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

If you purchased items from the iTunes Store and the only place you have them stored is on your iOS device or iPod, you can transfer them to any computer that is authorized for your iTunes Store account. 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. From the Store menu, choose Authorize Computer.
  3. In the dialog that appears, the Apple ID button is selected by default.
  4. Enter your Apple ID and password, then click the Authorize button.

If the iTunes Store purchases on your device were purchased with multiple accounts, you will 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 is synced with another iTunes library, the following dialog may appear:

    Alert offering the chance to transfer purchases in iTunes

  2. Click the Transfer Purchases button.

  3. Important: Clicking Erase and Sync will delete any existing content currently on your device. The content will be replaced with whatever existing content is 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.

iTunes will begin copying any purchases made with any account for which the computer is authorized.

If when you connect your device you are not prompted by the dialog 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.

After connecting your device to the computer and its icon appears in iTunes, go to the File menu, then Devices, and choose Transfer Purchases from "(Your device name)".

File > Transfer Purchases from "Device Name" option

Or, you can Show Sidebar from the View menu, and then right-click (Windows or Mac) or Control-click (Mac only) 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

Please note that this feature works only for items that were purchased on the iTunes Store. Any items imported from audio CDs or acquired from other sources will not copy from your device to the iTunes library. Please see this article for more details.

Additional Information

For additional information about moving your music, see iTunes: How to move your music to a new computer.

If the purchases you are looking for are not on any of your devices, see Downloading past purchases from the App Store, iBooks Store, and iTunes Store.

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.

Last Modified: Oct 15, 2013
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  • Last Modified: Oct 15, 2013
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