iTunes: Copy music from another iPod to your library

7 01 2007

UPDATED 25.04.10:  Application available

Given the interest in this topic I decided to code a small windows application to automate the tasks outlined below. This can be found here for those interested.


Decided to add some additional detail in response to queries (and also original posting from 2007 on WinXP probably not all that relevant anymore…!)

I also assume this will work for the iPhone / iPad but haven’t tried  –  if someone wants to have a go and confirm it would be useful.

In a hypothetical situation where your PC/Mac gets wiped and you still have all of your tunes on your iPod what do you do?

I have had numerous problems with the “IT Nazis” who look after my firms laptops etc. everytime it goes in for repairs the ***** wipe all of my iTunes off!

Here’s how to get round it…

Video walkthrough
Full walkthrough (start to finish) [download]

Text instructions

1 ) Disable Apple-related services  (changed since 2007 post  –  Apple had implemented a ‘fix’ where iTunes would load on default as soon as iPod plugged in and disabled it displaying in MyComputer):

  • Apple Mobile Device
  • Bonjour Service
  • iPod Service

To do this right-click on MyComputer –> Manage  in order to load up “Computer Management”

Once in Computer Management, show the services related to the Computer by selecting the option from the menu on the left:

Then, for all three services detailed above –> right-click –> “Stop”

NB:  You will want to restart these services after the music files have been copied across the the PC (step 7), or else iTunes will not load correctly!

2 ) Plug the iPod into the USB in the usual way (making sure that the “autoupdate” funtion within iTunes is disabled)

3 ) Go to “MyComputer” and select the iPod as if it were an external drive

4 ) Select “Tools”–>”Folder Options” from the menus
If this is not immediately obvious or does not display then press the “Alt” key on your keyboard and the menus should appear

5 ) Within the pop-up box which apperas, go to the tab “View” and select the below highlighted option:

Show all folders

6 ) You should now see some folders appear within the iPod which were not previously visible…

7 ) Go into “iPod Control” and then copy all of the folders with the music to the desktop somewhere.

8 ) For the files now on your PC, select all the folders and go to “File”–>”Properties” and uncheck “hidden” in attributes. Click “OK” and then select the following:


9 ) Using iTunes, go to “File”–>”Add Folders” and select the folders with the music in. iTunes will now add all of the music and tracknames etc. automatically.


Although you may use this to illegally copy music from a friends iPod etc. I have deliberately created a situation where this may be performed legally. I do not in any way condone “stealing” music…




55 responses

16 11 2007

thank you sooo much!!I am the happiest person ever!!

17 11 2007

This is great but how do I get the ratings to transfer and also the playlists?

1 04 2010

Fernando – havent looked into this in any detail but iTunes functions on an .xml basis.

As such, suggest you look in the iPod for any files ending with a .xml extension and then try to copy them manually across into your iTunes folder.

Will add it to my ‘to do list’ to look into…

9 01 2008

sir i want to know about folder options please send the matter my
mail ID.

15 01 2008

WOW! I just saved thousands of dollars. Thank you!

26 06 2008

hey thanks ALOT
but not all the ipods
music was copieed 😦
please answer mee
i want all the music on
my new library
-Thank you(:

13 10 2008

dude, the best ever. thanks a milion

3 01 2009

What if “Tools” doesn’t show? 😦

1 03 2009

i dont think its possible to do with windows vista……

11 03 2009

Thank you
thank you
thank you

You are a genius

27 05 2009
DeMarlon Pollard

I can see the drive but when I try and select it I get a F:\ Access denied error.

Please help

28 05 2009

Hi all, apologies for the lateness in response – completely forgot I had this blog…!

@ Karen and TL:

I believe Vista does not show the “File”…”Tools” etc. automatically like XP (not on Vista at present so can’t check). However, from memory, if you press the “Alt” key with the explorer up the options should appear.

28 05 2009

@ DeMarlon:

Are you using XP? If so, looks like this is what you are after:

If not, or the above doesn’t help, let me know with some more details.

28 05 2009
James Veitch » Blog Archive » iTunes: Copy music from another iPod to your library

[…] ripped from my old blog. See original post here Hints & Tips, Media, […]

27 10 2009

thanks a mill!

12 12 2009

I really enjoyed reading your article, keep on creating such interesting articles!

30 03 2010

wat nuin even happened f*** dis s***

30 03 2010
Ben C

I couldn’t find ipod control????

1 04 2010

Ben, you and Hannah might be having similar issues. Updated the post to give details about doing this with latest iTunes.

In addition, will stick a video walkthrough up when it finishes encoding.


31 03 2010

im telling you its not workin second time and not a damn ting happenin

31 03 2010

can someone seriously help me

1 04 2010

7months since last checking this blog…

Hannah – could you tell me what isn’t working specifically?

– are you able to see the iPod as a seperate drive in MyComputer?

– if yes, are you able to see all of the folders within the iPod?
– if you can’t see folders then make sure u have changed the view to show hidden files (detailed above)

Best wishes

1 04 2010


Tried with a vanilla iTunes install on Windows 7 – looks like Apple have implemented a couple of tricks to stop people from being able to do this since the original post was made in 2007.

I have identified how to get round this and will update original article with instructions on how do do this with latest version of iTunes (9.1) – See step 1 above, which details method.


5 04 2010

great article.

tobe rouge

26 04 2010
Paula Ailiff

Hey, I read a lot of blogs on a daily basis and for the most part, people lack substance but, I just wanted to make a quick comment to say GREAT blog!…..I”ll be checking in on a regularly now….Keep up the good work! 🙂

17 05 2010

ok..i disabled the services but the ipod still shows up as an ipod device, not a different drive..btw this is an itouch im using. i tried pressing alt and show hidden folders but no folders come up. It jus goes internal storage, then DCIM, then 100apple and 999apple folders..and those jus have pictures..please help!!

18 05 2010


Without having access to an ipod touch I can’t confirm, but believe the iPhone and this store the files differently on a hidden partition (i.e. if you look at the total size of the drive which pops up it will be less than the total size of the iPod).

I would advise checking out SharePod which is free to use and should solve your problems. When I get a chance will have a look at a friend’s iPhone to work out a way round this.


2 06 2010

Do you have instructions on how to do this with an apple computer?

23 11 2010

Thanks man

3 02 2011

hey can you maybe help, i try to unhide the folder but it still didnt show up

15 02 2011
pete howard

This has to be the BEST and EASYEST to understand write up i have even followed GREAT work every detail show thank you q:-)

18 03 2011

im not sure if this is a different problem but on my mothers ipod she somehow managed to get some songs that wont show up on her computer which means that i cant get them through home share…any ideas? the songs i want cant be bought on itunes so really i dont know WHERE she got them from! will this post help me?

13 04 2011

Im having trouble. I did everything it said up until ‘number 6.’ The folder that was supposed to apear didnt. and the only thing that is there is ‘Internal storage.’ which only came up with pictures and no music. is there another way to bring up the music from my ipod to transfer to itunes?

23 05 2011
Horace Topick

You guys are awesome, discovered your self on Yahoo. Simply needed to demonstrate to you which you’re amazing for discussing this.

4 08 2011

can you do this in a mac? :/

11 08 2011

Okay I got all of the music into the library without a problem but now my library isn’t reading any ipods that i connect…What needs to be changed to be able to read the ipods through my itunes library again? Thanks a bunch.

2 11 2011

Same ipod I problem now I cant get Itune to read my restarted everything?????

2 11 2011

Sorry What I wrote made no sense. I followed the instructions but no hidden files showed up and I finally gave up and now after going back and changing everything back ….i tunes isn’t seeing my i pod touch.

2 11 2011

Hi Kelly

You probably haven’t restarted the services you disabled right at the start.

3 04 2012

Hi, when i do the ‘show hidden files’ it doesn’t show them what am i doing wrong?

3 04 2012

by the way, my friend is over from nz and i was wanting some of her songs from her iphone to put on my ipod and so i was wondering if there is any possible way to do this without her losing her songs?

18 06 2012

may i know where can i find the “tools” in step 4? thankyou

19 09 2012
Big J

Pure genius! Thank you so much ! other posters …. If you can’t get this to work, you obviously don’t know how to follow directions! Thanks again!

5 05 2013

Could i possibly copy my music to the files on the ipod.? because my computer doesnt hold all the music i have on the ipod.

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