Ask Different is a question and answer site for power users of Apple hardware and software. Join them; it only takes a minute:

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

My Windows 7 Laptop HDD crashed. I bought a new HDD and installed Windows on it. I also installed iTunes.

I'm patting myself on the back for setting up full backups of my laptop to an external HDD. I have a backup taken from 2 weeks ago!

All my songs are on an external drive, but I do not have an XML copy of my library.

What do I have to do to restore my iTunes content from the backup?

share|improve this question
+1 for maintaining proper backups. – Philip Regan Mar 13 '11 at 12:30

Reimport the content to your library from the external hard drive. Go to File - Add folder to library and select the folder where your iTunes content is. I would recommend having it copy files to iTunes Media Folder when adding to Library from Edit->Preferences->Advanced. Your playlists and podcast subscriptions probably won't be restored but at least you'll have your content back.

share|improve this answer
up vote 0 down vote accepted

I moved the entire iTunes folder (among other folders) from my old HDD to the new HDD - everything automagically appeared in the iTunes application.

share|improve this answer

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.