Copy iTunes Library from a Windows PC to a Mac
If you’re moving from a Windows PC to a Mac, then you’ll probably want to move your iTunes library with it. This lets you keep all of your music, apps, and downloaded media, and you won’t skip a beat. This article will cover moving an iTunes library from a PC to a Mac OS X based machine using just about any version of iTunes, to insure everything is transferred over to properly you’ll go about consolidating all music files into a single transportable library that can then be copied directly to a Mac. This is by far the easiest way to transfer an iTunes library from Windows to OS X (and even vice versa), and it’s entirely free – there is no need to download any of the third party apps or services that claim to do it for you.
Let’s get started copying your iTunes media over!
How to Move an iTunes Library from a Windows PC to a Mac
To get started, you will either need to have an active SMB network where you can transfer directly between OS X or Windows (click here for a simple PC to Mac file sharing guide), or use a hard drive that has formatted for dual compatibility between a Mac and Windows so that you can use it as a means of copying the data over.
- From iTunes, go to Edit then to Preferences
- Click on the ‘Advanced’ tab, select the checkbox next to ‘Keep iTunes media folder organized’ then close the preferences
- Go to the File menu, then to Library submenu, and select ‘Organize Library’ (in older versions it’s labeled as “Consolidate Library”)
- Now you need to locate your iTunes library. Do this by navigating from the Edit menu to Preferences, and back to the “Advanced” tab
- You will see the iTunes library location specified here, now that all your music is consolidated you will want to move this folder to your Mac’s home Music directory – copy this folder through Mac-Windows networking, or copy it to a USB flash drive as an in-between storage drive which can then be used to copy over to the Mac
- Copy all the data over and wait, this process can take a while depending on the size of the total iTunes library, and depending on the speed of the drive or network connection used for copying
- Launch iTunes on the Mac, it may take a few moments while it gathers the new library information
If you have other music in your Macs iTunes directory be sure to back that up before copying over the files from the PC so you don’t accidentally overwrite any files.
I have done this a few times for myself and a couple friends who have made the switch to Mac and always follow this method, but it wasn’t until I stumbled on a post that I realized we hadn’t covered this here before in the context of a PC to Mac switch. If you just want to move your iTunes library to another location on your Mac it’s a pretty similar process.
Enjoy your iTunes music, and happy switching!