Mac run itunes from external hard drive

The entire iTunes library, including meta data etc, can be put on an external disc by moving the top-level iTunes folder and its contents to an external disc. When iTunes is first run after the move it will request a path to the library.

Move Your iTunes Library to an External Drive

Once this is set e. In addition the disc can be plugged into another computer and the library accessed. I find this facility very useful as I can put the library on the NAS connected to our home network and access the library from wherever I wish. One needs to be aware of course that iTunes cannot be run simultaneously by 2 or more users trying to access the same library. If your drive isn't connected, iTunes will temporarily default to the original location until your drive is connected again.

This is also a good opportunity to check to make sure your playlists are all intact.


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Click on a few of your playlists and make sure they're still stocked with music and play correctly. If not, return to Step 2, set your library path to its original location, and restart iTunes. Keeping your original iTunes library around as a backup isn't a bad idea, but most people are motivated to move to an external drive for the sake of freeing up space on their computer.

If you're feeling confident that your entire iTunes library has been safely copied over to its new location, there's no reason why you can't delete the files in the original folder. Of course, we advise that you be cautious whenever you delete something from your computer. To be extra cautious, try trashing only a few files at a time from the original location, then launch iTunes and make sure the files you deleted still show up and play properly from their new location. Be careful not to delete files from within the iTunes application, thinking you're deleting old files.

The deleting we're talking about here is from within the Windows or Mac OS file directory. Also, be sure not to delete your "iTunes Library.

Bottom line, the only iTunes content you should consider deleting after copying your collection are the files within the iTunes Music, Music, Movies, Audiobooks, Podcasts, or TV Shows folders located on your computer. Other files in the "iTunes" folder surrounding it are all worth holding on to.

OK, so you've deleted your old iTunes library and your new library running from the external hard drive is working great. But what happens when you go to run iTunes and your drive isn't connected? Don't panic.


  • Moving the library.
  • How to Move iTunes Library to External Hard Drive!
  • Step 1: Preparation.
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Even though your old files are long gone, iTunes will not delete its record of the file simply because it can't be found. If you try to play one of these missing files in iTunes, you'll get a prompt asking if you'd like to locate the file.

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Just say no. Once your external drive is connected back to your computer and you've relaunched iTunes, all your files will play just fine. In the meantime, even with the drive disconnected, you can still use iTunes to stream music, and download new content from the iTunes store. Just remember to use that "Consolidate files" command from Step 5 once you've connected back to your external drive so that any new downloads you made while away from the drive will get copied over to the new location.

Select iTunes and drag it to the external hard drive. Click Authenticate when prompted to give permission to move the iTunes folder.

How to Move Your iTunes Library to an External Drive | Seagate UK

Enter your administrator password. Step 3: Redirect iTunes to the new location Once you've transferred a copy of your iTunes library onto an external hard drive, you will need to set a new path for the iTunes app by redirecting it to search the external hard drive for content, rather than your local drive. Launch iTunes and hold down the Option Key at the same time. Click on Choose Library when the window appears.


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Select your external hard drive under Devices in the Finder sidebar. Click on iTunes.

How to Move Your iTunes Library to an External Drive

Click Open. Step 4: Make sure it worked If you performed the first three steps correctly, when you open iTunes, it should look the same as it did before. Launch iTunes. Select a song, podcast, movie, app, or other content. Right-click or Control-click on the song.

How to Use External Hard Drives for iTunes : iTunes Help

Select Get info from the drop down menu. Click on the File tab in the info window. Step 5: Delete the old iTunes library Once you have transferred a copy of your iTunes library onto an external hard drive and redirected iTunes to the new location, you can delete the iTunes folder on your local hard drive, freeing up space on your Mac.

Quit iTunes. Select iTunes and drag it to the trash. Step 6 [optional]: Move your iTunes library to a new Mac Once you have your iTunes library on an external hard drive, you can relocate it to a new Mac. Quit iTunes on your new Mac. Connect your external hard drive to your new Mac using a USB cable.

Open the external hard drive once it appears on your new Mac's screen. Click on Finder on your new Mac to open a Finder window. Select your new Mac's hard drive. Select your local hard drive under Devices in the Finder sidebar. Any questions?