Move an iTunes library from your Mac to an External hard drive

iTunes (Photo credit: ʇhamin - free lancer)

Have you maxed out your Macintosh HD’s Volume with your iTunes library?  Well I have a fix for you. Follow these simple steps below, and you’ll be on your way to freeing up space on your Macintosh HD’s Volume.

  1. Before you begin you will want to make sure iTunes is closed.
  2. Open up Finder.
  3. Navigate to Music.
  4. Locate the folder labeled iTunes.
  5. Right click on the folder and select Copy “iTunes”.  If you don’t have right click enabled; hold down the Control key and press the Right Click on your mouse.  One other way is to select the iTunes folder and hold down the Command key on your keyboard and press C.
  6. Once the above step is completed, navigate to your external hard drive and click on it to make it active.
  7. Now right click and select Paste.  Again, if you don’t have right click enabled; hold down the Control key and press the Right Click on your mouse. Also, If you wish to use your keyboard you will hold down Command key and press V.
  8. Your library will now begin to copy to the external hard drive.  The time it will take to copy will depend on how much data is in your iTunes library.
  9. Once your iTunes library has completed copying. You will open iTunes by holding down the Option key and click on the iTunes icon.
  10. A window will open instead of iTunes.  The window is entitled Choose iTunes Library.  You will have three options to choose from – “Quit, Create Library…, and Choose Library…”.  You will choose the last option – “Choose Library…”.
  11. Navigate to your external hard drive in the dialog window.  Locate the iTunes folder and click once on it, and then click Open.
  12. Your iTunes will look identical as it did when it resided on your Macintosh HD Volume.
  13. Now that your iTunes is pointing to the external drive you can now delete the iTunes library that is on your Macintosh HD.  However, I would not delete it right away.  I would make sure that everything is coming up properly.  Click on a few different music files and video files in iTunes to make sure that everything is pointing to the right place.
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