I recently bought a new MacBook Pro to replace my old MacBook.

The old MacBook has my entire iTunes library on it and is currently running Snow Leopard.

The new MBP is running Mavericks.

How can I move the entire library to the new MacBook?

I tried the instructions on the support site, but they do not make sense to me because the folder names are not called the same thing in both OS's.

Any suggestions?


3 Answers 3


Though maybe a bit hard to locate the relevant information in this this support article, once found, it's easy to follow.

I would proceed as follows:

Consolidate your iTunes Library on your old machine.

  1. Make sure the following is checked: iTunes > Preferences > Advanced > Copy files to iTunes Media Folder when adding to Library. Click OK. Note you can also see the path of to your library in this pane.
  2. Next, File > Library > Organize Library... > Consolidate Files. For earlier versions of iTunes, this may be File > Library > Consolidate.

Copy iTunes Library to an external Hard-drive

  1. You can find the location of your iTunes Library from the "Advanced" pane mentioned earlier. By default, the location is ~/Music/iTunes/. Find the path from this pane, select it, and copy it using Command+C
  2. Open Finder. Use the key combination Shift+Command+G to bring up a "Go to folder" window. Paste the copied path here and click ok.
  3. Drag the folder named "iTunes" to the external HDD. Let it copy. Depending on the size of your Library, this could take a bit. Once it has completed, eject the external Hard drive

Copy iTunes Library to new computer

  1. Connect the external hard drive to your new machine.
  2. Open Finder. Use the key combination Shift+Command+G again and copy the following path, exactly as shown, into the pop-up window: ~/Music/
  3. You will see an iTunes Folder present. Drag it into your trash.
  4. Next, open the external drive, and drag the iTunes folder from the external drive to the same (now empty) Music folder on the new machine.
  5. Open iTunes. Your original library, including the metadata (playlists, etc), should now be present on the new machine.
  • 1
    @Monirod this should be the answer. Worked like a charm migrating from one machine using Mavericks to a new machine using Yosemite.
    – cfx
    Jun 3, 2015 at 16:23

You can just locate the relevant iTunes library and copy to the new. I have used this to copy from a PC when I first got a Mac.

I wouldn't actually do this, as there are many better ways to do so. My first choice would be Migration Assistant but you could use the iTunes Backup and Restore from Backup


iTunes should always be backwards compatible with earlier libraries, so you can just copy the library over to the new machine, and open it up. Drag and drop over wireless, or ethernet, will work just fine.

Two key things here:

1) You can have your iTunes folder anywhere, but the default location is iTunes inside your home directory, inside a folder called Music. If you copy it from your old computer to the new, into the same location iTunes should find and use it without any issues.

2) When you start iTunes it'll create a new iTunes library, if it doesn't find one. Hold down option when you start iTunes and it'll prompt you to locate and use a library that already exists. You can do this to point it to your existing iTunes library copied over from your old laptop, if you want to store it in a non-standard location.


3) iTunes will upgrade your library for the latest iTunes version. Once you do this you won't be able to go back, if you ever want to copy it back to the old laptop. Something to keep in mind.

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