Backing up iTunes before a reformat | iLounge Article

Article

Backing up iTunes before a reformat

Author's pic

By Jesse Hollington

Social Media & Software Editor, iLounge
Published: Friday, June 27, 2008
Articles Categories: Ask iLounge, iTunes, Windows

Ask iLounge offers readers the opportunity to get answers to their iPod-, iPhone-, iPad-, iTunes-, or Apple TV-related questions from a member of the iLounge editorial team. We'll answer several questions here each week, and of course, you can always get help with more immediate concerns from the iLounge Discussion Forums. Submit your questions for consideration using our Ask iLounge Submit Form. We reserve the right to edit questions for grammar, spelling, and length.

View the complete Ask iLounge archives...

Q: I’m planning to format my Windows XP computer. Is it possible to save my current iTunes music library and to re-import them again later on when I reinstall Windows XP again?

- Danny

A: Absolutely. In a default configuration, iTunes stores everything you would normally care about in a folder named “iTunes” located under your “My Music” folder in your current user profile. Unless you have changed the default locations in your iTunes preferences, this folder normally contains your iTunes library database and all of your media files.

Simply backup this folder and everything in it to an external hard drive or CD/DVD before your reformat your computer. When you have reinstalled Windows XP and iTunes, copy this folder back into its normal location (under your “My Music” folder) before your start iTunes for the first time. Once it’s copied back, restart iTunes and it should pick up the existing library database and all of your existing media files.

Of course, if you’ve moved the “iTunes Music folder” (under the “Advanced” tab in iTunes Preferences), you will need to back that up in addition to the main “iTunes” folder, as this secondary folder is where your actual media files will be located.

The only thing that will not be backed up by this process is your iTunes Preferences, which are stored elsewhere in Windows. Although you can back these up as well, these do not always restore properly, so it’s better simply to re-visit your iTunes preferences settings after you have your library up and running and confirm that they are all set to your liking.

Our our iPod 201 tutorial on Managing your iTunes Library on an External Hard Drive has more information on how this all fits together.

The most asked question at iLounge.com:

How do I copy content from my iPod/iPhone onto my computer?

Converting DVDs, web video, TV shows and more:

The Complete Guide to iPod, Apple TV and iPhone Video Formats

Converting DVDs, web video, TV shows and more:

The Complete Guide to iPod, iPhone and Apple TV Video Conversion (Mac)

Converting DVDs, web video, TV shows and more:

The Complete Guide to iPod, iPhone and Apple TV Video Conversion (Win)

Best Speakers?

Best Headphones?

Best Case?

Best In-Car Solution?

Best Battery Extender?

Find more answers in the latest publications in our Library. Free downloads developed by the editors of iLounge!

Ask iLounge Archives:

1-24-14: Viewing only downloaded iTunes Match tracks

1-22-14: Splitting purchased content between two iPads

12-13-13: Non-Bluetooth Lightning dock speakers

12-11-13: Shared Apple ID and switching away from iPhone

12-6-13: Syncing multiple iCloud data with a family Mac

Read more recent Ask iLounge articles...

View the complete Ask iLounge archives...

« Creating Smart Playlists for Purchased items

Getting Album Artwork automatically »

Related Stories

Comments

If you have a comment, news tip, advertising inquiry, or coverage request, a question about iPods/iPhones/iPad or accessories, or if you sell or market iPod/iPhone/iPad products or services, read iLounge's Comments + Questions policies before posting, and fully identify yourself if you do. We will delete comments containing advertising, astroturfing, trolling, personal attacks, offensive language, or other objectionable content, then ban and/or publicly identify violators.

Commenting is not available in this section entry.

Email:

Recent News

Recent Reviews

Recent Articles

Shop for Accessories: Cases, speakers, chargers, etc.