How to Upload Music From an iPod to iTunes Without Erasing the iPod

by Jefe Nubarron

You can upload music from an iPod to iTunes on a personal computer without erasing the iPod. There may be instances in which you want to copy music from an iPod to your iTunes library; for instance, you may have recently purchased a new computer or replaced your computer drive. Or your computer may have crashed and you wiped it to fix it; now you want to restore your iTunes files with the music on your iPod. On a Windows system, you can conduct the process without using any additional software. An inadvertent mouse click could wipe out all the files on your iPod, so proceed with caution.

Attach your iPod to the computer using a USB cable. Be sure to select "No" if prompted to sync your iPod with iTunes.

Locate the "Start" button in the lower left corner of your Windows Desktop. Click "Start" and then "My Computer." Locate a drive that represents your iPod and double-click on it.

You must reveal some hidden iPod files. Using Explorer, find the "Tools" menu and then locate "Folder Options." Click the "View" tab and then the "Show hidden files and folders" icon. Apply changes, and the formerly hidden "iPod Control" window should be visible.

Locate the music files in your iPod. Double-click on the "iPod Control" folder to view the contents. Click on a folder named "Music." Inside "Music" you will find many folders named starting with "F00." These folders contain the music stored on your iPod.

Select all the "F00" named folders and copy them to a safe location on your computer. Copying may take a few minutes or longer if there is a lot of music on the iPod. Allow the copy process to complete.

Highlight the music folders that successfully transferred to the personal computer, then right click. Select "Properties," then choose "General." Uncheck the "Hidden" selection check box. Click "Apply" to institute this change. Be sure it applied to all folders and sub-folders. If it did not, repeat the step for each folder and sub-folder.

Add the music to your iTunes library. Using iTunes, select the "File" menu, then look for the "Add Folder to Library" option. Select the folders you copied to the personal computer from your iPod, and double-click. iTunes will proceed to import their contents.


  • close If, after you connect your iPod to the computer, a pop-up prompts to sync your iPod with iTunes, be certain to click "No." If you select "Yes" it will replace all the music on the iPod with the contents of the iTunes library.

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About the Author

Jefe Nubarron has been writing technical articles since 1995. He has been published in technical magazines and on popular websites. He has a Bachelor of Arts in anthropology and is working on additional coursework towards a master's degree.

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