "C:\Users\Username\AppData\Roaming\Apple Computer\MobileSync\Backup" "E:\Backup\MobileSync\Backup"
2: C:\mklink /J "C:\Users\Username\AppData\Roaming\Apple Computer\iTunes" "E:\Data\iTunes"
3. C:\mklink /J "C:\Users\Username\Music\iTunes" "E:\Data\iTunes"

What this does is allow these files to grow considerably larger, not be on my SSD, and iTunes is none the wiser.  By creating the links the whole move is transparent to iTunes as the application thinks it is accessing data on C: drive.

I hope this helps you to move your iTunes library and even relocate it to a larger drive if necessary.  Good luck!


Anonymous said...

God, I had found this post some weeks ago but I had problems with my hard drive cause it became RAW, so I couldn't find this page again...
Well, the thing is that this post has been pretty useful for me so congrats and keep up the good work! :P

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