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Archived - How to back up your media in iTunes

There are several ways to back up your iTunes library, playlists, and iTunes Store purchases (including Applications purchased from the App Store) for safekeeping.

 

This article has been archived and is no longer updated by Apple.

For iTunes 10.4 or later, the following options are available:

 

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

  1. Choose File > Library > Back up to Disc.
  2. 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).

  3. Insert a blank disc (CD or DVD) into your computer's optical drive. iTunes will scan the disc and begin burning.

  4. 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.
  5.  Items in file will not fit on one disc dialog

  6. 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.
  7. Notes:  

    • 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

  1. Open iTunes.
  2. Insert your backup disc.
  3. iTunes will ask whether you want to restore from this disc. Click Restore.

 

Additional Information

Learn how to:

 

The Back Up To Disc feature will back up the following files from your iTunes Library:

  • Applications
  • Audiobooks
  • Games
  • Movies
  • Music
  • Music Videos
  • Podcasts
  • Ringtones
  • TV Shows
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Last Modified: Sep 8, 2011
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  • Last Modified: Sep 8, 2011
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