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How to Backup and Restore your iTunes Library

By Contributing Author

What app would you think of first thing, if you were to pick the most reliable media player or a media library management tool? We bet it would be iTunes. iTunes is famed for its high performance, usability, and versatile features. No wonder, lots of users opt for this handy app to store, organize, and manage their digital multimedia files on Mac and iOS devices. But not only Apple users can take advantage of iTunes. Presently, more and more Windows users download the celebrated program to their devices to shop at iTunes Store and manage their multimedia files.

  • Now getting an iTunes download for Windows 7 64 bit is as easy as ABC. All you need to do is to visit iTunes Download page, select the required version, and install it on your non-Apple gadget.

If you’re no stranger to iTunes, you have already explored its main functions and features. As for beginner users… Well, they’ll learn how to use iTunes quickly. We’re willing to help you with that! And we’ll start with explaining how to back up and restore your media library in iTunes.

Let’s Get it Started

Did you know that only a couple of iTunes library files and a single media folder serve as a repository for all the multimedia files in your iTunes library? So, before backing up your library, you need to consolidate it to make sure all files will remain safe and intact. Moreover, it’s essential that you redownload all the items bought from the iTunes Store, including songs, TV series, films, etc. It’s also advisable that you enabled the Automatic downloads option for your future purchases. Thus, all your purchases will be automatically downloaded to all your Apple devices, which will reduce the chances of losing this or that purchase. Some clients mistakenly consider iTunes in the Cloud a backup service and don’t bother to backup their library. Keep in mind that having a local copy of the acquired media is the surest was to safeguard your purchases. And now it’s about time you learned how to consolidate your iTunes library.

Consolidating iTunes Library

  1. First, you need to fire up iTunes.
  2. Navigate to the menu to select the File option. From there, click Library and then Organize Library.
  3. Finally, choose the Consolidate files option.
  4. Confirm your actions by hitting OK.

Note that during the consolidation process all multimedia files scattered across your device are automatically added to your iTunes Media folder. Once the copies are saved in the aforementioned folder, you may want to remove the original files from your hard drive. Thus, you’ll free up much valuable space on your device.

Locating the iTunes Media Folder

If you’re a Mac user, you’ll be able to find your iTunes Media folder by doing the following:

Click on the Finder icon, select Go, then Home, Music, and finally, iTunes.

Users that have Windows 7 and later version should navigate to Users, click username, and then Music.

Users whose machines are operating under XP will need to open Documents and Settings, click username, then My Documents, and finally, choose the Music option.

Once you locate the iTunes Media folder and perform the consolidation, you may proceed to backup your media library.

Backing Up Media Files

  1. Exit the iTunes app.
  2. Locate the iTunes folder (now you know how to do it quickly).
  3. To back up the library to your external drive, you’ll need to relocate your iTunes folder. Once you place it into an external hard drive, the process of copying media files should start. 

Restoring iTunes Library

Now that you have successfully backed up your media files to an external drive, you can quickly restore required items to your PC. If you’re restoring files from a different machine, you need to have the latest version of iTunes installed on it.

  1. Exit iTunes.
  2. Navigate to your external drive. Mac users can take advantage of their Finder sidebar to locate the drive, while Windows users should look it up in My Computer.
  3. Remember the iTunes folder you’ve already backed up? Now it’s time to drag it from the external drive location to some other place on your internal hard drive. It’s a good idea to opt for the default location.
  4. Once you re-locate the folder, you’ll need to press and hold the Option key and Shift Key on Mac and Windows computers, respectively.
  5. After that, you’ll be prompted to Choose iTunes Library, which you can do by selecting the corresponding option.
  6. Select the folder (see step 3) from the hard drive by clicking Choose and Open on Mac and Windows PCs, respectively.
  7. Finally, you should click the iTunes Library.itl file.
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