By Lena / Last Updated January 25, 2021

How Do I Transfer Music from External Hard Drive to iTunes?

Hi, when I try to put music into iTunes from an external hard drive it copies it & when I disconnect the external hard drive although it is showing in the iTunes music library it says it cannot find the files.

- Question from an iPhone user

Transferring songs from external hard drive to iTunes is not a weird need. Due to limited computer storage space, many users choose to save songs, photos, and videos on external hard drives. When you get a new computer, you will want to import music from external hard drive to iTunes, so you can enjoy music on the computer, or transfer songs to the iPhone.

When it comes to adding files to iTunes, you know that you can take advantage of the “Add File to Library...” function to import songs to iTunes, and you did. However, the problem is that when you disconnect the external hard drive, iTunes says it cannot find the file. That's why you're on this page, right?

Well, it seems that you have missed a step, so you cannot accurately transfer music from external hard drive to iTunes. Don't worry, this guide will show you all the steps to help you successfully import music into iTunes.

► If you want to transfer songs from external hard drive to iPhone, you may refer to the Part 2 to get an easier way. It lets you transfer purchased or non-purchased music to iPhone without annoying sync.

How to Transfer Music from External Hard Drive to iTunes on Mac and Windows?

Generally, when you click “Add File to Library...”, iTunes just saves the location of the files. So you will find that the files are not available if the external hard drive is not plugged in. You need to adjust settings to let it copy files to iTunes Media Folder - copy the files to your computer.

Steps to Transfer Music from External Hard Drive to iTunes on Mac and Windows

1. Run iTunes and plug in your external hard drive to computer.

2. Click the Edit menu in iTunes > Choose Preferences...

3. Click Advanced tab > Check the box beside "Copy files to iTunes Media folder when adding to library" > Click OK to confirm.

Advanced Preferences

4. Then click the File menu > Choose Add File to Library... to select the songs you want to add to iTunes. And that’s it.

Add File to Library

An Easy Way to Transfer Songs from External Hard Drive to iPhone

Although iTunes is the official tool for managing iOS data, it is not that easy to use. It allows you to sync files from iTunes to iPhone at the cost of losing existing files on the iPhone. Besides, you don’t know whether the syncing is successful or not because there will be no notification. What’s worse, various errors happen now and then.

To make things simple, you may rely on one professional iOS data backup & transfer tool and AOMEI MBackupper is recommended here. It helps you transfer songs from external hard drive to iPhone and vice versa.

Its outstanding features on computer to iPhone transfer:
● Easy and Fast. With the clear and user-friendly design, you can complete the transfer in only a few clicks.
● Transfer Selected Songs. It lets you preview and select the songs that you want to add to your device.
● No Data Erasing. It will only put songs on iPhone/iPad and all content on your device will remain 100% safe.

It is only a matter of making a few clicks of the mouse to transfer songs to iPhone. Download the tool on your PC and start transferring right now!

1. Launch AOMEI MBackupper > Plug in your external hard drive and iPhone to computer. (You may need to enter the passcode on iPhone to allow the software to access your device.)

2. On the Home screen, click Transfer to iPhone option.

Transfer to iPhone

3. Click the “+” icon > Choose the songs you’d like to add to iPhone > Click Open to continue.

Choose Music

4. Click Transfer to transfer music from computer to iPhone.

Transfer

5. Click OK when the transfer is completed.

Transfer Completed

Note: iDevice to iDevice transfer is also supported. You can transfer non-purchased music from old iPhone to new iPhone without effort.

Conclusion

That’s all for how to transfer music from external hard drive to iTunes. You should first set it to copy files to iTunes Media folder and then continue to the next step. Did the transfer succeed? Leave a comment to let us know.