Copying your iTunes library on a PC

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Fig 1. Location of iTunes folder on PC
Fig 2. Using Get Info to find file location

About this article

This article provides instructions on making a copy of your personal iTunes music library on a PC. It is intended for both students and employees. It is useful for supporting routine backup and for preparing for a laptop exchange or re-image.

Copying your entire iTunes folder

The default save location for iTunes on a PC is your Music folder on your laptop's hard drive. When you install iTunes, it creates a subfolder called iTunes in that Music folder (Fig 1). You can make a copy of that entire iTunes folder if you wish. Note that you may have changed the default location. If you right-click on a song in iTunes, select Get Info, and select the File tab (Fig 2), it will specify the location of that file on your laptop.

Copying individual songs

You can make a copy of a particular song or set of songs:

  1. Open your iTunes folder
  2. Open your iTunes Media folder
  3. Open your Music folder
  4. Inside, you will find folders that contain all of your songs saved as .m4a (MPEG 4 audio) files. Make copies of the individual files or the folder in which they are stored

Pro tips

  • If you are exchanging your laptop, make sure to deauthorize it in iTunes before you turn it in. Otherwise, it will count against your five devices that you can authorize to use your iTunes library. If you forget to do this, the workaround is to deauthorize all of your accounts from another device. You can then authorize your new laptop. To learn how to authorize and deauthorize your computers and other devices click here.

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