How to Backup iTunes Library (Completely or Selectively)

iTunes library is a database that contains all the files as well as valuable information to organize music and other things. Depending on your collection of music, this library could be very large (sometimes in gigabytes). Despite having a large size, iTunes library only contains two files: iTunes Library.itl and iTunes Library.xml. These are the two necessary files you will need to backup iTunes library.

How to Backup iTunes Library

Following are some ways to backup iTunes Library:

1. Backup the Whole iTunes Library

You can back up your entire iTunes library by following these simple steps:

Step 1: make sure that iTunes is closed before proceeding to other steps.
Step 2: You will need to locate the iTunes folder on your computer’s hard drive. Depending on the version of your Windows, you will find this folder in one of these locations:

  • Windows Vista, 7, 8: \users\username\Music
  • Windows XP: Documents and Settings\Username\My Documents\My Music.

Step 3: Once you have located the folder, copy it and then paste it in your desired location on the hard drive. You can also copy this folder to an external hard drive in the same way.

backup itunes

2. Selectively Backup iTunes Music Library

You can use the third-party tool iMyFone TunesMate to selectively back up your iPhone music as well as other media on your iTunes library. TunesMate is powerful iOS file transfer software available for both Windows and Mac platforms and supports almost all iOS devices. It is free from all errors that you might face when using iTunes, making it convenient to use. It is highly spoken by a lot of media, such as GetintopcGeekreply, etc., and said to be one of the best alternatives to iTunes.

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Key Features:

  • Back up either all of your iTunes library or selected files easily and restore them anytime you wish.
  • Faster file transfer speeds as compared to iTunes and other iOS file transfer softwares.
  • Rebuild your entire iTunes library with simple steps. You also won’t need to launch iTunes to do that.
  • You can transfer both purchased and non-purchased music with TunesMate, there are no restrictions.
  • Transfer media files (music, videos, etc.) from iTunes to iPhone, computer to iPhone, iPhone to computer, and iPhone to iTunes conveniently.

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Steps to Backup iTunes Music Library to iPhone:

Step 1: Connect your iPhone to your computer and launch iMyFone TunesMate. Your iPhone will be automatically detected by the software.
Step 2: Select Transfer iTunes Media to iDevice option. The software will scan your device and then provide you with a list of media types to choose from.

Transfer iTunes Media to iDevice

Step 3: Mark Music (unmark all other items in the list) and then click on the Transfer button. All the music files from your iTunes library will be transferred to your iPhone.

Mark Music

3. Backup iTunes Library to Disc (only for iTunes 7-10.3)

Back Up to Disc option is no longer available in newer versions of iTunes. However, if you are running any version between 7-10.3, then you can backup your iTunes library to disc conveniently.

Follow these steps:

Step 1: Launch iTunes and select File > Library > Back Up to Disc option from the menu. On iTunes version 7, this option is located on the File menu.
Step 2: You will see an introductory screen after you have selected the option. It will explain the process and also ask you what your backup preference is. You can either choose to back up your whole iTunes library or only the media that you have purchased from iTunes Store.
Step 3: After making your desired selection, click on Backup option. iTunes will ask you to insert a blank disc if it doesn’t detect any.
Step 4: Insert the blank disc and click OK to start the backup process.

backup iTunes library to disc

How to Restore iTunes Library

You can either restore your iTunes library via iTunes or a third-party tool (in this case iMyFone TunesMate).

1. Via iTunes

Follow these steps to restore your iTunes library via iTunes:

Step 1: First make sure to quit iTunes.
Step 2: Now launch iTunes while pressing and holding down the Shift key.
Step 3: iTunes will ask you to Choose iTunes Library at launch, click on that option.
Step 4: Navigate to the iTunes folder that contains the iTunes library backup and choose the iTunes Library.itl file inside. Restoration process will start.

Restore iTunes Library

2. Via TunesMate

Follow these instructions to restore iTunes library via iMyFone TunesMate:

Step 1: Connect your iPhone to your PC and launch TunesMate.
Step 2: Select Transfer iDevice Media to iTunes option. TunesMate will scan your connected iPhone and then display a window asking you to make selection for transfers.

Transfer iDevice Media to iTunes

Step 3: Choose the type of files you wish to transfer and click on Start button. Your selected iPhone media will be transferred to iTunes.

click start