iTunes Store: Transfer purchases from your iOS device or iPod to a computer

If you purchased items from the iTunes Store and you've stored them on only your iOS device or iPod, you can transfer them to any computer that is authorized with your Apple ID. This feature adds an extra layer of protection against losing your valued purchases.

If you want to transfer iTunes Store purchases from an iOS device or iPod to a computer, be sure to authorize the computer before connecting the device. To authorize, follow these steps:

  1. Open iTunes.
  2. Choose Store > Authorize This Computer. 
  3. Enter your Apple ID and click Authorize.

If you purchased the iTunes Store content on your device with multiple accounts, you'll need to authorize the computer for each one.

To transfer iTunes Store purchases from your device to a computer, follow these steps:

  1. Connect your device to the computer. If it's synced with another iTunes library, this message may appear: "The [device name] is synced with another iTunes library. A [device] can be synced with only one iTunes library at a time. What would you like to do?"
    • If you don't want to replace your device's content with the content from the computer, click Cancel.
    • If you want to download your device's content to the computer, follow the steps below to transfer your purchases.
  2. Click Transfer Purchases. iTunes will begin copying any purchases made with any account for which the computer is authorized. If you click Erase and Sync, iTunes will delete any content on your device. The content will be replaced with the content in the current iTunes library your device is connected to. If there is no content in the iTunes library, nothing will be synced to your device, and your device will be empty.

If you connect your device and you don't see the message above, it could be that the option "Do not ask me again" was previously selected. Fortunately, there are two more ways you can copy your purchases from your device.

  • Connect your device to the computer and wait for its icon to appear in iTunes. Go to File > Devices, and choose Transfer Purchases from [device name].
  • Choose View > Show Sidebar. Right-click (Windows or Mac) or Control-click (Mac) your device in the iTunes Source list, then choose Transfer Purchases from the shortcut menu that appears
    Transfer Purchases in the contextual menu for the device
    This feature works only for audio, video, and apps that you purchased from the iTunes Store. Any items that you imported from audio CDs or acquired from other sources won't copy from your device to the iTunes library. However, copies of all PDFs and books from your device's iBooks app will transfer to the computer, regardless of whether they were purchased from the iBooks Store. Learn more about transferring media to your iTunes library.

Learn More

Learn how to move your music to a new computer.

If the purchases you're looking for aren't on any of your devices, see how to download past purchases from the App Store, iBooks Store, and iTunes Store.

A note about copyright

iTunes software may be used to reproduce materials. It's licensed to you only for reproduction of non-copyrighted materials, materials in which you own the copyright, or materials you're authorized or legally permitted to reproduce. If you're uncertain about your right to copy any material, you should contact your legal advisor. See the iTunes Store Terms of Service for additional information.

Last Modified: Jul 22, 2014
  • Last Modified: Jul 22, 2014
  • Article: HT1848
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