Running iTunes from an external hard drive

Q: I am currently trying to clear up my computer hard drive and transferring things onto an external hard drive. I am aware that the iTunes library can be backed up to the external hard drive but can iTunes run using the hard drive as the source for the files? In other words, can I delete the files from my computer hard drive and use my external drive only?

– Bryan

A: Absolutely! You simply need to relocate the iTunes Music folder and the iTunes database in two separate steps onto the external hard drive. Once you have done this, iTunes will run almost entirely from your external hard drive. The only exception will be your iTunes preference settings, which remain stored in a preference file on your computer. However, these preference files as extremely small compared to the iTunes library database and media content.

Check out our recent tutorial on Transferring your iTunes Library for detailed instructions on how to do this.

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