I have a huge iTunes music library on a USB drive. I've been using it on Macs only and it was easy to set up iTunes to use the USB drive folder as my media folder. The folder contains a folder structure of music, but no iTunes metadata in it.

On Windows, however, whenever I set iTunes to use that folder, it got reset to the default location on the PC harddrive and the library shown up in iTunes is still empty.

What am I missing if this is possible at all?


Using a junction, I was able to "redirect" my itunes media folder to an external hard drive without itunes noticing.

With the application "link shell extension" (http://schinagl.priv.at/nt/hardlinkshellext/linkshellextension.html) you can comfortably create such links without using the command line.

For your problem I would suggest either a junction or a symbolic link. I can verify that a junction can trick itunes, but am not sure whether it works well with removable media. Symbolic links even work with remote sources, so if the junction doesn't work in conjunction with the usb drive, maybe the symbolic link does.

With the mentioned application installed, it's as simple as right-clicking the folder containing the media on your usb drive and choosing "Pick Link Source", going to the parent folder of your itunes music library and rightclick->Drop As...->Junction/Symbolic Link, and then renaming the link to (I think it is, but you should verify) "iTunes Media".

It would be a workaround, but I hope it works for you!

  • Thanks. I finally hacked iTunes Media Library.xml with all new Windows paths, which works up till I can see everything in iTunes and the migration is done. However, the Windows version keeps crashing on my huge library (500G+) whenever I touch any playlist. The performance is so much worse than the Mac version. I don't know what to do at this point. – kakyo Jun 14 '19 at 6:44

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.