Transferring iTunes library from XP to Vista

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Q: I recently purchased a new HP Desktop with Vista. I moved my old iTunes library to an external hard drive and then moved the library from it to my new computer being careful to make sure it went in the same path. When I open iTunes it says it is using this folder, but my music is not showing up. Any suggestions?

– Kim

A: The likely situation here is that you transferred your actual media content in your “iTunes Music” folder, but did not transfer the files in your main “iTunes” folder, which would include the iTunes library database.

By default, iTunes stores everything in a folder named “iTunes” under your Windows “My Music” folder. Your iTunes library database is stored directly within this folder and your media content is stored in the “iTunes Music” sub-folder. Your media content can be moved to just about any other folder on your computer by changing the setting in your iTunes Advanced preferences, however your library database remains in this main iTunes folder.

If you haven’t moved your iTunes Music folder to another location, the simplest way to move your iTunes library to your new computer is to copy the entire “iTunes” folder, including all sub-folders, from your “My Music” folder on your old computer into your “My Music” folder on the new computer. Also be sure to overwrite any files that are already there in the process as iTunes may have created an empty database on the new computer the first time it was run.

See our iPod 201 article, Transferring your iTunes Library for more detailed information.

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Jesse Hollington

Jesse Hollington was a Senior Editor at iLounge. He's written about Apple technology for nearly a decade and had been covering the industry since the early days of iLounge. In his role at iLounge, he provided daily news coverage, wrote and edited features and reviews, and was responsible for the overall quality of the site's content.