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iPad, iPhone and iPod Touch

Transferring your iTunes and iPhoto to a New Hard Drive

I do a lot of work on my Macbook Pro.  I also use it to manage a lot of media.  With the more movies and music I store on my laptop, the less free space I have, which ultimately reaches a critical mass and the free space on my hard drive.  I picked up a Western Digital My Book World Edition Network enabled 1 TB hard drive to store my music, movies, pictures and other assorted media on.

Once the hard drive was placed on my network and set up to be read by all the different computers in my home, the next step was to move the media, which was a second process unto itself.  Since I wanted to keep all the iTunes and iPhoto data, I need to do it from within the programs.  Below is how I did each.


  1. Go to the iTunes menu and select Preferences
  2. Click Advanced and make sure “Keep iTunes Media Folder organized and click OK
    This will be what copies and organizes the files on your new hard drive
  3. Select Preferences from the iTunes menu again and select Advanced
  4. Click “Change…” to select a new iTunes Media folder. Navigate to the new hard drive and click the New Folder button to create a new folder to place the files in the click OK
  5. Now that you have created the new location, the next step is to copy the files. Select File > Library > Consolidate Library from the top menus and click Consolidate.

My library has taken almost two days to transfer, but was able to free up about half my hard drive.


  1. Go to where your iPhoto Library is located in the Finder (usually from your home directory in the Pictures folder) and open a second window to the new hard drive.  If you want to put it in a folder on the new hard drive, create that folder and go into it.
  2. Drag the iPhoto Library from your hard drive to the new location to copy it.
  3. If iPhoto is open, quit it then hold down option and click iPhoto in the dock
  4. From the list, select the new library from the list. If it does not appear, click “Other Library…” and select the copy of the library  on the new hard drive. Then click Choose.
  5. iPhoto will now open with the new library.

Although you don’t need your old copies of iPhoto Library or iTunes media, make sure that all the files are copied properly and that they work before deleting them.  Once you are sure, you can drag them to the trash and Empty Trash to free up your disk space and work from your external hard drive, or in my case, net work hard drive.

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