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Moving iTunes to A New Computer

How to keep your same last played date

Move iTunes to a Windows 8 Computer - This help with iTunes page applies to Windows 7 too.  

Also see our:  Windows 8 Review   Why we hate Windows 8. We also recommend our Cloud Computing and Software Subscription review

Moving your iTunes Library from Vista to Windows 8 by Network, Backups on an External Hard Drive, USB Thumb drive, or CD / DVD or 'easy transfer cable'

We like to keep our iTunes Last Played, iTunes Date Modified, iTunes Date Added and iTunes Plays Count when we move to a New Computer

Update May 2013: Moving from Windows 8 64 bit to Vista 32 Bit and Moving with an external drive:  See at the end of this page CLICK HERE

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REMEMBER TO DEAUTHORIZE your iTunes on your old computer if you are not keeping the old computer.

iTunes always assumes your want to create a brand new library.  iTunes last play dates, iTunes play count, play lists, file creation and modified date data is lost if you just copy your library without moving some files from hidden areas in Windows Vista and Windows 7 and Windows 8

Our old computer set up:

  • Vista 32-bit Home Edition
  • iTunes is in the Public user account so that we can easily share on our network in the following folder C:\Users\Public\Music\iTunes
  • Our user account contains our playlist and other information in C: \ Users \[useraccount]\Music\iTunes
  • User application data files are in hidden folders on your old Windows Vista computer.  You will copy them manually to your new Windows 8 computer. The folder names are listed below

Our preferred method of moving files is over our network (both the new and old computers are plugged into our router).  Please note that our old computer was Window Vista Home Premium SP 2 -  32 bit; our new computer Window 8 -  64 bit. 

This procedure applies to moving data over your in-home router network from Windows Vista to Windows 7 and Windows 8.  It will be similar if you use an Easy Transfer Cable. This procedure requires different steps if you are using a USB thumb drive, external USB or Firewire Drive, or DVD or if you are moving from Windows XP.  Options for external and thumbnail drives are detailed at the end of this Page

The following steps worked for us. PLEASE READ, understand, and print THIS ENTIRE iTunes Transfer PROCEDURE BEFORE YOU START. You may note possible questions or pitfalls in this procedure or in your configuration

Please register if you have a specific question or problem - we will try to help

We have the same USER ACCOUNT Name on our old computer and our new computer.  The success of this procedure was not tested where there are different account names between the old and new systems.  We assume it will work but it is untested.


  1. Be comfortable with computers.  If you are not comfortable with how to share a drive, how to change folder options, how to use a router or Windows Easy Transfer, get some help from someone who is (in the New York City, NYC, We can help - we've been doing computer work for 20 years - register on the contact page)
  2. Download the latest version of Easy Transfer on both your old computer and on your new computer
  3. Share. Right click on your C: drive on your old computer and mark the drive to be shared with both read and write access
  4. On both old and new computer, in Control Panel, open Folder Options - view tab - and modify to show hidden and uncheck Hide Protected Operating Systems Files.  This is required to see the AppData files - see below
  5. Download all XP, Windows Vista, and / or Windows 7 / Windows 8 updates on both your old and new computers so you have the most recent security patches everywhere
  6. Update iTunes via Apple Software Update on your OLD computer .
  7. Synch your iPod(s) iPhone(s) iTouch(s) and iPad(s) with your old computer before you transfer anything to your new computer.
  8. Download the correct installer for iTunes on your new Windows 7 or Windows 8 computer. Note - get the right installer - there are different Windows iTunes installer versions for Windows 32 bit and Windows 64 bit.
  9. Install iTunes on your new computer.
  10. Update your iTunes via Apple Software Update on your NEW computer  
  11. iTunes will set your library in your user profile (C:\Users\[USER ACCOUNT]\Music\iTunes) .  We keep our music library in the public library so it is easier to share between our XP, Vista and Windows 7 machines. (C:\Users\Public\Music\iTunes). 
  12. Change your library location if your iTunes on your new computer is NOT in C:\Users\[USER ACCOUNT]\Music\iTunes
  13. We encode our CD's as MP3.  Change the iTunes preferences to MP3 if you do too
  14.  Run Apple Update on your new computer

Copying your music:

Note:  See the end of this page before you start

  1. Start up Windows Easy Transfer on your old computer
  2. Start Easy Transfer on your New Machine
  3. Transfer your C : \ Users \ [USER ACCOUNT] \ Music \ iTunes folder
  4. Also transfer C : \ Users \ Public \ Music \iTunes if you keep your music in this and / or any other folder.  If you store in any other place than you user account, there are iTunes folders in both places - your user account - and other storage location)
  5. Authorize your new computer in iTunes so you can play anything that has DRM, play anything that your purchased from Apple
  6. De-Authorize your old computer in iTunes if you are going to remove it from your home. (Note: if you plan on streaming music from your primary computer to other computers on your network, you will need to authorize the computers where you will stream.

The procedure to this point gives you a successful library transfer and a new iTunes Music library on your new computer.  However, we like to retain our song play count, edit dates, create date and so on so we continued with the procedure as follows

Note:  there are a lot of files in the following folders (our 'lot of files' was over 5,000, and over 1 GB). These files are related to playlists, artwork, synchs, synchronizations and backups, iTunes Updates and so on.  (We have an iPod Classic an iPod Nano, an iPhone, and an iTouch - and maybe an iPad soon)

Continue by manually copying the following folders We copied everything in these folders - it worked for us.

You will find the folders in the same location on your old Vista Machine and the New Windows 7 Machine

(If you have Windows XP, the USER ACCOUNT folder names are similar to those listed below but they are in several different locations.  You will have to find them and put them in the correct location for Windows 7 on your new machine - we have not tested, successfully or otherwise, moving the folders from XP to Windows 7.  In fact we don't know if moving from XP locations to New Windows 7 locations works but we assume it will)

Complete by copying to the Windows 7 and Windows 8 locations:

  1. C:\Users\[USER ACCOUNT]\AppData\Local\Apple Computer\
  2. C:\Users\[USER ACCOUNT]\AppData\Local\Apple
  3. C:\Users\[USER ACCOUNT]\AppData\LocalLow\Apple Computer
  4. C:\Users\[USER ACCOUNT]\AppData\Roaming\Apple Computer


  1. Open iTunes on your new computer and do an update again to be certain you have the latest.
  2. Synch your iPods, iPhones, iTouchs and iPads with your new computer
  3. Remember to Authorize your new computer in iTunes so you can play anything that has DRM, play anything that your purchased from Apple
  4. Stop Drive Sharing and reverse Folder Option Steps 1 and 2 in the Preparation section above if you wish
  5. Remember to De-Authorize your old computer in iTunes if you are going to remove it from your home.

Your iTunes library should have the same data, played dates and counts, added date and account, etc. on both your new and old computer

Note:  We did the easy transfer with only one monitor via our network router. 

  1. Set up our new and old computers next to each other (both were connected via our router
  2. Start easy transfer on our old computer
  3. Jot down the code it gives you
  4. Unplugged the monitor from our old computer - careful, don't unplug anything else
  5. Put the monitor on the new one
  6. Started easy transfer, enter the code and make your choices of what to copy
  7. Manually copy USER ACCOUNT data

NEW: The following procedure works by NOT using Easy Transfer and router and works for Moving from Windows 7 64 bit to Vista 32 Bit via an external drive:

We  have been streaming iTunes from my Windows 7 64 bit to my Windows Vista 32 machine via a 'mapped' drive on my Vista PC.  We decided to stop the streaming and copy my library, play dates, playlists - that is, everything in iTunes to the Vista Machine so I could reduce network traffic.  I robocopied the data using an external drive and Robocopy (a Windows command line program that is in every version of Windows)

These steps can be used for thumb drives and external drives - make sure your thumb drive is large enough to hold all your music

MAKE SURE YOU HAVE BACKUPS in case something goes wrong

The 'downgrade' from a 64 bit PC to a 32 bit PC worked fine.  Theses steps will retain both the Windows Time stamps and the internal iTunes dates play counts etc

  1. Run Apple Update on both source and target machines
  2. DeAuthorize iTunes on your target computer
  3. [Robo]Copy from the iTunes source computer to an external hard drive (or thumb drive) using Robocopy in the command line (Windows | Search | cmd.exe  - run as administrator).  You will need to robocopy all of the pertinent folders - see the batch file PDF link in item 3
    robocopy C:\Users\[user]\Music M:\BU-Music\UserMusic /it /e /DCOPY:T /copy:DAT 
    Repeat the above robocopy for all the folders as needed. -
  4. We created a batch file to robocopy all of the appropriate folders and files. The full code and a brief code explanation is HERE in PDF format
  5. BACKUP your Target computer before the next step
  6. Change iTunes from the mapped drive location on your target computer to the local C: drive locations - in iTunes Edit | Preferences | Advanced
  7. Reverse robocopy procedure to copy the folders from your external drive to your target computer.
  8. Test your target computer iTunes
  9. Authorize iTunes on your target computer


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Moving iTunes  from an old Windows Vista Computer to a Windows 7 or Windows 8 Computer


- Transfer using Windows Easy Transfer

- We can help in New York City - register on the contact page

- This procedure keeps play counts, last played date, create date and backups for iPods, iPhones, iTouch and, we assume, iPads

- Moving iTunes from Windows 32 bit to 64 bit Windows 7

- This procedure retains library play lists and all the account info we rely upon

- iTunes works great on 32-bit and 64-bit Windows machines

- We like to keep our iTunes Last Played, Date Modified, Date Added and Plays Count when we Move iTunes to a New Computer

- The Easy Transfer cable costs anywhere from an estimated $15 to $50. We prefer to buy a router for $50 (and cheap network cables at Newegg . com)