I have a 500GB HDD that I want to use for media storage. Currently, it's 75% full of TM backups for an ancient iMac that expired. I replaced it with a MacBook Pro. I don't need to keep any of the TM backups for the old iMac, BUT the TM backups contain a lot of iTunes music files that I want to save if I can. I spent a long time transferring my CD collection & I've no wish to start over. Ultimately, I hope to create an iTunes library on the external drive to free up space on the MacBook. There's currently little commonality between the old and new iTunes libraries, which is why I'm so keen to keep the old files.

For clarity, I don't need to keep any other parts of the TM backups just the iTunes music files.

So, do I need to delete the older backups to create space to save the iTunes files and then delete the last back up too? And if I just drag them into the trash and empty it, will that recover the space? Apart from the media files, I have no use for the backups now.

Although I'm not a tech savvy person, I can usually follow instructions quite happily. I'll be grateful for advice from any quarter.

Thank you.

  • What's the final size of the old iTunes library?
    – klanomath
    Dec 7, 2016 at 12:50
  • 1
    I'm a little confused as to which files are on which drive. Is the 500GB HDD in the first sentence an external drive? If so, please edit your question to clarify. Are the iTunes files on this drive in a separate iTunes folder, or as part of the TimeMachine backups on this drive. Please edit your question to clarify.
    – IconDaemon
    Dec 7, 2016 at 13:40
  • You do not need the TM backups from the ancient Mac anymore?
    – user61744
    Dec 7, 2016 at 14:11
  • Hi, OP edited for greater clarity. The 500GB drive is external. I don't need the backups, I just want to keep all the iTunes music files. These are (confusingly) contained on two different users; one is 60.5GB, and the other 7.1GB. Hope this helps. Thank you for your interest.
    – Mark
    Dec 7, 2016 at 14:46

1 Answer 1


Make sure you have all iTunes files on your Mac. Make one library with all music in it. You can put music back with TM from the backups to your Mac.

After you have one library you can delete the whole TM backup. And start using the external harddisk by copying the iTunes library to it.

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