Having an iTunes playlist backup is really important, especially with the instability of the iTunes software. There might also be a need for an upgrade in future from an old laptop to a new one. Or perhaps you’re moving from a Windows to a Mac computer but still want your playlist intact on your new laptop.

With so many people having quite a large collection of music and different playlists created for different purposes/events, there is a growing need to backup iTunes songs. In this article, we are going to go over 3 solutions to save the huge amount of time spent and the hard work you put in over the years to create the several playlists you have now.

Solution 1: How to Backup iTunes 12 Playlists By Exporting Playlist as XML Files?

It is highly advisable to update and backup iTunes and playlists from time to time just in case there is a slight malfunction or a hard drive crash. You can export a playlist, and have it imported to your friends’ computer to show them how awesome your songs are or simply imported to your new machine. Either way, to back up your iTunes 12 playlists can be done easily by taking the following steps.

To Export:

Step 1 Launch iTunes software on your computer.

Step 2 Choose the playlist you want to export in the left pane of iTunes.

Step 3 Click on File >> Library >> Export Playlist

Choose the output format from the menu that pops up:

  • If you’d like to import the playlist to another computer or iTunes, the right format should be XML Files.
  • Choose export as M3U Files if you want to play your music using other media players apart from iTunes.
  • The option to export playlist as Text Files is also available.

Step 4 Click Save to export your XML format.

To Import:

Step 1 Launch iTunes.

Step 2 Click on File >> Library >> Import Playlist. Choose the XML files you saved.

Solution 2: How to Backup iTunes Playlists to External Hard Drive Manually?

Before you back up your iTunes playlists to external hard drive, you have to locate your iTunes media folder and consolidate your library. To locate your media folder, follow the path.

For Mac:

Locate Finder >> Username >> Music

For Windows:

  • Windows XP: C:\Documents and Settings\username\My Documents\My Music\
  • Windows 7/8 or later: \Users\username\Music\

If you still can’t find your media folder, follow these steps to find it in iTunes software.

Step 1 Go to Preferences on iTunes. (Mac: locate the menu bar on iTunes and select iTunes >> Preferences; Windows: locate the menu bar on iTunes and select Edit >> Preferences.)

Step 2 Tap advanced tab. To find the location of your media folder, you’ll see a box under iTunes Media Folder Location to find the details.

Next is to consolidate your media into iTunes media folder. To do that, follow the steps below.

Step 1 Launch iTunes and locate the menu bar.

Step 2 Click File >> Library >> Organize Library.

Step 3 Select Consolidate Files.

Step 4 Tap OK for it to copy all files outside your iTunes Media Folder into your iTunes Media Folder.

If you’ve successfully consolidated your media files, you can now go ahead to back up your library and media files to an external hard drive using the steps below.

Step 1 Exit iTunes.

Step 2 Locate iTunes folder.

Step 3 Click and drag iTunes folder to your external hard drive.

Solution 3: How to Backup iTunes Playlists With Music Files With iMyFone TunesMate?

You can now backup iTunes songs swiftly with the help of a piece of unique software called iMyFone TunesMate. As an efficient and a much better alternative to iTunes to backup iTunes and playlists, TunesMate allows you to easily transfer your iTunes playlist fast without restrictions and without losing any data.

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Key Features:

  • Two-way transfer between iPhone/iPad/iPod and iTunes/Computer.
  • Both free and paid music/movies are supported to be transferred.
  • Rebuild iTunes library effectively with no data loss.
  • Transfer data from unlimited iDevices and unlimited iTunes libraries.
  • Ability to support all types of music format.
  • Preview and select the iTunes playlist you want to export.

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So now how do you backup iTunes and playlists with iMyFone TunesMate?

Step 1 Kick off iMyFone TunesMate on your computer, and connect your iOS device such as iPhone/iPad/iPod with computer.

Step 2 Click "Transfer iTunes Media to iDevice" on the home interface to scan all iTunes library.

Step 3 By default, all iTunes media files will be checked. Select and choose what you want to back up, and click "Transfer" to export iTunes playlists to iOS device connected.

Step 4 When transfer process completes, click "OK" to conclude the whole process.