Please Don't Stop The Music


Q: How do I switch my iTunes account from my old computer to my new computer if my old computer is dead? I've downloaded iTunes onto my new computer, but it doesn't recognize my account. I have all my music on my iPod, but I can't put any new music on it, and I can't transfer any music off of it without wiping the iPod. This happened the last time I changed computers, and I had to start a new account on the new computer.

A: It sounds like you have a couple of problems. First of all, you should be able to log into your iTunes account regardless of the condition of your old computer. Go to to reset your iTunes password. Once you have done that, you should be able to log into iTunes on your new computer. You can redownload any music that you bought through iTunes, or if you have iTunes Match, you can redownload your entire iTunes library.

If you don't have iTunes Match, the other problem is that the only copies of your music are trapped on your dead computer and your iPod. There is a way to rescue your music from at least one of them. If you still have your old computer, open the My Music folder (Music on Mac), then open the iTunes folder. Save the files named iTunes Library.itl and iTunes Library.xml files to a flash drive or external drive. Copy your music files from your old computer and save them to the same external drive. Now, open the same folders on your new computer, and replace those files with your library files from the older computer. Make sure that you move everything into the exact same location on your new computer as it was on your old computer. Assuming you do it correctly, you will be able to open iTunes and everything will be back to the way it was. If not, you'll still have your music, but you'll have to import the music into your new iTunes library on your new computer.

If you have unfortunately already gotten rid of your old computer, you can still copy your music from your iPod. What ever you do, don't sync your iPod with iTunes. iTunes will erase your iPod. Instead, you'll need a program like DiskAid or iExplorer. These programs will let you open your iPod like an external hard drive. You can copy your music files from your iPod to your My Music or Music folder on your new computer. Then you can import them into iTunes. 

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