Storing iTunes Library outside of My Documents folder
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: For many years I’ve had a number of XP machines in my house, one of which is used as a file server for the rest. All of the XP machines use the same My Documents folder on the server. I only installed iTunes on one machine and it wrote everything that it puts into My Documents on the server’s shared drive. I keep all of my music files on a USB drive attached to the iTunes machine. I completely lost that machine and I needed to rebuild it using Windows 7-64. When I replaced this machine in the past, I connected the USB drive and told XP to use the shared My Documents directory. I found that iTunes reinstalled successfully and I still had all of my music, cover art, iPods and playlists.
Now, I’m having a problem with Win7; it won’t let me choose the shared folder as its Documents folder. I am looking for guidance on how to reinstall iTunes and not loose setups that took years to put together. Possibly I could temporarily install iTunes on one of my other machines and have a chance to export some type of config file that could be used when I install on the Win7 machine. As far as I know, when installing you can point to a folder with the music files, but you can’t avoid using the My Documents folder. I would greatly appreciate any suggestions on how to go about this. Thank you.
A: The first piece of good news here is that you can uninstall and reinstall iTunes as often as you like without actually affecting any of your iTunes database files or media content. Removing iTunes using the standard uninstallation tools simply removes the application—all of your data is left intact. Similarly, reinstalling iTunes will only create a new iTunes database if one is not already present on your computer.
However, from the description of the problem you’re having, it sounds like you don’t even need to go this far. While iTunes wants to store it’s library database under your Windows XP “My Documents” folder by default, this is by no means your only option. You can easily tell iTunes to open a library database from any location you like—even a network location—simply by holding down the SHIFT key when starting iTunes.
Instead of starting iTunes right away, this will display a dialog box providing you with the opportunity to either create a new library database or choose an existing one in another location. Simply click the “Choose Library” button and a standard Windows file selection dialog will appear where you should then be able to select the shared “My Documents” folder.
Once you’ve selected a new library database location, iTunes will continue to use this as your default database until you change it again using the above method. Note that this will not affect the location of your iTunes Media folder; the location used in your iTunes Advanced preferences controls this separately regardless of where the actual library database is stored. See Transferring your iTunes Library 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?
- Invoxia adds Amazon Alexa to Triby
- Apple provides more details on new Apple Music API
- Apple Music for Android adds music videos, Family Plan support
- Icahn pulls out of Apple over China concerns
- Apple launches CareKit, with four apps debuting today
- Alleged schematics for iPhone 7 ‘Pro’ show up in Japanese magazine
- Nintendo bringing Fire Emblem, Animal Crossing to iOS
- FBI will not disclose San Bernardino iPhone hack
- Notes from Apple’s Q2 2016 earnings call
- Apple Q2 results: $50.6B revenue, 51M iPhones, 10M iPads sold
- August Doorbell Cam
- August Smart Lock HomeKit enabled + Smart Keypad
- ecobee3 HomeKit-enabled smart Wi-Fi thermostat
- Zagg Now Cam
- Yantouch EyE Portable Wireless Speaker
- Netatmo Wind Gauge
- Incipio Stashback for iPhone 6/6s
- Schlage Sense Smart Deadbolt with HomeKit support
- ClamCase ClamCase Pro for iPad mini 4
- Brydge BrydgeMini II Keyboard for iPad mini 4
- Filling the Gap: A look at third-party HomeKit apps
- Instant Expert: Secrets & Features of tvOS 9.2
- Instant Expert: Secrets & Features of iOS 9.3
- Opinion: Why Apple needs a dedicated HomeKit app
- Inside the betas: What’s new in iOS 9.3 and tvOS 9.2 (Updated)
- Life with HomeKit: Our experiences with Apple’s home automation system
- Under the Radar: 10 ‘hidden’ details about the new Apple TV
- Instant Expert: Secrets & Features of iOS 9.0
- Under the Radar: A closer look at smaller iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus changes
- A First Look at iOS 9’s Transit in Apple Maps (Updated for watchOS 2)