Opening iTunes library from external hard drive
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.
Q: I have been running iTunes successfully from an external drive for a couple of years. Last week my laptop crashed and I’ve had to get another which is an HP pavilion dv6. I’ve reloaded iTunes software from the website but cant get it to ‘point’ at the library on the external disc. I’ve got over 2000 songs many are copied from the original vinyl so I’m desperate.
A: How to proceed depends on whether you are actually storing your library database on the external hard drive or only your media content.
The iTunes Media folder path found in your Advanced iTunes preferences simply specifies where your content is stored, not where the actual library database goes. The library database itself and other supporting files remain stored in the “Music” folder on your internal hard drive unless you’ve specifically taken other steps to manually copy them to another location and point iTunes to that location.
If you have done this and your iTunes library is on the external drive, you should be able to point the new installation of iTunes at it simply by holding down the SHIFT key while starting iTunes. This will prompt you to either create a new iTunes library or choose an existing one from another location. Simply select the latter option and browse for the “iTunes Library.ITL” file on your external hard drive. See Transferring your iTunes Library for more information on this. Keep in mind that even if you didn’t copy your iTunes library database to the external hard drive, but have a copy of it from a backup of your old laptop, you should be able to use this just as easily.
If you didn’t move or backup your iTunes library database before your old laptop crashed, then you’re mostly out of luck in terms of recovering the database. In this case, you’ll simply have to start over with a new iTunes library and reimport all of your music from the external hard drive. Information such as name, artist, album and genre are stored within your music files, however you will lose iTunes specific information such as playlists, ratings and play counts. Note that you may be able to recover some of this information from your iPod. See our iPod 201 article, Copying Content from your iPod to your Computer for more information.
- Will removing a credit card from Safari also remove it from Apple Pay?
- Can I mute Handoff calls coming into my Mac from my iPhone?
- How do I keep my iPhone calls from ringing on my Mac?
- Why doesn’t Traffic show up on my Today Notifications Screen?
- Why doesn’t my iPhone reconnect to Wi-Fi after I turn it on?
- Why can’t I see the iPad-style landscape view on my iPhone 6 Plus?
- Happy Presidents’ Day from iLounge
- Apple plans to begin iPhone manufacturing in India starting with the iPhone SE
- Rumor: iPhone 8 to eliminate Touch ID in favor of Facial Recognition
- Report: Apple working on 4K for next-generation Apple TV
- Apple announces WWDC 2017
- Apple patent points to possible new Smart Keyboard with dedicated ‘Share’ and ‘Emoji’ keys
- Jaguar announces in-car Apple Pay payment option at UK Shell gas stations
- Shareholders seek more diversity in Apple upper management
- Apple to fight Nebraska ‘right to repair’ bill
- Apple eyeing another supplier for future OLED screens
- 1More Triple Driver In-Ear Headphones
- Revogi Smart Lightbulb, Smart Lightstrip, Smart Candle + Smart Meter Plug
- Audeze iSine10 In-Ear Headphones
- MOCACARE MOCACuff Connected Blood Pressure Monitor
- Apple AirPods
- Elgato Eve Motion
- Olloclip Core Lens Set for iPhone 7/7 Plus
- Logitech Pop Home Switch Starter Pack
- Elgato Eve Light Switch
- iHome iPLWBT5 Docking Clock Radio for iPhone and Apple Watch
- Top Five: The Best Products for Building a Smart Home with HomeKit
- Instant Expert: Secrets & Features of watchOS 3
- Instant Expert: Secrets & Features of tvOS 10
- Instant Expert: Secrets & Features of iOS 10
- Inside the betas: iOS 10 Photos gets Advanced Computer Vision
- Inside the betas: iOS 10 Music app delivers ‘clarity and simplicity’
- Inside the betas: iOS 10 Maps gets a major redesign
- Inside the betas: iOS 10 shakes up the user experience
- Inside the betas: watchOS 3 promises a real speed boost
- Inside the betas: A sneak peek at what’s new in tvOS 10