How to transfer iTunes library and iPhone backup to new computer

Discussion in 'iPhone Tips, Help and Troubleshooting' started by Crawn2003, Jul 19, 2008.

  1. Crawn2003 macrumors 6502

    Jul 8, 2005
    Santa Rosa, California
    Hello all,

    I did a search but nothing really specific comes up.

    What I need help with is transferring my iPhone backup (and whatever else is needed) over to the new computer.

    I get how to transfer my music: consolidate library then move the iTunes library over to the new computer and replace the iTunes library on the new Mac.

    But what do I need to do for the iPhone? I know there is a backup for it somewhere that I need to move but don't know where it is.

    Bottom line question: After moving my iTunes library to the new Mac, what else must be done for my iPhone to work exactly like it did on the previous Mac?

    Thank you!

  2. newyorksole macrumors 68040

    Apr 2, 2008
    New York.
    All you need to do is hook up your iPhone to the Mac and after it syncs it should automatically back up all of your information.
  3. GP1138 macrumors newbie

    Feb 1, 2008
    Use the Finder on the old Mac and navigate to /Library/Application Support/MobileSync/Backup - copy the contents of this folder to a USB drive or a CD-R.

    Then copy the files into the same directory on the new Mac, making sure iTunes is not running - you'll end up having to restore your iPhone's info from this backup - and then right click on your iPhone in the device list and click "Restore Backup" or the equivalent option, I can't remember the exact wording.

    This should prompt you to restore from a specific backup. I'm not sure if you need to set permissions for anything.

    Good luck, I'm having problems restoring my contacts from my old iPhone to my new one - I went from a 4G to an 8G (1st gen iPhone) and the old contact list was from 1.1.2, when I upgraded to 2.0 I can restore all of my old Safari bookmarks, but the contacts list appears to be in a slightly different format.
  4. QuarterSwede macrumors G3


    Oct 1, 2005
    Colorado Springs, CO
    Migration Assistant anyone? (Spotlight search it). It'll copy everything you need (including iTunes music/apps and preferences) and make it feel exactly like your old mac. Seriously, it's freaky how well it works.
  5. SIUGRAD99 macrumors regular

    Jan 20, 2008
    This is a great question. If I were to get a new computer how could I get all my music transferred from my old computer to the new one? I've considered an external hard drive, but can you transfer applications onto an external? If anyone has a suggestion or a site to go to for directions I know that would be a huge help.
  6. bigscotal macrumors 6502


    Jun 26, 2008
    Found this thread while googling for an answer to a similar query of my own, perhaps somebody can help me also?

    I use a normal windows based PC with itunes at present, and have my 3G iphone all working perfectly at present.

    At some point in the near future I am going to want to completely wipe my PC hard drive, reinstall the operating system etc completely (Vista), and then put itunes back on.

    Prior to doing this, is there a simple way to back up the information that itunes holds in relation to the iphone, particularly the contacts, SMS's, settings etc. I am concerned that unless I do this somehow, then the first time I sync the iphone again, then it will wipe all this stuff from the handset.

    Is it as simple as locating the backup file that itunes creates when backing up the handset, saving that elsewhere, then reinstating it to the same location later on once I have reinstalled my computer?

    Any help much appreciated.

  7. jjk454ss macrumors 601


    Jul 10, 2008
    Is this the best way to make sure I don't lose anything on my iPhone? Once before when I tried to sync my iPhone, I lost everything because my Iphone or my Itunes got unregistered from my account, and the apps and everything got deleted. What I am doing is reinstalling OS-X on my Mac. But I have a couple apps that I have data in that I really don't want to lose. If I copy these files in the MobileSync/Backup directory will I for sure not lose anything off my iPhone? Is there a better way to backup everything? When I plug my iPhone into the Mac after reinstalling everything, will it give me the option to do a new backup just to be safe. I really, really don't want to take any chances of losing this data.
  8. TheConfuzed1 macrumors 6502a

    Jun 4, 2003
    On the iPhone, you can choose to display contacts as "Last, First," or "First, Last."

    Settings--> Mail, Contacts, Calendars--> Under Contacts, look for "Sort Order," and "Display Order."

    You probaly got those mixed up. :)
  9. Excellerator macrumors 6502a

    Aug 3, 2008
    I know this is an old post but after searching around online, this had the best information. The only thing was, there never seemed to be an answer. Has anyone successfully backed up the iPhone to a new computer without loosing everything? I am running 2.1 now without troubles but want to upgrade to 2.2 so I can run the latest apps. I am afraid of loosing all my imporant information and still am not sure if I plug it in to a new computer if it backups first and then does the upgrade. I don't want to loose everything. Any help would be appreciated.
  10. Rayfire macrumors 68030


    Aug 25, 2008
    Here you go...
  11. rprince macrumors newbie

    Jul 11, 2008

    Does anyone know if this method is possible between a PC and a Mac? I want to move my iPhone from my old Vista PC to my new MacBook.

    Any idea where the backup files are stored on Vista?

    Are the backup files compatible between Windows and OSX? Are they the same format?


    To answer one of my own questions, it looks like the backup files (going by the directory names suggested by GP1138) are in C:\Users\<username>\AppData\Roaming\Apple Computer\Mobile Sync\Backup

    I am still not sure whether you can just copy them over from PC to Mac though. I will investigate further!
  12. -aggie- macrumors P6


    Jun 19, 2009
    Where bunnies are welcome.
    See this thread, if you haven't already:
  13. rprince macrumors newbie

    Jul 11, 2008
    Thanks! I'll get onto it as soon as it finishes backing up onto my Windows PC. It's been 8 hours and seems to have stalled about 2/3rds of the way through :(
  14. Packs macrumors newbie

    Aug 13, 2009
    I've just done a transfer and all appears well so far. This was from XP to 2003 Server with iPhone and an iPod...

    Basically you only need to copy the contents of two folders:
    %USERPROFILE%\My Documents\My Music\iTunes
    %USERPROFILE%\Application Data\Apple Computer\iTunes

    1) Install iTunes on the new computer, start it and close it (don't let it search for music). You can then find the locations of the above - believe they're the same for Vista.
    2) Copy all the files in the above folders across.
    3) Start iTunes and authorize the new computer (and deauthorize old one).
    When plugging in iPhone it may ask to transfer purchased items on it to the new installed iTunes - I just clicked yes (this might of been my apps).

    If you moved your music to a different path you need to change all the references in "iTunes Music Library.xml". Just use a good editor like Textpad or notepad++.
  15. semin28 macrumors regular

    Oct 31, 2008
    So i was burning my itunes library on a blank disc but it said it couldnt do it for some reason . Do i need a better bank disc that holds more or a dvd ? .
  16. rprince macrumors newbie

    Jul 11, 2008
    What was the reason it gave? Did it display an error message?
  17. micbish macrumors newbie

    Nov 29, 2009
    Moving iPhone from a PC to a Mac

    Hi everyone,
    I was wondering if anyone can help me make a move from a PC to a Mac with my iPhone? I don't want to lose my iPhone data that is currently on my phone when I go to set it up on my new Mac. I can move the music, but I am most concerned with the contacts that I loaded by hand originally. Any help is most appreciated.
  18. steve-p macrumors 68000


    Oct 14, 2008
    Newbury, UK
    I must be missing something here, because it was really easy for me. I just copied the whole iTunes library folder from Vista to a new MBP and replaced the default Mac iTunes folder with it. When I opened iTunes again the whole library including apps, music, ratings and play counts was intact. When I synched my iPhone and iPods, it didn't even realise it was on a different computer and synched normally.
  19. micbish macrumors newbie

    Nov 29, 2009
    Transfer iPhone from Mac to PC

    I am pretty sure that the iTunes is not the problem. What I am most interested in is the contacts that I have put in by hand onto the phone. I am not using an email program that I plan on syncing with, so need to figure out how to keep them when I make the shift to the Mac. I just use them on my phone. When I move it to the mac everything will be erased and resynced from the Mac.
  20. steve-p macrumors 68000


    Oct 14, 2008
    Newbury, UK
    Just tell it not to sync contacts before you sync for the first time and it won't wipe them, will it? Why don't you want to sync them with Mac's address book though? It should take them from the phone and write them into the address book for you. Calendar, notes and contacts are two-way sync, not just from Mac to iPhone, but both directions.
  21. micbish macrumors newbie

    Nov 29, 2009
    iPhone from PC to Mac

    Thanks for that info. I will sync the contacts to the mac address book, but wasn't sure if it would erase it and then have nothing to sync back. If it goes both ways and I won't lose them, then that solves all my issues. Thanks so much!
  22. dworrybhappy macrumors newbie

    Jan 2, 2010
    Is there anyway to restore???

    I've copied the whole itunes folder including all the subfolders, applications music files with library everything from one computer and replaced the itunes folder after itunes installation on another computer, but can't recover my previous backup files?!

    Anybody help me, can't afford of loosing it.
    Thanks in advance and wish you all happy new year!
  23. Loobyloo macrumors newbie

    Jan 13, 2010
    2 Days but it's done!

    After much head scratching, transferring to Portable hard disk, frustration at the music not actually being behind the Library, and generally getting hacked off whilst trying to migrate from Windows XP to MAC, I set up home sharing (iTunes own solution), i told the MAC not to share anything, and the Windows PC to share everything. Open the Windows PC's shared Library on the MAC, selected everything, and "clicked", on "Import"! This worked great, apart from the Windows PC "hanging and crashing (as it seems to do way too often, hence the need for the MAC in the first place). When it crashed, I just re-selected everything that hadn't already transferred and started again. iPhone Apps, transferred with the music library. For my playlists, I used the "File/Library/Export Library" function in iTunes for the windows PC, onto a stick (they are small .txt files), and then the same, but "import", on the MAC. I don't have the "contacts", issues as I synchronise the "contacts", and calendar on my iPhones "Outlook", through my companies "Exchange server". You can do this pretty easily without using your work email (just switch that part off in the iPhone "Exchange Mail Account Settings".

    This solution may not be ideal for everyone, but it worked well for me :)

    Anyone want to buy a Windows PC? or swap for a MAC Mini (next on the shopping list!!!!
  24. scot119 macrumors newbie

    Mar 2, 2010
    Help please

    i have to xp pc laptops and i have copied the back up of my iphone to the new pc but how do i add this to my itunes so when i get my iphone back from repairs i can sync everything back onto it as the old pc is been sold!!!
    pleaqse help me asap :) thank-you:):)
  25. -aggie- macrumors P6


    Jun 19, 2009
    Where bunnies are welcome.
    Copy it to the Backup directory located here on an XP:

    C:\Documents and Settings\USERNAME\Application Data\Apple Computer\MobileSync\Backup

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