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Sunday, July 01, 2007

Vista: Transfer iTunes Library and Settings from Windows XP

Today was a big day for my Dell computer. Because, I installed iTunes and transferred (moved) my entire music library over to it. This was important because I am retiring my old computer and needed to get my beloved iPod hooked up!

The first piece of amazement for me was that Apple does not provide any tools through the iTunes software or via their website to transfer all of your settings from one machine to another. This can be annoying to setup all of the tabs and keep track of your music library! So, after a little Google searching, I came across Aleksandar Vacić's blog for which he provides a solution:

1. Copy C:\Documents and Settings\USERNAME\Application Data\Apple Computer\iTunes\ into the identical folder in new install.
2. Copy C:\Documents and Settings\USERNAME\Local Settings\Application Data\Apple Computer\iTunes\ into the identical folder in new install
3. Copy entire contents of old C:\Documents and Settings\USERNAME\My Documents\My Music\iTunes\ into the identical folder in new install
However, this does not work for transferring or moving iTunes settings on Microsoft Windows Vista. The reason being, is that Microsoft in Windows Vista remapped the folders so they do not line up exactly. So, an updated version of Aleksandar's checklist would be:

1. Copy the folder C:\Documents and Settings\USERNAME\Application Data\Apple Computer\iTunes\ to the folder C:\Users\USERNAME\AppData\Roaming\Apple Computer\iTunes\

2. Copy C:\Documents and Settings\USERNAME\Local Settings\Application Data\Apple Computer\iTunes\ to the folder C:\Users\USERNAME\AppData\Local\Apple Computer\iTunes

3. Copy entire contents of old C:\Documents and Settings\USERNAME\My Documents\My Music\iTunes\ to the folder C:\Users\USERNAME\Music\iTunes

Then start up your iTunes and you will have been successful in the move or transfer of your settings and library to your new Microsoft Windows Vista PC.

Did this solution work for you? If so, please let me know with a comment!

Also, if you are interested in what the mappings of all the old folders in Windows XP were versus what they are in Windows Vista.















































Microsoft Windows XP Microsoft Windows Vista
Application Data AppData\Roaming
Cookies \AppData\Roaming\Microsoft\Windows\Cookies
Local Settings \AppData\Local
My Documents \Documents
NetHood \AppData\Roaming\Microsoft\Windows\Network Shortcuts
PrintHood \AppData\Roaming\Microsoft\Windows\Printer Shortcuts
Recent \AppData\Roaming\Microsoft\Windows\Recent
SendTo \AppData\Roaming\Microsoft\Windows\SendTo
Start Menu \AppData\Roaming\Microsoft\Windows\Start Menu
Templates \AppData\Roaming\Microsoft\Windows\Templates


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18 comments:

JP said...

Worked perfectly. Thanks for saving me a lot of trouble!

ColoradoRocks said...

Just used the 3 simple steps described above to move my entire 4,000+ song library from my XP machine to my new Vista computer. It worked like a charm!! Thanks a lot for the excellent description of this (in hindsight) very simple process!!!

Anonymous said...

I'm a little lost, though, about how you got the data from one computer to the other. Ethernet crossover cable, network, what? Sorry if the answer is obvious to others, but I am one who needs literal step-by-step directions.
TIA

Ken Hanscom said...

Several options are available to transfer. Burn to a CD, put on a floppy (if you still have one :-)), use a USB media card. Basically any manner in which you normally transfer files including a home or local network is possible. Even consider emailing to yourself ZIP'd up!

JC said...

Wow, I just love it when directions are simple concise and accurate. Thank you very much

Anonymous said...

I recently had some problems with my computer. Long story short they added another hard drive and now I have two of them. The old one had XP and he upgraded me to Vista on the new one. I did the copy and paste as you indicated and when I opened Itunes and tried to play some music it didn't work. all the music in my library had ! marks.
I don't know much about computers although your instructions were great. What did I do wrong ?
My original music is in " My Music"
why does it not recognize this folder in Vista.
Thanks for the help!
Joe

J.O. said...

Nicely done.

Anonymous said...

Great guide - transferred from XP to Vista without a hitch.

Mario said...

These steps got my iTunes settings back. Thanks a lot for that. But, as Anonymous experienced, iTunes wasn't able to find any of my songs.

If you migrate from XP to Vista, your songs are moved from "C:\Documents and Settings\USERNAME\My Music" to "C:\Users\USERNAME\Music". To reflect this, all file locations have to be updated in the iTunes library.

"C:\Users\Music\iTunes\iTunes Music Library.xml" is a text file, so I thought a simple "Find and Replace" would do the trick. But when I started up iTunes, he still couldn’t find my songs! And when I checked the iTunes library afterwards, it had been rewritten… with the old (and incorrect) file locations.

The real iTunes library is “C:\Users\Music\iTunes\iTunes Library.itl", an unreadable binary file. The XML file allows users to view the information contained within the music library, but changing the XML file is useless! However, if the binary iTunes library is damaged, iTunes will read the XML file to reconstruct it. Eureka!

These are the additional steps to make sure iTunes is able to find your music in its new location under Vista:

1) Create a backup copy of “C:\Users\Music\iTunes\iTunes Library.itl". You never know what might go wrong!
2) Open “C:\Users\Music\iTunes\iTunes Music Library.xml” in WordPad and replace all references to “Documents%20and%20Settings/USERNAME/My%20Music” by “Users/USERNAME/Music”.
3) Open “C:\Users\Music\iTunes\iTunes Library.itl" in WordPad and make it unusable. Delete most of the content, reducing the file to a few lines, then save it.
4) Start iTunes and watch as he reconstructs your iTunes library.

By adding these steps, the migration of my iTunes music library from XP to Vista was finally complete!

Constantin said...

Million thanks worked like a charm

Dave said...

awesome, this worked flawlessly!!! great post!

Anonymous said...

I can't thank you all enough for sharing this information. I was able to successfully transfer my Itunes library. One note, to find the "Appdata" folder go to "control panel", "folder options", "view", and select "Show Hidden Files"

LM said...

I just followed the Vista Steps to transfer my full installation from Vista32 to Windows 7 64 bit. Worked perfectly. My iPhone synced up, all my music, apps and video were all there just like the vista installation.

Worked perfectly!

Thank you for this post!

LM

macbikegeek said...

Thanks, Ken. This was most helpful, although I used it in the opposite direction from what you described, moving an iTunes library and associated iPhone information from a Vista system to an XP system. Works just fine in reverse.

onstar said...

Thanks. Worked like a charm.

Rob said...

Thank you, thank you, thank you. I just used this to copy iTunes over from Windows XP to Windows 7. Worked like a charm. I pulled my C: drive from my computer, put a new blank drive into C:, installed Windows 7, installed itunes, launched itunes, quite itunes, shut down, installed the XP C: drive and had it be D:, copied folders as you said, and done. Some of the folders didn't show up as I typed them, but I just typed them into and it all worked.

Anonymous said...

worked great for vista -> windows7... THANKS!!!!

Jason Blaylock said...

Worked from XP to 7 Thank you so much for the info!!!!!