How to Copy Songs From iTunes to a Flash Drive

by Andrew Schrader ; Updated September 28, 2017

One efficient way of copying individual songs from your iTunes library to a flash drive is to find the actual location on your computer where the files are stored and drag and drop the desired songs from their stored location onto your flash drive. This process works well when dealing with a few files; however, if you plan on copying an entire library or many albums, you should access the indexed "iTunes Media Folder Location" and browse its contents. If your iTunes Preferences for copying files to this location has been disabled, you will need to "Consolidate" your library before browsing.

Locating and Transferring Individual Items

Insert your flash drive into the proper USB port on your computer and wait for your operating system to recognize the device. Choose to open your flash drive's contents when prompted by Windows Explorer or Finder (on the Mac). If your computer doesn't prompt you, double-click the flash drive's icon on your desktop. Keep your flash drive's window open.

Open iTunes. Locate the first song you want to copy, right-click its icon and select "Show In Windows Explorer" or "Show In Finder" (Mac).

Drag and drop the file from the new Windows Explorer or Finder window into your flash drive's window and let it copy. Repeat for all individual songs.

Copying From Your iTunes Media Folder Location

Insert your flash drive into your computer's USB port and double-click its icon from your desktop to open a new Windows Explorer or Finder (Mac) window. Choose a folder (or create a new one), depending on where you want to store your iTunes files. Leave your flash drive's window open.

Open iTunes. Click the "Edit" tab (or the iTunes tab if on a Mac) and "Preferences." Press the "Advanced" tab on the right side of the pop-up window.

Check where your default "iTunes Media Folder Location" is and if the "Keep iTunes Media Folder Organized" and "Copy Files to iTunes Media Folder..." buttons have check marks next to them. If they do, your iTunes library has been kept organized, and you can find all files in their default location. Browse your "iTunes Media Folder Location" in Windows Explorer or Finder and drag and drop desired content into your flash drive window. If these buttons do not have check marks, click their icons so that check marks do appear, press "OK" and go to Step 4.

Click the "File" tab, select "Library" and click "Organize Library." Put a check mark next to "Consolidate Files" and click "OK." This action cannot be undone. Wait for your files to consolidate to the proper location and quit iTunes.

Open a new Windows Explorer or Finder window and navigate to your "iTunes Media Folder Location." Browse its contents for specific items, or select the entire iTunes folder and drag and drop it into your flash drive's window. Wait for your files to copy.

Tip

  • Default "iTunes Media Folder Locations" are: Windows XP: C:\Documents and Settings\username\My Documents\My Music\iTunes Windows Vista: C:\Users\username\Music\iTunes Windows 7: C:\Users\username\My Music\iTunes Mac OS X: /Users/username/Music/iTunes/ Remember to safely eject your flash drive after use to avoid losing content or damaging the device.

Tip

  • Consolidating an entire iTunes library in Windows will copy all iTunes library files to the default location, but your original files will remain on your computer as duplicates. You must delete these manually to save disc space.

About the Author

Andrew Schrader has been a professional writer and filmmaker since 2004. He works as a writer and director, holding a Bachelor of Arts in film and media studies from UC Santa Barbara. Schrader specializes in writing about technology and computer software.

Photo Credits

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