Cleaning up old folders after moving iTunes library

Q: You helped me move my husband’s library of songs back to an external drive back in 2008 and it was so great. However the one thing I didn’t have the courage to do at that time was to delete the iTunes Media folder. Now I think I may have to because I think it’s still taking up a lot hard drive space, something we bought the external drive to do in the first place. Can I still do it now and what is the exact location of the Media file? I can’t tell with all the sub-folders! Thanks in advance.

– Carolyn

A: The orignal iTunes Media folder will still be on your internal hard drive in the iTunes folder under your “My Music” folder. It is very likely still named “iTunes Music” since iTunes did not start naming this folder “iTunes Media” until iTunes 9 which was released after 2008.

Chances are that the media files in this folder are no longer being used as they were copied to your external hard drive when you first consolidated your library. Assuming that you have left the iTunes Media folder path set to the external hard drive and always had the external hard drive connected when using iTunes, then any new content you’ve imported should also have been placed in the iTunes folder on the external hard drive, rather than your internal one.

There is a very easy way to make sure everything is on the external hard drive, however. Simply perform the “Consolidate Files” option again in much the same way as you did the first time you moved your library. Essentially, go back over the instructions in our guide on Transferring your iTunes Library, leaving the iTunes Media folder path set to your external hard drive and simply running the “Consolidate Files” option again. This will not transfer or copy anything that’s already on your external hard drive, but will pick up any stray files that may have been placed in the internal hard drive’s iTunes Music folder.

Once you’ve done this, everything that’s listed in your iTunes library should be on the external hard drive and you can safely go back and delete the iTunes Music folder from your computer’s internal hard drive.

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