Storing iTunes videos on a different hard drive

Q: I currently have my iTunes library consolidated and all the media stored in the iTunes folder on my PC’s internal hard drive. However I have recently begun to add more Movie and TV Shows to my iTunes library and I am running out of space on the hard drive. I have read how to move the entire library to an external hard drive, but I would just like to move the various video files to an external hard drive and keep all my music on the PC. Is there a quick way to do this without having to delete and then re-add all the video files to iTunes? I am using a PC running Windows 7. Thank you for your help.

– Graeme

A: Unfortunately there’s no easy way to handle this within iTunes as it expects you to store all of your media in one master folder. Fortunately, however, there is a way you can work around this at the operating system level.

Windows 2000 and later supports a feature known as “NTFS junctions” and Windows 7 also adds support for “NTFS symbolic links” similar to a feature found on Unix and Mac OS X operating systems. Either of these features can be used to create a virtual directory in your main iTunes Media folder that in reality points to another location, such as an external hard drive.

Windows 7 includes a command-line tool, mklink that can be used to create junctions or symbolic links, and if you are comfortable working at the command line this is the simplest way to do this.

Alternatively, there are third-party tools available that provide a graphical front-end to simplify the process.

Essentially what you would do is shut down iTunes and then go into your iTunes Media folder on your internal hard drive, and move the “Movies” and “TV Shows” folders to your external hard drive. Once you’ve done this, you can use the mklink command or a suitable third-party utility to create a new “Movies” folder in your iTunes Media folder that links to the actual Movies folder on the external hard drive. If using mklink, the command would look similar to the following:

mklink /D C:\Users\username\Music\iTunes\iTunes Media\Movies D:\Movies

Once this link is created, any application that looks for files in the iTunes Media\Movies folder would actually be using the D:\Movies folder. iTunes would continue to behave as if all of your movies were still stored on your internal hard drive, but would actually be reading those files from the linked location on the external hard drive.