6
This content is rated TV-MA, and is for viewers 18 years or older. Are you of age?
Sorry, you are not old enough to view this content.

How To Video: Move your iTunes library to an external drive

About Video Transcript

How To Video: Move your iTunes library to an external drive

3:17 /

Has your iTunes media library grown too big to fit on your computer? CNET's Donald Bell shows you how to offload your content to an external drive.

Is your iTunes Media Library hogging up too much space on your computer? I'm Donald Bell, and I'm here to show you how to run your iTunes Library from an external hard drive. If you have a massive iTunes Library filled with music, movies, and podcasts, it's not a bad idea to offload that content onto a separate external or internal hard drive. But, transferring that library isn't as obvious as dragging, dropping your iTunes folder onto a new drive. It's not hard, but to do it right, you've got to let iTunes do the work for you. To get started, open iTunes and make sure the drive you want to move your library too is connected to your computer and ready to go. Next, go into your iTunes Preferences. On a PC, you'll find this under the edit menu. And for a Mac, it's under the iTunes menu. Click under the "advanced tab", and where it says "iTunes Music Folder location", change the location to a folder on your external drive. Next, make sure the copy files to Music Folder option is checked. This ensures that any new content you download or rip into iTunes gets transferred to the new location. After that, hit the "OK" button. Now, you're not done yet. There's one more big step to take before iTunes really starts moving your library to the new location, but before we commit your computer to what could be a few hours of transfer time, let's take a moment to do some general iTunes housekeeping. Delete any old podcasts you're not listening to or maybe some movies or TV shows you never plan on watching again. There's probably a lot of clutter in your Library that you don't need to waste time copying. A couple of minutes here could save you hours of transfer time. When you're ready to make the transfer, click the iTunes file menu, then go to "library" and select "organize library". You'll see a window with options here for consolidating and organizing your library. It can't hurt to check them both but the critical one here is the first option for consolidating files. This is gonna take all the files referenced by iTunes on your computer, your movies, your music, your audio books, podcasts, TV shows, and it's gonna copy it over to the new location on your external drive. It will take some time, and remember, it's not deleting the old files, it's just copying them to the new location. If you're feeling confident later on, you can move your old iTunes Music folder on your local drive to the trash can after the transfer is complete and check again to make sure everything is still working and then permanently delete the old files. Once the dust is settled, and all your precious iTunes content is running smoothly from the external drive, you can finally pat yourself on the back. Unless the drive is powered off or disconnected, iTunes will remember to load your music library from the external drive every time it launches. Without the drive connected, iTunes will temporarily revert back to the internal drive and function for things like streaming podcasts or Internet radio or downloading stuff from the iTunes Store, but you won't be able to play your Library content without connecting it back up to the external drive. For CNET.com, I'm Donald Bell helping you to give your iTunes Library some extra breathing room.

New releases

Say hello to ZTE's mid-tier Grand X for Cricket Wireless
1:16 December 18, 2014
Featuring a 5-inch display, a dual-core processor, and a 5-megapixel camera, the affordable ZTE Grand X is available prepaid from...
Play video
The best Apple accessory products in 2014
5:07 December 18, 2014
Brian Tong picks his top 5 favorite products from 2014 that he uses with his iPhone and iPad, and you have a chance to win them al...
Play video
Is Ring better than Doorbot?
2:10 December 18, 2014
Ring suffers from some of the same old Doorbot drawbacks, but does show signs of improvement.
Play video
2014: The Year of the Hack
2:59 December 18, 2014
We ended this year the same way we rang it in - reeling from cyberattacks. Meanwhile, tech experts forecast doom for the future of...
Play video
Sony SmartWatch 3 has built-in GPS but its poor display doesn't impress
2:06 December 18, 2014
Sony's first Android Wear-based smartwatch has GPS built-in so you don't need to take your phone out running to track your progress....
Play video
XCAR Awards 2014: Best Classic
2:00 December 18, 2014
XCAR look back over 2014 to figure out what the best classic car they drove this year was.
Play video
The biggest news and gadgets of 2014 in CNET UK podcast 415
40:17 December 18, 2014
It's the end of another crazy year in the tech world, so we look back at the gadgets that lit up our year, including the Galaxy Note...
Play video
Use your dSLR as a PC webcam
1:15 December 17, 2014
Lexy Savvides shows you a simple way to turn your Canon or Nikon dSLR into a PC webcam.
Play video