For iTunes 10.4 or later, the following options are available:
- Back up the iTunes Library to an external hard drive by following iTunes: Back up your iTunes library by copying to an external hard drive.
- In Mac OS X 10.5 or later, Time Machine can back up important files on your hard drive. Learn more about Time Machine in Mac 101: Time Machine.
For iTunes 10.3 and earlier, backing up your iTunes library to CD of DVD is also available. Refer to this article you have iTunes 5 or 6.
Backing up to Disc
The "Back Up to Disc" feature saves your media to a blank disc (CD or DVD). Once backed up, iTunes can use your backup disc (or discs) to automatically restore your iTunes library.
To burn a CD (CD-R or CD-RW), your computer must have a compatible CD burner. To burn a DVD (DVD-R or DVD-RW), your computer must have a compatible DVD burner. Check in iTunes Preferences to see if a drive is compatible. See below for steps.
Note: To reduce the number of discs needed for a backup, iTunes can perform incremental backups (only items added or changed since the last backup).
To create your backup disc
- Choose File > Library > Back up to Disc.
- Select the option you want from the resulting dialog and click Next.
The two options you can select from are:
- Back up entire iTunes library and playlists
- Back up only iTunes Store purchases
Whichever of these two options you choose, note that you can also choose "Only back up items added or changed since last backup" to perform an incremental backup. Finally, you'll be able to choose the drive settings (such as which optical drive to use and the speed of the burn process).
- Insert a blank disc (CD or DVD) into your computer's optical drive. iTunes will scan the disc and begin burning.
- Note: If the disc you insert does not have enough space to hold all of the content you will be backing up, a dialog will appear asking whether you wish to backup to multiple discs.
- You can click Continue to start the burn process. iTunes burns the number of items that fit on one disc and then asks you to insert subsequent discs to continue burning the remaining files.
- If you have a file in your iTunes Library that is too large to fit on a blank CD, iTunes will prompt you to insert a blank DVD instead.
- Don't eject a disc while a backup is in progress.
- Spoken programs purchased from the Audible.com website are not backed up.
- Discs you create using the iTunes backup feature can be used only to restore; they can't be played in a CD or DVD playe
Restoring from a backup disc
- Open iTunes.
- Insert your backup disc.
- iTunes will ask whether you want to restore from this disc. Click Restore.
Learn how to:
- Move your music to a new computer
- Transfer purchased music to another authorized computer using an iPod.
- back up personal information stored on your iPhone or iPod touch.
The Back Up To Disc feature will back up the following files from your iTunes Library:
- Music Videos
- TV Shows