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How do I play and/or connect to my iTunes from and external drive

If I have all my iTunes music downloaded to my laptop it takes up a large amount of disk space and slows my computer if possible I would like to play this music from an external drive and have not been able to figure out how to do this. I hope there is a simple fix.

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  • Leslie D. Wilson
    Leslie D. Wilson Nov 16, 2008

    My first problem is how do I create the directory on the external hard drive that this is where I want iTunes to store the music? This is where I'm having the problem. Thanks for your help.


  • Leslie D. Wilson
    Leslie D. Wilson Nov 17, 2008

    I went all the way back to square one, I thought I had it solved. I downloaded iTunes a new copy, copied all my music to it, mapped the external hard drive, changed the drive set up, transferred my music to the new folder in the external drive, opened iTunes confirmed the music was there, checked the drive path everything looked good. Deleted the iTunes folder on my laptop drive, opened iTunes again and that's where the problem again occurred that is no music. Any ideas, again thanks for the help.

  • Leslie D. Wilson
    Leslie D. Wilson Nov 22, 2008

    I did everything again and went to "Add folder to Library" this option doubled everything in my library. Okay I figured I would delete the library on my laptop and be back to only one copy of my library, wrong again when I went to open iTune I had no library whatsoever. Maybe there isn't a solution to my problem but I do thank you for your help and advise.

  • Leslie D. Wilson
    Leslie D. Wilson Nov 22, 2008

    I did everything again and went to "Add folder to Library" this option doubled everything in my library. Okay I figured I would delete the library on my laptop and be back to only one copy of my library, wrong again when I went to open iTune I had no library whatsoever. Maybe there isn't a solution to my problem but I do thank you for your help and advise.


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Attach your external drive.
Create the directory on that drive that you want Itunes to store your music.
Open up Itunes.... go to the edit menu and select preferences.
Go to the advanced tab. there is an option there for change my preferred directory. Change this to the directory you created at the beginning of this instruction.
Now copy all of you songs from your music folder on the laptop to the one on the external drive.
Confirm that ALL of your songs transferred OK then delete them from the laptop.

You should NOW be all set to enjoy music from your external drive. (Be sure to always have your external drive attached when you open Itunes.... If yoou don't Itunes will look for the external, not find it and revert BACK to the default directory)

Hope this helps you

Posted on Nov 16, 2008

  • David Preston
    David Preston Nov 16, 2008


    [These Directions are for Windows if you have a Mac then I have to do some research before answering]

    First we need to determine if your external dive is formatted.

    When you plug it in, after it loads any needed drivers, do you see a new drive letter in "My computer"?

    If so the Drive IS formatted and ready to go (Proceed to step 1)

    If not comment back and I will instruct you how to format it.

    1.) open "My computer"

    2.) Double click the drive that represents your external drive (Probably D:\) but may be different depending on YOUR particular drive configuration

    3.) Unless you've saved something to this drive before you may be looking at an explorer window that is empty or may be looking ate some files and /or folderrs in the window

    Right click any empty space in the Window and select "New" from the drop down list and then Folder and left click.

    4.) this should put a new folder in the Window with a blinking cursor below. Type in a name meaningful to you such as "Itunes" or "Itunes music" or anything else you choose to call it.

    press Enter

    You now have a suitable directory for your needs.

    Hope this helps you


  • David Preston
    David Preston Nov 17, 2008


    Sorry I forgot One kinda major step.

    We told Itunes that your new folder is WHERE you want newly downloaded songs stored to. However I forgot to have you tell it that THATS where it can find current music.

    OK so here is how we do that. Open up Itunes and click on file. A drop down list opens up and from that list you can select "Add folder to the library" select the one you created on the external drive and click OK. Once you do this it will scan all your music and add them to your library with its proper address.

    Sorry for the confusion

    Take care



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