Changing the location of the iTunes library

Running out of hard disk space, adding a second drive to your computer, switching computers, or just because you do are some of the reasons you might have to change the location of your iTunes folder .

Doing it is not complicated, on the contrary. But as always, it’s good to have a backup in case something goes wrong. You can use Time Machine or the option that you like. Now let’s see how to do it .

Moving the iTunes Media folder, Apple method

Changing the location of the iTunes library
Changing the location of the iTunes library

Apple explains on its support page the correct way to move the iTunes Media folder. Folder containing music files, books, applications, podcasts, etc. The process is as follows:

  • Open iTunes and click Preferences. Now click Advanced again.
  • Now we check the Keep iTunes Media folder organized box. Then, at the top of the window we’ll see the current location and to the right a button that says Change. Click it and a window will open so we can decide on a new location. Once decided, we accept.
  • Finally, we’re going to consolidate the library. Once we have established the new location, from the application menu bar we go to File – , Library – , Organize Library. After clicking we will see a window where we check the first box, Consolidate files. The files from the old iTunes Media folder will be copied to the new location. And most importantly, the scores, play counters, etc… will be maintained.

There, it’s all over. We’ve created a new iTunes Media folder, the files from the old folder have been transferred to it and all that’s left is to delete the old iTunes Media folder . But watch out, only the folder, not the files in the root of the iTunes folder.

Moving the iTunes folder, non-Apple method

The above is the procedure Apple recommends. But there is another, faster option. Which not only moves the iTunes Media folder but also the entire iTunes folder. This is the procedure we use for iPhoto libraries, for example.

From the Finder, with the application closed, we move the entire iTunes folder to the new location . It doesn’t matter if it’s an external drive, a network drive or another directory on our Mac.

Then open iTunes and hold down the Option (ALT) button. A dialog will appear from which we can select the library to use. We locate inside the iTunes folder the file iTunes Library.itl and that’s it.

Problems? Well, I shouldn’t. I have always done so and I have never had any problems, not even with the play counter, scores, lists or any other data.

What about the iPhoto or Aperture library?

Well, exactly the same as we saw last time. By copying the whole file to the new location . Then we open the application, iPhoto or Aperture, and keep the Option key pressed to select the new photo library.

There, that’s how fast and easy we’ll have our library in the new location. Solving space problems or simply creating a different photo library for each year. Something that many do to avoid monstrous photo libraries by number and size.

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