Transferring iTunes library from Mac to 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.
Q: I have a new iPad 2. I have purchased music from the iTunes store and copied music from CDs that were downloaded from my home iBook. I wish to transfer them into my iTunes account on my work laptop. Can this be done without losing the music from the CDs?
A: Yes. There are several ways that you can go about this, but the basic task is to copy the music from your home computer over to the work laptop. You can either do this directly using an external hard drive, network connection, or optical media such as recordable CDs or DVDs, or you can use the iPad 2 as an intermediate device.
It sounds like in this case you’re dealing with a Mac at home and a Windows laptop at work, which makes the process a bit tricker, but still very doable. The problem is that iTunes stores full paths to every file in your library database, and because the file systems between Mac and Windows are fundamentally different, it’s impossible for it to directly reference these files on the new computer, which may result in broken links.
The solution in this case is to use the “Consolidate Files” option, which copies everything into the “iTunes Media” folder. You can that iTunes Media folder over to the new computer preserving it’s layout. When iTunes can’t find a track in its specific location, it will fall back to looking for it in the location where it would normally place it by default. If the file is in that location, as it would be after a “Consolidate” operation, iTunes will successfully find it and update the location to reflect its new Windows-based pathname.
This is all explained in much greater detail in our tutorial on Transferring your iTunes Library.
Alternatively, if you have all of the content on your iPad 2, you can simply copy it onto the work laptop from there. Purchased content can easily be transferred using the iTunes application, but you will need to rely on third-party tools to transfer the music you have ripped from your own CDs. See 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?
- Papa John’s releases pizza-ordering app for Apple TV
- Apple call Australian banks’ request a ‘detriment to consumers’
- EU determines Apple should pay 13 billion euros in back taxes to Ireland; Apple plans appeal
- SIM tray photos hint at alleged ‘gloss black’ iPhone color
- Trademark filings hint at wireless EarPods, two new Apple Watch models
- Report: EU to rule against Apple-Ireland tax deals, recommend Apple pay 1B+ Euros
- Apple sued over unresponsive iPhone 6/6 Plus touchscreen issues
- Apple announces Sept. 7 event
- Philips introduces Hue Motion Sensor
- Photos hint at improved battery for new Apple Watch
- Belkin PowerHouse Charge Dock for Apple Watch and iPhone
- Western Digital My Cloud (OS 3)
- Distil Union Stanley Stand
- Philips Sonicare FlexCare Platinum Connected Bluetooth Toothbrush
- Audeze EL-8 Titanium Over-Ear Headphones
- Defined Corp Dome Stand for Apple Watch and iPhone
- Speck StyleFolio Pencil for 9.7” iPad Pro
- Audeze Sine On-Ear Headphone
- First Alert Onelink Wi-Fi Smoke + Carbon Monoxide Alarm
- Logitech Create 9.7” iPad Pro Keyboard Case
- 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
- 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