How to Back Up Your iTunes Library to an External Hard Drive

An iTunes library is filled with songs and albums that you may have been collecting for years. If something goes wrong with the library, all the information that you have saved in it may be destroyed instantaneously, lost forever.

In order to avoid that kind of mishap, you should keep a backup copy of your iTunes library on any external hard drive. By keeping a backup copy of your iTunes library, you can restore the entire library back to its working state if something goes wrong.

Here is how you can back up your iTunes library to an external hard disk drive.

    ■Log on to your Windows computer and go to the desktop. (E.g. Windows 8 in this demonstration.)
    ■Locate and double-click the iTunes icon to launch the iTunes application.
    ■On the home interface, click the Sign In button from the top-left corner.
    ■Provide your Apple ID credentials in the appropriate fields, and click the Sign in button.

    ■On the next window, locate and click the Edit menu from the menu bar from the top-left corner.
    Note: If the menu bar is not available, click the Options icon (icon with the black and white blocks) from the top-left corner of the interface, and from the displayed options, click Show Menu Bar.

    ■From the displayed Edit menu list, click Preferences.

    ■On the General Preferences box, click the Advanced tab from the top.
    Note: Going to the Advanced tab automatically changes the name of the opened box from General Preferences to Advanced Preferences.
    ■Under the Advanced tab, check the Copy files to iTunes Media folder when adding to library checkbox, and click OK.

    Note: This configuration copies the files to the iTunes Media folder while adding them to the iTunes library.
    ■Back on the iTunes main window, click the File menu from the menu bar at the top.
    ■From the displayed options, click Library.
    ■From the submenu that appears, click the Organize Library option.

    ■On the Organize Library box, check the Consolidate files checkbox, and click OK.

    ■Once this is done, close the iTunes window.
    ■On the desktop window, connect the external hard drive to your PC to which you want to back up your iTunes library.
    ■Go to the iTunes Media folder.

    You must follow the steps from 1 to 7 to check where your iTunes Media folder is located. On the Advanced Preferences box, under the iTunes Media folder location section, path to the iTunes Media folder is available.

    ■Once the iTunes Media folder is located, go one level up to go to the iTunes Media’s parent folder.
    ■Drag and drop the iTunes (which is the iTunes Media’s parent folder) folder to the external hard drive to back up your iTunes library. Alternatively you can also use the copy and paste feature to back up the iTunes folder to the external hard drive.