Where are my iTunes files located?
This article explains where your iTunes files are located and how they are organized.
iTunes, iTunes Store
Note: If you think you've lost some or all of your iTunes music or other media, see iTunes: Finding lost media and downloads.
Your iTunes library is what you see in iTunes; it's made up of all the music and other media you've added to it. iTunes uses two "iTunes Library" files and your "iTunes Media" folder keep track of and store your music and other media.
About the iTunes Library files
Your two iTunes Library files keep track of what media you've added to iTunes, how you've organized it, and other information such as playlists. These two files are in your iTunes folder by default:
- Mac OS X: /Users/username/Music/iTunes/
- Windows XP: C:\Documents and Settings\username\My Documents\My Music\iTunes\
- Windows Vista: C:\Users\username\Music\iTunes\
- Windows 7: C:\Users\username\My Music\iTunes\
- Windows 8: C:\Users\username\My Music\iTunes\
See What are the iTunes Library files? for more information.
About the iTunes Media folder
Note: You may have an "iTunes Music" folder instead of an iTunes Media folder.
By default, your iTunes Media folder is located within your iTunes folder and it contains all your media files including:
- Items you imported from CDs.
- Items you purchased from the iTunes Store.
- Any other items you brought into iTunes (if you enabled the option to "Copy files to iTunes Media folder when adding to library" in iTunes Preferences).
See Understanding iTunes Media Organization for more information.
Options and Preferences
There are several options and preferences related to where you store your iTunes media. Different settings will affect your iTunes organization.
Discovering and changing the iTunes Media folder location
Note: You would usually only change the iTunes Media folder location to share music between accounts on the same computer. See this article for specific steps on how to accomplish this. Also, see this article if you want to know how to move your music to a new computer.
- Mac OS X: Click the iTunes menu and choose Preferences.
Windows: Click the Edit menu and choose Preferences.
- Click the Advanced pane. iTunes displays the location of your iTunes Media folder.
- You can then:
- Note where your media folder is, such as for backing up your media.
- Use the Reset button to reset it's location to the default (which is the iTunes folder).
- Click the Change button to select a folder for a new location. Once you change this location:
- If you make a new or alternate iTunes library, the new location will be used by that library.
- Existing files will not be moved unless you choose File > Library > Organize library and choose the option to "Consolidate files."
There are two additional selections within the Advanced pane of iTunes preferences that affect your iTunes Media folder:
- The option to "Keep iTunes Media folder organized."
- Review iTunes 9: Understanding iTunes Media Organization to better understand the way iTunes 9 and later organizes your media.
- The option to "Copy files to iTunes Media folder when adding to library."
- When you purchase or import media into iTunes from a CD, it is automatically added to your iTunes Media folder. However, if you add media to iTunes another way, such as by choosing "Add to library" from the File menu, or by dragging a MP3 file into iTunes, it may or may not be added to your iTunes Media folder. This is determined by the preference to "Copy files to iTunes Media folder when adding to library." Enable this option to be sure all your media files are stored in the iTunes Media folder; this makes transferring or backing up your media much easier since it is all in one location.
Locating the file for an item you see in iTunes
If you're not sure where some of the content you see in iTunes is stored, iTunes will also show you what it knows about your media in the Get Info window.
- Select an item in iTunes and choose File > Get Info.
- You can right-click on the 'Where' to get the option to Show in Finder (Mac OS X) or Show in Windows Explorer (Windows).
- A remote file, such as one from Home Sharing, will not show a path, but will show information such as the name of the remote iTunes Library:
A Note about Copyright
iTunes software may be used to reproduce materials. It is licensed to you only for reproduction of non-copyrighted materials, materials in which you own the copyright, or materials you are authorized or legally permitted to reproduce. If you are uncertain about your right to copy any material, you should contact your legal advisor. See the iTunes Store Terms of Service for additional information.