My built-in SSD is relatively limited when it comes to storing all my media files, which is why most of my iTunes library lives in the cloud via iTunes Match, for streaming on demand.

In the near future I'm going to be disconnected from the internet for about a month, and I want to have a offline copy of all my music so I can continue to listen to it, but I don't want to download it all to my main iTunes library.

How can I create a separate, offline library containing every song I have in iTunes Match?

1 Answer 1


The solution is relatively simple. Make sure you have enough space available on your external drive (I needed about 100GB).

Hold option (alt for Windows users) when opening iTunes and choose to create a new library. Save this library to a location on your external drive.

Turn on iTunes Match, select every song (⌘+A), right click, and choose download. Wait as your entire music collection is downloaded.

Now you can switch between your local library and offline library whenever it suits you by holding option as you start iTunes and choosing your preferred library.

  • on windows you will need to substitute the "option" with the "alt" key.
    – user51963
    Jun 24, 2013 at 18:38
  • Actually option=alt, on Windows it's shift iirc
    – napcae
    Oct 29, 2013 at 23:59
  • This worked. Just a little more detail on the "Turn on iTunes Match" step. On Mac (assuming you're signed in to your Apple ID), use this: Music>Preferences>Sync Library checkbox
    – Tony M
    Feb 19, 2022 at 9:24

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