Moving iTunes library out of My Documents

Q: My laptop is synced to a server at work – everything in My Documents is backed up to the server. I do not want iTunes in My Documents, but I have been unsuccessful in setting it up to stay out of the My Music folder in My Documents. I have not found an exact answer in the archives. They all tend to say things like, “why wouldn’t you want it stored there?” Well, it’s not one bit work related and I really shouldn’t have my iTunes files backed up on the server. Can you help?

– Sarah

A: Although moving the iTunes folder to another location used to be a complex process involving registry editing, iTunes 7 introduced a built-in method for telling iTunes to simply use another location for the iTunes folder. To choose another location for the iTunes folder, simply hold down the SHIFT key while starting iTunes and you will be prompted to either choose an existing iTunes library in a different location or create a new iTunes library.


Moving iTunes library out of My Documents

Note that if you have an existing iTunes library that you would like to move, you first need to copy the iTunes library to the new location, as the “Choose Library” option must be used to specify an existing iTunes library. The process of actually moving an existing library actually involves two steps: First you would need to move the iTunes Media folder by changing the path in your iTunes advanced preferences and then using the Consolidate Files option to copy the actual files to a new location. Once the files had been copied, you could then shut down iTunes, copy the remaining files over to the new location, and then use the method above to point iTunes to that new location.

More detailed information on how to do this can be found in our our iPod 201 article, Transferring your iTunes Library


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