I'd like to move GarageBand's lessons ("Learn to Play") to another drive. How do I tell GarageBand where to look to find the files?

Some context : I removed my Late 2009 MacBook's SuperDrive and now have two internal drives, a SSD drive on which I boot and the original internal drive. The "Learn to Play" directory in /Library/Application Support/GarageBand is now 7GB and I haven't downloaded all the lessons I want. It is on the SSD drive, but I need to save space on that disk. I think that for the lessons it is less important to have a fast drive than for the loops and instruments (but maybe I'm wrong?), so I'd like to move them to the other drive.

  • Quit GarageBand
  • Move /Library/Application\ Support/GarageBand/Learn\ to\ Play/ to another drive
  • Open Terminal
  • Type ln -s followed by a space
  • Drag the folder created in the second step into the Terminal window to insert the path
  • add /Library/Application\ Support/GarageBand/Learn\ to\ Play and press Enter

Test it both the external drive connected and disconnected to be sure GarageBand doesn't have a problem with the LearnToPlay content not being available.


I don't really use GarageBand but I would think you could move the folder they are in to the other drive then make an alias to it. GarageBand should then be able to follow that like any other folder.

How to make an alias: http://support.apple.com/kb/TA26514

  • The link is broken.
    – revolver
    Jul 8 '13 at 22:10
  • Not saying you're wrong but are you sure? It is archived and there is very little text but when I click the link it goes to the correct page.
    – ars265
    Jul 9 '13 at 13:00
  • It's working now. But it wasn't in the morning. Sorry
    – revolver
    Jul 9 '13 at 13:53
  • The link doesn't work.
    – kenorb
    Oct 12 '17 at 9:21

On OS X 10.9, GarageBand got upset when it couldn't find the Artist Lessons and Basic Lessons directories (folders) under Learn\ to\ Play when the external drive was disconnected.

To solve the problem, I copied Basic Lessons to the external hard drive (in my case, the external drive was called "My Passport Edge for Mac", and the full path was "/Volumes/My\ Passport\ Edge\ for\ Mac/Library/Application\ Support/GarageBand/Learn\ to\ Play/Basic\ Lessons"). Then I linked to each lesson individually. In the terminal window, I changed directories to the basic lessons folder:

cd /Library/Application\ Support/GarageBand/Learn\ to\ Play/Basic\ Lessons

and ran this shell script command to do the linking:

for name in /Volumes/My\ Passport\ Edge\ for\ Mac/Library/Application\ Support/GarageBand/Learn\ to\ Play/Basic\ Lessons/*; do
    base=`basename "$name"`
    echo $base
    sudo ln -s "$name" "$base"

(You'll need to substitute the correct path to your own copy of the Basic Lessons folder, of course.)

It'll probably ask for your password; it's the same one you type to authorize the Mac to install new software and similar administrative actions.

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