Transferring iTunes library to a new computer
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 got a new laptop last Christmas and I downloaded iTunes onto it. Now I’m trying to sync my music, pictures, and videos from my old computer to my new laptop, but when ever I click the Sync button for my iPod, two choices pop up: “Erase and Sync” and “Transfer Purchases.” I don’t think I want to erase my iPod so I click Transfer Purchases but all that pops up is an error message which shows all my purchases as an error! What do I do?
A: Firstly, if you still have your old computer available, it would be far simpler to transfer your iTunes library from the old computer over to your new laptop. This would ensure that any ratings, playlists and other metadata are preserved, and since it would be the library database, iTunes would immediately recognize your iPod as already “belonging” to your new laptop and it would sync seamlessly. Check out our tutorial on Transferring your iTunes Library for more information on how to do this.
If you no longer have the old computer, you can recover your content from your iPod back onto your new laptop, but you will likely need a third-party tool to accomplish this. The “Transfer Purchases” option in iTunes will only transfer back music purchased from the iTunes Store, so unless your library consists solely of iTunes-purchased content, you will still need a method for getting your other content transferred back. Our tutorial on Copying Content from your iPod to your Computer provides more information on some of the tools available to do this.
The errors that you are seeing when transferring purchases are likely related to your new computer not having been authorized for the iTunes Store account that was previously used to purchase these items. You can manually authorize the new computer by selecting Store, Authorize Computer from the iTunes menu and entering your iTunes Store user ID and password.
Note that transferring your iTunes library from your old computer is definitely the best of these options if you still have this available, since all of your relevant data is there. Third-party tools which recover content from an iPod attempt to rebuild your iTunes library based on what’s found on the iPod, but this is a less accurate process than simply transferring over an exact copy of your library database in the first place.
- 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
- 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
- iDevices Outdoor Switch Power Outlet
- 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