• Filed to: iPhone Recovery • Proven solutions

iTunes is a great way of compiling the list of favorite songs, videos and photos. But in case of loss of files or theft of the device, one would also lose the entire collection accumulated over a course of time. So it's a good idea to periodically backup iTunes Library. You can take the backup of the iTunes library in any one of the following five ways. Obviously, the method selection will also depend on the choice of destination for saving the files. However, the process of taking the backup is fairly simple and is detailed in this article.

What to do is you want to selectively restore or extract data from your iTunes or iCloud backup files? Here's a solution.

Why Choose This iTunes and iCloud Backup Extractor:

  • dr.fone - iOS Toolkit enables you to extract the data you need from iTunes and iCloud backups.
  • In addition to extarcting data, this smart tool can also help you recover lost files from iOS devices (iOS 10.3 and iOS 9 compatible).
  • Whats's more, if your iOS device got stuck in recovery mode or white Apple logo, you can use the software to fix iOS system to normal without losing data.

Part 1: How to Backup iTunes Library to External Hard Drive

The iTunes library contains iTunes library .itl file and iTunes library .xml files. While .itl files is the actual database and contains the playlists, ratings or comments saved by the user, the .xml files enable the music and playlists to be shared with other applications on the device.

The entire iTunes library can be copied and moved to the external hard drive by using the process detailed below:

Step 1. Close the iTunes application before initiating the iTunes Library backup.

Step 2. Connect the external hard drive to the computer and locate it. In windows, it will be under 'My Computer'.

Step 3. The next step is to locate the iTunes folder. The below mentioned is the default location of the iTunes Folder.
• Windows 8, 7, Vista: The file is located under \users\username\ Music (or My music)
• Windows XP: Documents and Settings\Username\My Documents\ My Music.

Step 4. In the external hard drive create a new folder called 'iTunes Backup_Current Date'.

Step 5. Then 'drag and drop' or 'Copy and Paste' the iTunes Folder to the external hard drive. The transfer will take several minutes depending on the volume of data. After the transfer is completed, the content will also be seen on the External Hard Drive.

NOTE: In case iTunes Folder is not available in its default location, then locate the iTunes Folder by going to iTunes Preferences > Edit > Preferences > Advanced.

backup itunes library to external hard drive 

Part 2. How to Backup iTunes Library to iCloud

It's now possible to take a backup of the iTunes Library to iCloud by using iTunes Match. You would need to subscribe to iTunes Match. iTunes Match is a great alternative option to expensive hard disk drives while giving flexibility to access music from any device, any location.

Step 1. To start iTunes, go to Start / All Programs / iTunes.

Step 2. Click 'iTunes Match' under 'Store' in the panel on left hand side. Next a dialog box appears where you need to subscribe to 'iTunes Match' by paying a minimal yearly charge.

Step 3. If you want to proceed further, you can create a new Apple ID and password or login using existing credentials.

backup itunes library to icloud 

Step 4. In the external hard drive create a new folder called 'iTunes Backup_Current Date'.

Step 5. After the backup is completed, select 'iCloud Status' by right clicking on the top column. It will display a list and mark the songs as 'uploaded', 'duplicated', 'matched' or 'purchased'. All the duplicates can be easily deleted.

Part 3: How to Backup iTunes Library to DVD/CD

In order to back up the iTunes Library to a blank DVD/CD, it's important to have a DVD/CD burner in the computer or laptop. At the hour of need, the burned DVD/CD can be used to restore the iTunes Library. If you perform periodic backups, iTunes will identify the newer additions to the library since the last backup and will burn only the new additions during the backup.

Follow the steps below to create a backup of iTunes Library to DVD/CD.

Step 1. Go to Files > Library > Backup to Disc.

Step 2. Out of following three available options, select any one:
a) Backup entire iTunes library and playlist
b) Backup only iTunes store purchases
c) Only backup items added or changed since last backup - This is also called as 'Incremental Backup'.

Step 3. Select the appropriate drive settings and set the appropriate speed of disc burning and Disk Format.

backup itunes library to dvd 

Step 4. When prompted, insert a blank DVD/CD for iTunes to locate, scan and burn the DVD/CD.

Step 5. During the backup, keep some extra DVD/CDs handy, since the system will prompt to insert new DVD's until the backup is complete in case of insufficient memory in the disc you are trying to burn.

Part 4: How to Backup iTunes Library to USB

Taking the backup of iTunes Library to USB is fairly easy and due to the small size of the drive, it's also easy to carry around and store. Follow the steps below to take the iTunes Library backup to the USB drive.

Step 1. Open and launch iTunes. Click Edit > Preferences > Advanced. Notice the path of the 'iTunes Music' under the 'iTunes Media Folder Location'.

Step 2. Select 'Copy files to iTunes Media Folder when adding to library' and click OK to proceed further.

Step 3. At this stage to Consolidate files go to File > Library > Organize Library > Consolidate files. Click 'Consolidate' to create a copy of the files in the iTunes Media Folder.

backup itunes library to usb 

Step 4. Before continuing to take the backup, close iTunes and connect the USB drive to the computer.

Step 5. Go to Start > Computer. You will see the USB drive detected by the computer and displayed under 'Devices with Removable Storage'.

Step 6. Using the path mentioned in Step 1, go to the iTunes Media Folder. "Copy and paste" or "Drag and Drop" the "iTunes" to USB drive. It will take several minutes to complete the file transfer.

Part 5. How to Backup iTunes Library to Dropbox

Dropbox offers a great service if you are looking forward to using your documents, playlists or videos from multiple locations or different devices like laptop or computer without needing to transfer the documents in multiple devices.

Follow the steps below to create a backup of iTunes Library to Dropbox.

Step 1. Ensure there is sufficient memory space available in the dropbox to take the backup. If not, you would either need to free some space or buy additional memory.

Step 2. Open and launch iTunes. Click Edit > Preferences > Advanced.

Step 3. Click the "Change" button next to "iTunes Media Folder Location", browse and create a New Folder and title it as "iTunes Library" or "iTunes Media". The path should now appear under the iTunes Folder Location.

Step 4. Select "Copy files to iTunes Media Folder when adding to library" and click OK to proceed further. You can also choose to "Keep Media Folder organized".

backup itunes library to dropbox 

Step 5. At this stage to "Consolidate files" or to "Reorganize files", go to File > Library > Organize Library.

Step 6. Select "Consolidate files" to create a copy of the files in the iTunes Media Folder or select "Reorganize files" to create subfolders and automatically arrange the imported files and folders.

Last article   |   Next article