How To: Move Music from iPod to PC in 5 Easy Steps

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ipod   How To: Move Music from iPod to PC in 5 Easy Steps I’m a big fan of the iPod but what I don’t like is Apple not being very forthcoming about how to move music from the iPod back to the PC. They’re quick enough to tell you how to move the music from your PC to your iPod but when you want to do the opposite, Apple clams up tight.

Their reasoning is probably that the only reason you’d want to take your music off the iPod is to copy it and illegally distribute it. But that is really an insult to the music buyer. There are plenty of legitimate reasons why you would want to move your music from the iPod back to the PC. For a start, what if your hard-drive crashed and the only copies of the music were on your iPod? Or you accidentally deleted a song from your hard-drive and you wanted it back, without having to buy another copy?

It has taken me ages to work out how to get the music off the iPod and onto the computer but I have finally got it. This is how to do it on a Windows PC. Since I don’t have a Mac, I can’t help there.

The easy five-step guide to moving your music from your iPod to your PC

1. In Windows Explorer, go to Tools > Folder Options > View. In the Advanced Settings list, under Hidden files and folders, check the radio button for “Show hidden files and folders”. Then click OK. You’ll get a Windows security warning but it’s safe enough to disregard it as we will only be disabling this function for a short while.

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2. Plug in your iPod. In Windows Explorer, a folder will now appear with the name of your iPod.

winexploreripod   How To: Move Music from iPod to PC in 5 Easy Steps

Double-click on that. Go to the sub-folders “iPod_Control” and then “music”. You’ll find your music there randomly scattered across multiple folders and with scrambled file names. But don’t worry, the ID3 tags are still fully intact and we are now going to “unscramble” the files.

3. But first copy all the music from those iPod folders into a new folder on your hard-drive. Move all the songs into one single folder and discard all the folders that your iPod made. By the end, you should have one folder in your hard-drive with all the scrambled files together.

4. Open up iTunes and do the following : Go to Edit > Preferences. Under the Advanced tab, under the General “sub-tab”, select the local folder where you have copied the music from your iPod (by clicking Change…).

itunesoptions   How To: Move Music from iPod to PC in 5 Easy Steps

Check the box “Keep iTunes Music folder organized” and click OK. Also make sure you have wiped all previous music from iTunes so your playlists are blank.

5. In iTunes, click “File” then “add folder to library”. Select the folder where all your copied music is. iTunes will now re-import all your music back into the playlists. But more importantly, because you have previously clicked “Keep iTunes Music Folder organised”, iTunes will now start renaming and organising your songs into their correct names, albums and folders. This may take a while depending on how many songs you have in your iTunes library.

There you have it. Oh and don’t forget to go back into Windows Explorer, and to Tools > Folder Options > View. Reverse what you did so the hidden files remain hidden again. You may also want to de-select “Keep iTunes Music Folder organised” if you don’t normally use that option.

You may want to also take this opportunity (before doing the above) to wipe your iPod and revert it back to the factory settings. Lifehacker also suggests defragging your iPod (although I think that is potentially rife with problems). Then afterwards, just use iTunes to move your music from your PC back to your iPod.

Reverting it back to factory settings is good for getting rid of any crap that has built up inside the iPod and making it run faster. After all, the iPod is basically a hard-drive and like PC hard-drives, an iPod can do with a purge once in a while to give it its speed back.

Do you have any iPod tricks to share? Tell us in the comments!

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Why would you want to buy software, when this is super easy? I think it’s funny that people are willing to spend money on something they can do themselves, for ‘free’, and it takes an extra 10 minutes.

Mark O’Neill

The problem with this kind of software is that it doesn’t unscramble the names of the songs. The iPod scrambles the names of the songs to the point where they are totally unrecognisable (such as fjdkdkdkkd.mp3) and the software available doesn’t address that problem. That’s not so much of a problem if you only have 10 songs but when you have 100 or 1000, then individually listening to each song and renaming it manually is not really an option.

Mark O’Neill


Well it depends on how you arrange your music. Is it all on your computer as well as the iPod? Do you synchronise your PC music with your iPod? if everything is in its own folders on your PC then you can just drag the folders over to your external HD and they will stay in order. Then wipe iTunes so your playlists and old links are gone.

Then when you want to play your music again from your external HD, load up iTunes and point it towards the external HD so all the music reloads again into iTunes with the correct links.

Moving everything to the external HD will not delete the ID3 tags in your music. So you will still have the singer / band’s name, the song name, the album name, the album artwork, etc.

I hope this helps.


Hi Mark – I followed all your steps at the beginning of this thread and right at the end I couldn’t get the re-import to happen (actually all of #5 in your 5 step solution). Can you suggest what to try next?


its alot easier if you just search your ipod for with the music option ( or *.mp3 *.m4a etc.) and then just copy all those files, instead of each folder individually.


Does anyone know if this will work with an iPod that is currently formatted with Mac? I need to move my music from a Mac iPod to a new PC that I bought. Thanks


I am not totally sure, but I think it should work.

Mark O’Neill

No, it won’t work. If your iPod is formatted with Mac then you need a Mac computer to transfer the songs back to the iTunes on the Mac computer. Then you reset the iPod back to factory settings to clear all the previous settings. Then you need iTunes for the PC – PLUS you need a PC cable to attach your iPod to the PC so iTunes detects it. You obviously can’t use the Mac cable for the PC.

I bought my current iPod from someone who had a Mac. I ended up having to do all of the above. That’s how I know.


Thanks. Is there anywhere on the internet I can access more detailed instructions on what you wrote above?

Mark O’Neill

Kurt – I don’t know. Try Googling it. But I have thought of one method if you can get hold of a Mac computer.

Connect to iTunes on a Mac and use the procedure explained in this post to move all your music to the Mac computer.

Now wipe the iPod back to factory settings.

To get your music off the Mac computer, plug in a flash drive or USB stick and move the music to the flash drive.

Plug the flash drive into the PC and move the music over to the PC.

Use a Windows version of iTunes to move the music back to the iPod which should now be formatted for a PC.

Since I have never used a Mac before and have no experience of a Mac, I can’t be 100% sure if this is all correct. Maybe somebody familiar with a Mac can verify if this method would work??

Gianni Carlo

There is a program called IDump that does it all for free and deals with the file name problem too! You can tell it a folder to store the music in and then select (for example) artistalbumtitle and it will make sub folders with artist in the folder you selected and then sub folders in the artists folders for the albums and then put the songs, correctly name, in the album folders. It does it (i assume) by reading the tags of the songs. If you want it can also do year, genre etc. folders and it can do it pretty much any order you can think of! It also works with videos and is 100% free (forever!) you can get it on if i’m not mistaken. (ps its fast)



I also am getting an external hard drive. I tried dragging the “Music” folder to it but it just appears as “F1″ and “F2″ and so on. How do I put my music from my iPod to my external HD? And no, I don’t have the music on my computer.



Thank you so much for your help, you got my music back! My E-drive on my computer crashed containing all my music and pictures, i got my pictures back but I couldn’t get my music, even the shop couldn’t. So now I’ve got it al back and what’s more is now it’s all ordered!

Thank you again


Hey, i’m surprised nobody has mentioned the free program Floola, which does all this and more, works on both mac and windows, doesn’t need to be installed on your computer and much more! you should check it out it’s great


This Helped alot. The only problem I had was that I had multiple artists and I couldn’t tell which song was which on the coverflow so I had to type in the song name under “Album”…..for 340 songs.

Good guide though!


Can anybody tell me how to move music from iPod to PC in 5 Easy Steps using Window Vista Home Premium? Thanks in advance!


this is an absolute genius idea

it worked very well



Hey thanx guys,

We got robbed a week ago, everything was gone, but i had the ipod with me. At least i can reload my music on my roommates pc. Guys, i learned something, no mater how precious are your data, bakcup on an offsite location.

I do Backup my stuff, but its in an other pc connected remote from the closet.
plus on DVD in the shelf, on a steelrod with lock at each end, But they stole it too.

I just vanished in thin air, like thoses small businesses from 9/11. All my data, all my contact and contract, the upcomming classes and seminar a was about to give. over 10 years of data, gone.

It can happened to you, guys and girls :) BACKUP, i say it for you.

a vanishing magician


can someone help me PLEASE! I have a mac fornatted ipod and have just purchased a laptop which runs on vista because my mac g4 ibook dies on me… anyway I have 1000’s of songs on my ipod that I need to transfer to my new laptop but cannot find a way to do it. I would be INCREDIBLY grateful if someone can help me asap.



Mark O’Neill


I hate to say this but you’re going to have serious problems. When you set an iPod up for the first time, you have to configure it for either a Mac computer or a Windows computer. The cable that you need to connect the iPod to the computer is also different, depending on whether you have a Mac or Windows.

If your iPod is configured for the Mac, then you can only move the songs off the iPod onto a Mac computer. Once the songs are on a Mac computer, you can then wipe and reset the iPod and configure it for Windows. But even then, I fail to see how you can move the songs from a Mac computer to a Windows-formatted iPod (one cannot recognise and accept the other). Plus as I also said, the cables needed are totally different to one another.

I may be wrong so don’t take my word for it but to the best of my knowledge, a Mac-formatted iPod and a Windows PC will not operate together, therefore your songs are stuck. To move them off the iPod, you will need to get a Mac computer.

Can anyone else contribute here to the discussion?



You didn’t specify whether you have your mac still or not. If you do still have it, you can use iTunes to create a “Data DVD” and make multiple ones. If you happen to have an external hard drive, you can save yourself the time, hassle, and money of making multiple DVDs. I would just store your music onto that hard drive and transfer them to your new laptop. Personally, I store all my music on an external hard drive and have iTunes organize my folder and automatically add my songs to it when they go onto iTunes. You can also use the process illustrated by Mark to put them on someone else’s computer if you don’t have your mac anymore and then use my process. I hope things work out for you.


Unfortunately, because your external hard drive has to be formatted for *either* mac or pc, if you copy files from a mac onto an external hard drive (which would have to be formatted for mac to do this; otherwise you only have read privileges), your pc won’t be able to see or use those files. A flash drive would work, but if you’ve got 100s of gigs of music like I do, anything smaller than an external hard drive makes this chore a huge pain in the ass. (If anyone has a way around this, I’d love to hear it — I have a mac at home and a pc at work and want to port over my itunes library.)


Hey laura,
May be I can help u. Mu mailing address is

Mail me and I will solv your problem


i have windows vista and the windows explorer on this system is a little different then the other one, do you have any idea how to do this using vista? if so can you email me?



What exactly is the problem that you’re being hung up on? If your trying to find the “Tools” tab, you can press [Alt] and the tabs will come right up at the top of the windows explorer window. After that, the process should work out for you.


The third step is that simple or am I missing something? It doesn’t seem a 10 minute operation if you have 1000 songs on your Ipod. Do these steps work on Vista too?


Not sure abt Vista, although I remember someone saying it doesn’t


Okay, I think I have a challenge. I have about 50 gigs of music on my PC ipod, about 16.5 of which comes from my itunes account. I do have some music files stored in their own folders on my laptop’s hard drive but they are also burned into itunes and if i remove these original folders i get the dreaded exclamation point in my itunes library. The rest of my 33.5 gigs comes from music that’s been ripped from other itunes, etc. I’m getting an external hard drive to backup my ipod because my 3 year old computer doesnt have a writeable dvd-rom and i only have 25 gigs of free space on my hard drive. Like i said, i can’t import about half my ipod’s music into my own itunes library (i can only play it as an external device) but how can i transfer my music onto an external hard drive? should i follow the above steps but gradually? for example, copy 15 gigs from my ipod onto my hard drive, transfer said files to the external drive, erase the 15 gigs on my laptop to make room and repeat? if so, how can i tell what’s 15 gigs worth of files and how will this affect my songs when i’ll eventually need to re-upload them onto my ipod from the hard drive? also, how will this affect any of the files that i’ve downloaded from the net but not from itunes? that is, for those files that have their own folders on my laptop’s hard drive but have been imported into itunes? i’m worried about getting that damned exclamation point.

thanks so much for the assistance.


Thanks…this process took 15 minutes and was very simple for us non-techies. ;)


i follow instructions exactly , but nothing happens after i execute the last step

Have i missed something ?

Plz advise


Mark O’Neill

@Dirt : The process works perfectly as I have described it. You must have forgotten to do something in the process. Without being able to peer over your shoulder, it’s impossible for me to know what you did wrong / missed out. I recommend you start again from the beginning and make sure you leave nothing out.

Roger jones

No need to do all this, its a lot easier just:

1- Show all hidden folders as described in step 1 above(different in Vista look here:

2- right click the iPod_Control folder -> select properties -> uncheck the hidden box at the bottom

3- Open I-Tunes goto the file menu, then add folder to library

4- Browse to your music directory on your ipod , mine is found at: E:\iPod_Control\Music

5- Click OK

Job done I-Tunes will add all your music to your library, perfect if you have a got a new PC and want to transfer your music over!, save 20quid on something that dosen’t work as well! :>


thank you so much!! it worked! haha

Ian Mann

You are a star…worked first time and loaded all titles etc….Thank you


but what about if this has happened then you want to put it on your laptop because im having major trouble?


I did this step by step and am fairly tech savy but after my 3000 songs were loaded into the itunes library they still have all the wierd scrambled names. I even let it sit there for an hour and a half while it got all the album artwork to see if that would magically change the names but no. Am I missing something I changed the folder then checked the box of keep it organized before adding folder to library so why do I still have scrambled names? Any help please.

Mark O’Neill

If you have “Keep iTunes Music Folder organised” ticked then it should automatically rename all your files for you. I can’t explain why it didn’t happen. Sorry. All I can suggest is that you start again.


I did everything as you said it but still my ipod (it’s a touch, don’t know if that matters) doesn’t appear anywhere! Can you help me?

Mark O’Neill

I’m sorry. I can only tell you how I did it. I can’t do anything else because I have no way of knowing if you made a mistake or if your PC / iTunes / iPod has an incompatibility which stops you from succeeding. I can’t look over your shoulder and watch. Sorry mate. All I can suggest is that you try again.

E. Jones

I think I see what Roger Jones is getting at above— I skipped the 4th step because I was concerned about “wiping iTunes” and didn’t want to take a chance. Once all the files are copied into your new folder (step 3), it seems to work to just go to File in iTunes, Add Folder (whatever you named it) and the files will be named properly when it transfers them in. I hope I’m not missing something drastic– but that worked for me.


i can’t find the windows explorer thing. Well, ok. I was messing around cause i was trying to transfer the itunes music to the windows media player, but i didn’t know that it would totally erase the songs from the itunes library. So i tried to get it back from the external hd, but it says it cannot be located. also, when i go to my music in my documents, it only says itunes library, damaged. So i really want them songs back. if u could help that would be great. thanks

A Kidd

when i try to add the folder to my library, nothing comes up…it just stays blank…why does it do that???


I’ve got an old pc with my ipod music. This pc syncs with my ipod.
Now I’ve got a new laptop with loads of different music.

Specs; Ipod video 30gb 5th gen Laptop; Windows vista

Question; I like to tranfer my ipod music to my laptop WITHOUT loosing my existing music on my laptop.

Anybody knows what to do in this situation?

Much appreciated



this just cleared my ipod somehow…obviously i messed up but i have no idea how i thought i was following the instructions exactly.

when i copied the music to another folder, it looked like it was fine. but then when i opened the new folders, there was nothing in them. so i plugged my ipod back in, and the music had disappeared. and now my ipod is blank and since i cleared my itunes i have absolutely nothing.

is there anything i can possibly do? cuz now i just lost 2500 songs completely and have no way to get them back


is the intruction same on vista


Thia was all going well until I started to receive error messages such as:

Cannot copy [file name here]: The parameter is incorrect

Any ideas? I’ve tried copying the entire ipod folder in one shot, copying each subfolder at a time, and even copying the files one at a time, which with 28GB of music would take a while. But each time I try it I eventually get this warning pop up and from that point on I get the same warning for every file.

I’m pretty sure I’ve followed your instructions so maybe I’ve a software problem on my laptop/ipod?



It worked!! I had lost my 5000 songs …. Thank you Mark.


I had deleted music files off my pc and was wondering if this works even though I did that? As of right now if I do connect my Ipod to my pc those songs will get deleted.
Thank You Either Way!!!!!


It DOES work on windows vista. Thanks a lot for the tip… It wasn’t THAT fast (when you have more than 2k songs) but it did work and that’s what matters =)



I have a Mac, but it is formatted to run Windows too. Well, my windows side crashed about a week ago, but the mac side still worked. So i used that side and used this software that i downloaded for free called iPod Access, i believe. Then when i got the whole computer problem fixed, i switched back to the Windows side, and everything was wiped out. All of my files and songs, everything. So i downloaded the software again, and i started moving all of my songs. Now its saying theres not enough room in the C drive. But i dont know how thats possible when, before, it worked just fine when i had a ton more stuff on my computer. Literally everything is gone, and its saying theres not enough room. i dont know what to do. It takes way to long to redownload all of my songs, so id rather just move them. Can anyone help me?



it’s Workkkkk
thanks man :)
it’s sooooo easy guys just try it ;)


I just did the steps and it worked perfectly moving my songs from my computer to my external hard drive. Thanks for the information, I’v been trying to figured this out myself.


I have done this many times before, but this is my first time trying to do it with Vista and I have tried many times now and can’t get iTunes to do anything! Any ideas?


it worked! thanks a ton.

commenter matt was right; it is easier to retrieve all of your scrambled files if you search for .mp3 within all those F01, F02 etc folders.. instead of going into each one and copying its contents into another folder


will this process allow you to transfer cd songs that are on your ipod to your computer? Or will it only work for iTunes purchased songs?


Mark O’Neill

It works for ALL songs on your iPod – regardless of whether they were purchased on iTunes or not.


I figured out how to copy the songs before, but never knew how to organise them until now. Thank you so much!!
i also agree with matt (searching), although i used an ipod touch and ftp program so this wasn’t possible.



This is the most useful information I have found in the web in the last year.

I really appreciate it.


I had to reboot my PC and lost my itunes, and have been trying to work out how to transfer all my tunes back to the PC from my IPOD. I’ve got a lot of music on there, and really didn’t want to lose it. I went to ITUNES for help, and they were worse than useless.

thank god I found this website, with these instructions. I’m not the best on my PC, but even i managed to follow this, and have sucessfully got my music all back into my ITUNES and better still, it’s still on my IPOD, I’ve lost nothing.

Thank you Mark.

Karen Anne

Thank you so much for posting this, it was really easy to follow. You’re right, Apple shouldn’t try and stop us doing this, there are legit reasons we want our music on our PC, thank you very much Apple. It took some time to copy my 4000 odd strong library, but I got there in the end. Thanks Mark!


hey umm my ipod wont show on windows explorer?? i did show hiden folders and files. could it be that my ipod just wont connect?? but when i plug it in it shows that it connected.
please help ASAP.


ummm never mind it just randomly started to sync by itself


My computer was stolen and wiped clean of my itunes. Luckily I still have my Ipod by am weary about trying to transfer the songs back. My ipod automatically syncs with i tunes when i plug it into my laptop and Im afraid it will erase everything. Is there a way to prevent this from happening?


Actually, all you have to do is uncheck the hidden and read-only options in the the iPod_Control folder. Then you can go into iTunes and click Add Folder To Library, then just navigate to your iPod’s Music folder, which is inside the iPod_Control Folder. That way you don’t have to erase your library first, and iTunes will automatically recognize which songs are already in your library (if you have them named the same) so you won’t get any duplicates. You do get a couple messed up titles like that, but it’s usually only a handful so it doesn’t take too long to fix your library.


Hi guys,

I followed the steps perfectly and all the songs are copied, so that’s ok, but the moment I unplug my IPOD from the pc, Itunes can’t play my songs anymore cause he can’t find them…


Many thanks!


thank u so much man, u saved me from downloading all my songs all over, i just got a new itouch for my birth day.

ps my birthday is 7/7/91 not on the 4th. early gift :)

Lola O.

Whoever Took the time to put up this website is blessed. I have spend 3 months tryin to figure out how to put ma songs on Ma new laptop from ma Old Ipod. The software might be required for some but i think its real easy to follow the step by step instructions listed up here.
Thanks once again to those who took the time to put the website up.
Lola O.
Panama City, Fl.


I only know one way to move the music from iPod.
That’s great!
How to move the photos from iPod?

Also I just use the Pavtube Video to iPod Converter which help me transfer the downloaded video to iTunes for my iPod video.


where is my comment?


This time will be ok.


What if I want to transfer my songs from my iPod to my computer that doesn’t have the original library on it? My problem is that the iPod isn’t showing up in the Windows Explorer after enabling showing hidden folders.


Waw you life saver
Im just a 13 year old, and to be honest, i dont have lots of money to spend on things that i only need to use once.
i live of my ipod, its close enough one of my best friends, and if a 13 year old girl who doesnt understand anything without a demonstation can understand that, i dont see why all you people are waisting money on devices that will only do that any way.


Okay, so i ctrl A to select all the files from the F folders that contain all my mixed up files and drag em over to the new folder i created as instructed. once F00 folder is copied i begin to do another (F01) and i get a message telling me that certain file already exists and do i want to replace it. the file is 12 meg and the one its asking if i want to replace it with is 6 meg….. this continues to happen what am i to do about this and why is happening?


When I got duplicates as I was copying from each folder, I renamed it. So if there were two files named DWEM, I renamed the second one DWEM2. While it seems to have worked I have no idea what song was in each file so I don’t know if I lost it or if this was a good workaround.


I’m using Vista Premium. Is it supposed to say ‘Synchronizing’ on the iPod when the music is being copied to my desktop? Just curious.


It worked for my iPod nano but how can you do it on an iTouch?



i dont have a folder options. im on a hp laptop


I am responding to this article:

I was wondering if anyone has run into the situation of the camera icon for the iPhone showing up but not a drive letter as this article shows. (Perhaps someone at Apple read this fix and stealthily changed that from being able to happen in one of the updates ;~D)

At any rate my laptop crashed – I am trying to put all of my music from my iPhone back on the laptop and can’t get a drive icon to show up in the Windows Explorer?!?!?!?

I’m running Windows XP Pro 2002 with (only) Service Pack 2 installed – iTunes version

Thanx for any help anyone can offer!!


why is it neccessary to take all the music off of your iTunes?
Is it only because you’ll have doubles of your songs?
because some of the music on my computer isn’t on my iPod. and I don’t want it to all be gone.


Thanks very much. Worked a treat.


Once the music files have all been copied over to the new folder on the hard drive, is that now the permanent home of those music files? Or once it has been imported into iTunes can that folder be deleted? It’s not clear to me if iTunes is just reading from that folder so I’d better leave it alone or if I can delete it. It takes a huge amount of space.


When I ran into duplicates, I just renamed the second one – so DWEM became DWEM2. Don’t know if it worked because I don’t know what was in each file but it was all I could think of to try.

Jo Darrell

This guide is absolutely brilliant! Had been searching for an idiot-proof way to do this for days and this did the trick! Only thing I had to search for was showing hidden files when using vista… all music from ipod now back in itunes and I’m very happy!


This just might save my life, but I want to ask something before I try it. It organizes all the folders and albums and stuff correctly, which is excellent. So does that mean when I copy all these songs back to itunes, the artist name will be right and the album art will be there? Because I had to manually enter that information when I originally downloaded the songs and it took me forever. I’d rather try and come up with a different way if this can’t keep the album art there, you know? Any answer from anyone is so highly appreciated, I cannot even tell you :)

Thanks in advance =]

ps. also, is this going to copy the movies and music videos I have on my ipod? Because I don’t have the space for it on my computer and I can’t figure out how to discern from song files and video files when the names are all scrambled up.


I have been trying to Move Music from iPod to PC and am having difficulty. I am using Windows XP on my laptop. I have a 30 Gig iPod. In step 1, it says “In the Advanced Settings list, under Hidden files and folders, check the radio button for “Show hidden files and folders”. Then click OK.

I do not seem to have a radio button. Of course, I do not know what a radio button is. I do see a file folder. Under that file folder, I only have “Do not show hidden files and folders” and Show HIdden Files and folders” which is already checked . Since it is already cheacked, I hit OK. Windows does not show a secuirty warning. Can you please help. I’d sure like to transfer the music from my iPod to an external hard-drive and then reload it with more songs. My son originally loaded my iPod with my other computer (crashed) and have lost all my music that was on my old computer. I also have lots more to add to the iPod. Your help would be appreciated.


Thank you man. I forgot to move my music from PC to laptop before I started travelling and when i wanted to add some music on my web pages I found just that folders with random called songs.. I really hate aple stuff.


This may be a stupid question but in Step 3, once the music is copied to the hard-drive I’m supposed to “discard all the folders the iPod made”. Is this referring to the F00, F01 etc. folders on the iPod? By doing this am I deleting the music from my iPod? Thanks for the help.

Mark O’Neill

once the music is copied to the hard drive, move all the music into a new Windows Explorer folder and then delete all the empty iPod folders (F00, F01, etc). It’s just all garbage that the iPod made. Once you move all the music back to the iPod again, the iPod will re-make all those folders again anyway.

Mark O’Neill

once the music is safely on your computer, I recommend you wipe your whole iPod anyway and give it a good rebooting to clean all the crud out.


Worked great! Thanks for the help.

Is there a way to do the same but to a Mac? My son just got a Mac for school and we need to get music on his iPod to the new Mac. Any help or direction would be appreciated.


Thank you…you are my hero. This was so easy and the only thing it didn’t save was my playlists…but now that I have all songs back (purchased from itunes, from cd and from other sites) I am backing up my itunes just in case my pc crashes ….or in my case, if my nephew downloads something that screws up my pc again. So easy. Takes some patience if you have a large library. But worth it.


Nice tutorial, but it doesnt work for me =(
It just doesnt add music to library and doesnt give me any messages, nothing..

I’m using iPod nano 3rd Gen and iTunes 7


I’ve followed all the steps… The songs have been imported into my Windows Explorer. But when I try to Add Folder to Library in Itunes nothing happens. Now my ipod seems to be malfunctioning. I saw this issue raised above but did not see a response. How do I get the folder transferred to Itunes?

Thanks for the help!


ive used this before and it worked. but i cant find were you can see hidden files on vista


After my laptop was stolen I followed these instructions to get my music from my ipod to my new computer. It worked great, it did not cost any money, and I did not have to download any questionable programs to my computer! Thanks a lot for your help!

Omar S. Faisal

Thanx alot my friend, it was pretty helpful :-), also this note about restoring factory settings once in a while is brilliant too …. god bless


WOW! Thank you, thank you, thank you! I *stupidly* deleted my music folder on my PC (running Vista) because I thought I was deleting a shortcut (stupid!). I was able to recover about 1/3 of my extensive music collection because it was on my ipod. Thank you.

PS: For other Vista users: I logged on as administrator account, made sure all files incl. hidden were visible in the folder, right clicked the iPod_Control folder -> select properties -> uncheck the hidden box at the bottom, opened itunes went to file/add folder, browsed to that folder, clicked okay, took just about two minutes plus four more to find all of the album art. All were in the right order, with the right info. SUPER EASY.

Thank you!


Thank you so much for the easy step by step process. I first tried to use apple’s web site to give me a step by step way to move my music from my iPod to my computer. It was super confusing and just down right frustrating. As you said my computer took a crap and I lost it all. Thanks you, Thank you, Thank you!!!!!

Ross Dougal

You mate are a legend!


I’m not very computer savvy. I did this whole process and it worked for the most part. But iTunes won’t play the songs. They are all there and when I click, nothing happens. Also, whenever I click on a song I bought from iTunes, it has to authorize. And it authorizes and still nothing. I went from XP to Vista. Help!


Unfortuantely this doesn’t seem to work on any of the latest ipod’s?
I rebooted my computer and lost all my music, but i cant get it off my itouch…
When i try to do point 2, the “ipod” icon just doesnt appear…
A bit gutted, just means i will have to buy an external hard drive for the future… Esepcially as my macbook pro is coming this week :-)


I know a way to put the DVD movies and music to iPod, now share to everyone.
Only five steps:

Step 1: Download and install Aiseesoft DVD to iPod


Step 2: Click ‘File’ menu and ‘Open DVD’, or directly hit ‘Open DVD’ button to load the DVD.

Step 3: Select the output file formats.

Step 4: Click the “Convert” button on the main interface to start the conversion.

Step 5: Open iTunes and click “File” to add your converted videos to iTunes library and plug in your iPod to

computer, then check the videos you want to sync and click “Apply”, done.

Hope it was helpful to you!

R.E. Knowlton III

Hopefully someone can help me ~

I followed the steps to a tee but still had to copy each individual file (not the folder) over to my Music Library, which was a hassle but it seemed to be working ok. Unfortunately, after I had already moved one whole folder (125 individual files) I was unable to play them back because iTunes was unable to find the original file and because of the scrambled file names I am unable to identify them manually.

PLEASE, someone help me. I have 925 songs from my extensive Frank Zappa collection on my iPod and do not want to spend another two full days ripping them back into iTunes from my CD collection.

All I want to do is back up these songs so I can clear my iPod and be able to down load podcasts, but still have access to the songs so I can make playlists and load them up in the future.

I am using Windows XP and have a 4 gig iPod.


R.E. Knowlton III

Bob smith

You can actually move music from iPod to PC in just one step with CopyTrans and it will also transfer your playlists and ratings into iTunes.


Worked out great for me, but i just have a quick question. Does anyone know if we have to keep the folder with all of the the songs in it once they are on itunes?


I must be retarded as I can’t do it!! I have Vista business and I can’t find the hidden thing in tools (feeing like a tool myself actually) Pls help!!


I have Windows XP, and no folder appears with the name of my iPod in the left-side module of Window’s Explorer.

Mark O’Neill

Hmmm….well it should show up (it HAS to show up). So something is wrong with your iPod, your iTunes or your computer. Try one of the following :

1. Check the USB cable for your iPod. It may be malfunctioning. Do you have another one you can try? Check all the USB ports on your computer. Do they have dust or dirt in them? Blow the dust / dirt out or use a cloth to wipe it out (or a small vacuum cleaner). It may be blocking the connection. You may have to remove the side panel from the hard drive and clean from the inside.
2. Remove all other USB devices from the computer first then try the iPod.
3. Reinstall iTunes or check for iTunes updates. iTunes comes with a few addon programs such as iTunesHelper.exe and iTunesService.exe . If these addons are not running, the iPod won’t show up. If you uninstall these addons, either intentionally or accidently, again, the iPod won’t show up.
4. If all that doesn’t work, Google “ipod doesn’t show up in my computer” – – there’s lots of forum queries you can look through for possibilities.
5. The last ditch possibility is to reformat your Windows – but this is obviously the last possibility.

I would first check the iPod USB cable and your computer USB ports – they may just be on the blink.


I know my computer recognizes that my ipod is hooked up because it shows that it is in itunes and has all the correct data storage information listed in the itunes summary window. also, my ipod works perfectly fine in my docking station and when i am listening with my headphones. also, windows recognizes a USB storage device is plugged in. I will see what that website says though.


It was SO simple. I had to have the “enable disk use” box checked in the itunes ipd summary window. It’s always the simplest solution….but thanks for the help.


To show hidden file in Vista business
Open Windows explorer on menu bar click on organise>folder and search options then view tab then check radio button and hit apply and OK


I did the 5 steps and it works good, all my yhe music that wason my Ipod is now on my PC. But when I did the sinc with the ipod, did not copy all the music that I have on my Itunes library to the Ipod, there is like 100 songs that can not be move from the PC to the Ipod, I believe these are the songs that I bought from Itunes stores……What can I Do ???

Mark O’Neill

the only time that the iPod refuses to move music back from the computer is when it refuses to recognise your legal ownership of those songs (in other words, the DRM of those songs is blocked). Go to iTunes on your computer and make sure that your computer is still the sole authorized computer for those songs. Make sure you are still logged into your iTunes account with those songs and plug in your iPod and make sure that your iPod is set up OK. If everything looks fine, try moving the songs again.


So I’m using vista, and an iPod touch, I got the ‘show hidden files and folders’ thing, but I cannot find this ‘iPod_Control’ folder, nor does any ‘iPod’ drive come up in explorer.


I did this just now and it worked but the only problem i had was that my songs have no names, it has been labelled AAZC AECZetc. but they all have album names nd artist names. can anyone help me ?! thanks.

Mark O’Neill

Keep going with the 5 step process – when you finally move the music back to iTunes, the music will all be renamed for you back to their original names.

Mark P

This 5 step procedure really works. Thanks a lot Mark O’Neill.
I rather do this than spend around 30 bucks for a program that will do it faster.
This works fine. Now I have all my songs back into my laptop which i lost due to a hard drive
problem which i had to clean out my whole hard drive and lost everything.

Thanks, Mark P


Thanks very much, I’ll try this now (I already download a software to do this, but I prefer to do this manually)



Hey Mark.. I am unable to see my ipod icon come up in windows explorer. did the first step in showing hidden icons or whatever.. Please email me if you can help me out


hey guys,
i’m tryin to get my photos from my ipod back on to my PC,
Any ideas

Mark P

I need help on my iPod classic 80GB.
I have photos stored on my iPod and I want to put them back into my computer
because I lost all my photos on my computer and all my photos are stored on my iPod.
I need help in putting photos from my Ipod to my computer.
If anyone can help, Thank you.

Mark P.


awesome stuff, thanks dude…..that last comment tho?? y would you pay for somethin which you can do for free? tsssss…….but one again tho cheers dude



god i near cried when my computer got wiped & lost ALL my songs!

thank youuuuuuuuuu!:D


It look good but i have vista but the windows explorer did not come up like your instruction i would like know how to do it.
thank you


I NEED HELP! I go into Windows Explorer and click show hidden folders. When I do that and plug up my ipod, it does not show the folder with my ipod name. Any advice?


A few other alternatives to this process would be using some freeware alternatives that would prevent the scrambling of the names as was being discussed above. Just to name a few

Sharepod – a free manager with playlist support and the ability to add to ipod

Yet Another iPod Manager – Much like the above with a slightly upgraded interface. Functionality, is much improved with additional features not provided by SharePod.

YamiPod is the current software I’m using for all of my iPod Backup needs.

Hope this helps


I did this and it did not retain or move the names into itunes when i imported the files what is wrong?


I used this iPod Copy program, it preserve all names well.


It’s great, and I also know a step by step guide showing how to finish the transfer work with high speed.


What about with an IPOD TOUCH???? HELP!!!! TOUCH users are kinda screwed.


Hi, David.
For iPod Touch, I recommend this iPod Touch to computer iTunes transfer software.

It can help you copy songs vidos photos playlists from your iPod Touch to computer or iTunes in a couple of clicks. If you own more than one iPods, it can simultaneously manage all the iPods in the same interface, you may transfer files among these iPods by drag-and-drop.

Hope it helpful for you.


I am having the same problem. I completed steps 1-5 and nothing happened. The transfer of files did not happen. The files on my ipod are gone. I went to undo the steps and still were not able to recover my music files on my ipod. Were you able to recover your files? If so, how? Two things that I did..I copied the ipod/music file to my external drive. I used this file name in steps 4 and 5.

Mike Lewis – Let computer do

Check out the iPodPCTransfer, it works perfectly!
Save me a lot of time, and their support is great. A lot more than I expected.
I recommended it to all my friends already :)

Their website is
You can download it free, and try it yourself.


If you have Vista, go to Control Panel-> Classic View-> Folder Options-> View and in a list below click the bubble for Show hidden files and folders and exit out.

Afterward, go to Computer-> (iPod sign)-> iPod_Control. Copy the file labled Music.

Find and open your iTunes Music folder, create a new folder and paste the other folder into it. When that finishes, right-click the new folder and go to Properties. Where it says Attributes, unclick Hidden.

That’s it. Just make sure to go back to the Control Panel and hide all the hidden folders again. Simple as pie. Hope that helps.


Thomas, i have Vista and my computer keeps stopping at Step 3?
It attempts to download but it doesnt go through?

Any help would be appreciated!


Thomas…you rock! Followed your steps & it worked seamlessly. Thanks!


Yup, it works – many thanks. It even copied over the album and song labels when I copied them into iTunes. If you follow the steps you can’t go wrong.


yeah, this method is a little complicated, so i seached some reviews and bought a software, named ipod to pc transfer thing… the link is where i bought it from… may be someone else could try this, or just find out an easier way.



My laptop recently had a harddrive crash, and I had 5344 songs, 7 podcasts, toooooooons of music videos and a couple movies on my iPod but couldn’t get them back to my laptop!
But… IT WORKED! :D:D:D I had to go searching how to figure out how to actually do this, because I couldn’t find the first step to save my life.
But, it worked perfectly, and I greatly appreciate this, Thank you!
It will be in my favourites for later use!


Wow, this advice was great!!!! My home computer crashed and all I had was my ipod for my music library. I bought another Ipod, the classic, and wanted to transfer my library. Mark give great step by step directions. Transfer all of my library from my old ipod back to the computer and then to my new ipod. Saved me tons of work copying all my old discs back to my ipod.
Thanks so much!!!!

Jim Brown

This is a great guide. Thank you for sharing
I got two iPods and my sister has one more. More often than not, I need to transfer music from one iPod to another, and here is the guide I’ve used <a href=”” title=”How to transfer songs/videos from one iPod to another“>
It works perfectly too.


This was a short, but very thorough explanation of the process and it worked perfectly. Since my time at home has been a little tight lately, I first transferred the file folders containing music to a folder on my desktop. This way I could extract the audio and video files from their respective folders and cut and paste to a new single folder when time permitted and did not have to keep my iPod connected to my computer.

Major fist bumps to Mark O’ – Thanks man!


Okay so I just got a new pc and I had no problem using these five steps to sync my iPod classic to one of the users on this pc. I am having trouble syncing an ipod touch using these steps! The only files that show up are picture files! Does anyone have any suggestions for me? It would be greatly appreciated!


i dont usually leave comments unless they are called for, and i must say hats of to you mark, youve saved me a bit of cash :D

i have 4666 songs on my ipod, and i had to go through 49 folders cutting and pasteing to get it all on, but it worked none the less. all with artwork, names and even the organising folders.

and this is perfect for a one of thing, as i wanted to transfer music from my old comp to a new comp and this way was fantastic. if your willing to spend 45 mins (this was waiting for over 4000 songs) to get music onto ur new comp for free, i highly recommend this technique :D

a little update though: on itunes 8.0 you need to go into advance to select folder and organise folders rather then general :D


thanks a bunches, cap’n!

ive been going through program after program looking for a free one, basically just running through trials and moving them all bit by bit (hahaha! im such a cheapskate!) of course i had no luck with finding a free program, but this works absolutely fine.

kudos a million, droog


After clicking the radio button for showing hidden files and folders… the Y: for my iPod (when it is plugged in of course) is not showing. I can’t go any further until I find the drive and it’s no where to be found… please help me!


The problem you have is what i had, when you plug in the iPod the drive shows for a minute and disappears. The solution is to uninstall iTunes. then connect the iPod, it will then show as a removable drive in my computer and stay there, then you can access and transfer the files. then reinstall iTunes and carry on as above, works a treat.


This method can’t rebuild the playlist. And the name of the song is totally random characters. Most importent: it can NOT support iPod Touch or iPhone!

I used a tool iPod PC Transfer to do this job, it is not free (cost 19 dollars), but wothy to try, it is so…. easy to use, saved my music and my time :). They also has a photo version which can extract photos from ipod even you didn’t include the full resolution pictures in your iPod before! cool.

Mark O’Neill

Yes it CAN rebuild the playlists and the names of the songs are automatically put back in later. You obviously didn’t follow this procedure right through to the end did you?

You obviously stopped in the middle then jumped right in here to leave a false and misleading comment which promotes a piece of software which is not needed. You’re not the software developer by any chance are you?

Mark O’Neill

Emma : it’s possible that iTunes doesn’t recognise your ownership of the other songs (the DRM is at fault here). Did you legally download these songs from iTunes? Did you use a different computer to download them? I am not sure how to circumvent the DRM to be honest but this might be the problem.


Worked perfect! Thanks a lot!


Hi Mark,

Thanks for this useful Free info!

I have been on this for hours now but I am still having a small problem towards the end.

I have followed everything you said step by step, and I am sure it works because of previous positive comments from other users, but for me, after I click Add Folder To Library and select my folder (I have also already set this same folder as the iTunes Music Folder Location) and it starts importing all the files.

However it doesn’t appear in playlists. I had deleted all previous playlists except Party Shuffle and Genius which I cannot delete. However, all my music is in Library>Music, some still encrypted (XRNM or ZOIG etc).

I have over 2700 songs in over 100 playlists… I am at a real loss as to what to do! Can anyone kindly help me?

I don’t know if it makes a difference, but I did not CUT and paste from the F1 F2 F3 folders, but I COPIED it onto my hard drive, just in case this didn’t work out, my iPod would still have the music in it. It is an iPod Classic 80GB.

Thanks a million!
ps. I am sorry if I am double-posting. I can’t see my reply on this page =/


mark, youre definitely missing a step here.. and hopefully it will solve other’s problems as it has solved mine.. the first step, before opening windows explorer and allowing for hidden folders to be shown, is to open itunes and “enable disk use” for your ipod.. before this, my computer wasnt able to locate the ipod as an external drive. hopefully after you are done this, your ipod will show up in your windows explorer, and then follow the remaining steps.


Wow this was super easy. Longest part was drag and dropping music into the one folder. I only had 48 folders so not too bad. It worked perfect and song names, album covers everything moved over with no problem :)

Your a genious!

Now I need some help with getting movies onto the ipod without buying expensive software. Any suggestions?


how long did it take for the tracks to appear on itunes?


This worked incredibly well – my old PC blew up and the Harddrive was completely fried. I’d not been good about backing songs up on CD (I will be now) and this step by step saved me aggravation and about $60 in not having to repurchase stuff from iTunes and at least 30 hours in time in not having to reburn something like 1400 songs back into iTunes. I was leery of purchasing the download stuff (especially from the websites with lots of misspellings!)

Thank you thank you thank you!


hey just wanted to say this is awesome!
like many others i cba paying for something that shold be free
so many thanks to the creator


it works fine! thx :D


i used sharepod and works great. just google it or go to it’s free.


This doesn’t work for itouch, I don’t think.
Apparently Itouches are not hardrives or something.
So they don’t even show up in “My Computer”
At least mine doesn’t.



For a better iPod-to-PC transfer, I used Tansee iPod Transfer

When you plug your iPod to the computer, this program could display all songs and videos on the iPod instantly.You simply select what you wish to transfer and click “Copy” button. Done. All your songs will be copied to your computer completely and safely. Now you can easily add those songs to iTunes library.

If you are using Mac, 4Media iPod to Mac Transfer is definitely a tool worth trying

Best luck!


This worked like a charm – thank you sooo much!
My computer crashed this spring, and I’ve been trying to move about 300 CDs I had on my iPod to my new computer. No worries any more :)


You are a genius! This absolutely DID work. I forgot to add them to one folder the first time and it didn’t work but when you kept telling people that they probably skipped a step, i went back and sure enough…I skipped a step!

Thanks so much!


Did the steps and everything pretty much worked out. The only issue was that out of 3048 songs in those folders I had to cut/paste I had 13 songs that used the same 4 letter code. This isn’t a big deal since I can replace the 13 missing easy, but was wondering if anyone else had a similar problem.

Manoj Bhargaw

Oh, this is the kind of thread I was looking for.
My old PC (Windows XP) died. I had my iPod Nano connected to it with over 300 songs. Some of them I had stopped synching with the iPod (but they still were on the HD).
I do have a backup (from a week before the crash) of the entire iTunes folder. This backup is on an external drive.
I now have a new laptop with Vista on it.
To be honest, I thought this should be straighforward.
Just simply install the latest iTunes on the new Vista laptop. Then, connect the iPod and tell the iTunes software to move everything from the iPod to this new PC.
Nope :(
Then, I searched and found this thread/forum.

Thus, question: Do I have to start at the step # 3 (and move all my music from the backup drive to the new laptop’s drive in ONE single folder)?
Or are there better alternatives?

Thanks much in advance


This is amazing! It really works! Thank you so much!


Should each song appear on itunes as it is added or do the songs only appear on itunes once all songs are imported? I’ve followed the 5 step process (although I’m a Vista user)but nothing seems to be happening in itunes! I’ve got around 6,000 tracks (24GB).


top stuff my friend, followed this and it worked like a charm
just one thing, my hidden files were set to ‘shown’ anyway, is this dangerous? should I change it back?

Mark O’Neill

well it isn’t a security risk but I would change it back anyway. If they are showing, there’s a risk that you might accidently delete them and then your system might not work properly.


I just want a piece of software that allows me to do things like transfer music to my ipod. take tracks off easily and maybe even play them easily on my PC. I think I should go back to the shop and ask for my money back because the standard software to manage is just difficult to use. Does anybody else feel like this?


Does anybody know how to do it for an ipod touch because in the my computer it doesnt show the apple ipod icon


This worked with my IPod 30G, but when i tried to do it with my dads 4g nano, it asks me if i want to format it once i double click on it, and it doesnt come up as Ipod just drive e removeable storage….help


I am so greatful for the 5-step instruction. I have managed to get my music to my new laptop and included in Itunes.

However, I don’t understand how to handle my playlists. They are on my Ipod Nano, but how to get them to my new laptop and then into Itunes ?

Can someone please advice me ?
I would be sooooooo happy !


i have an ipod touch, and whilst this method may work for all other ipods, i have trouble findin it, mebe its just windows vista, but i can seem to find my music files on the ipod. i can veiw my music on itunes, but thats it.

can som1 plz help me?


I followed your instructions and all my songs on my ipod are listed but don’t play and I don’t know where they are on my computer. As far as I can tell I lost all 1280 songs. Any suggestions????


reimport back into my playlists?? My computer spent aawhile doing that I thought and all those sub folders are empty, all music on my Ipod dosen’t play but is listed and I don’t know what to do…I lost everything….




Thank you for the guide worked perfectly but i cudnt go to file and import them through import folder so i had to open new folder and just drag all music to i tunes and it worked THANK YOU!!!!


THANK YOU! It finally worked!


How should I do to get the playlists from my ipod to Itunes on my PC ?
(I have managed to get the music in place but no playlists.)

Please help me !


i did this and it worked, but you don’t have to do step 4, at least i didn’t and all my music was imported with the right names and everything and i totally missed out step four, i don’t see what the point of it is really…


always come back to this post everytime I change PC. all works 100%, just remember that when you copied the files from the ipod, to change the properties of the files (on your hard disk) not to be hidden anymore, otherwise itunes can’t see them when you try to add the folder.


Hi Abi and TheNico,

Did you manage to get the playlists from ipod to Itunes and then back to ipod ?
Just by floowing the 5 step procedure ?
I get the music from ipod into itunes, but don’t understand how to handle the playlists. Where are they and where do they go ?
– Annette -


I had a whole bunch of great music on my old iPod that I lost when my computer wiped and cus it’s such an old model, none of the downloadable software would work with it.
This worked so great!
– Mikala xx


Where is windows explorer and how do I go to tools and folder and view? I’m computer illiterate apparently.

Thanks for writing this, I would lose so much money because my computer decided to crash. So much fun :/

Mark O’Neill

Windows Explorer – press your Windows key on the keyboard (the one with the Microsoft logo) and then “E”. You’ll then see options at the top. One of them is Tools.


thx a lot


My Itunes wont let me add a folder to library, it lets me add a file but you cant do more than 10-12 songs at a time, i have 5500 songs, and that would take hourssss, please help

Mark O’Neill

Just go to File–>Add Folder To Library. Choose your folder and the contents of that folder will be added to iTunes.


yea i know but its not working, when i do that, it doesnt do anything its weird

Master AC

Yeah the same thing is happening to me as well. I keep clicking add folder to library, it closes and nothing happens.


That was sweet! I’ve been trying to do that for years. Worked perfectly.


I dunno – followed it exactly and step 5 does nothing. I see the folder I want to import, but when i click it then click ok, nothing happens.

I swear I followed it step by step. I also updated itunes and let itune restore to factory settings – I have no songs in itunes (new computer running vista) and I now have no songs on my ipod :( I do have a bunch of folder with the scrambled songs that came off my ipod now in a folder on my desk top – that just dont want to move to itunes. Im lost..
thanks for any help.


I had this same issue. It seems if you go into each folder and highlight every song within the folders and drag them into your itunes it will work. This takes a few seconds per folder but ultimately worked for me. It will then close the folder on you, and you have to re-open the music folder. It’s a lot of work, but it’s free and easy.


Thank you so much Adam! I was having the exact same problem, but what you said to do worked perfectly!


Hi I love you! that was way easier than the 2 hours i spent on Apples website! <3


Great Gob Mark Your the f….. Machine!!
That did helped me a lot and saved a lot of my time!
You guys know Time is money!
I transfered the 60 Gb Ipods whole music to a Ipod 160 Gb and that method Worked perfectly for me!
WE do have to apreciate the guys like Mark ! for the help that we can get for those guys!


hey ur just gr8888
do u know any method to get the podcasts or the videos back???
or any other ipod tric???????

plz do let me know…….

i m a big fan of urs




dude you rock!!!!!!


Thank you so much! This worked perfectly. :] and I’m almost totally computer illiterate, lol.

My computer died and I only had my music on my iPod, so when I got my new computer I was music-less. Thanks a lot!


I have an ipod that is formatted to macs and I want to transfer my music files to a dell pc, but I can’t connect the ipod to the pc without deleting all of the files. Is there a way to transfer the files without deleting the ipod files?


I saw the answer to the mac ipod to windows pc question. How about transferring the files from a mac computer to a pc directly?

Mitur Binesderti

Now that DRM has been removed I hope these silly issues will be resolved in the future too.

Like you should be able to listen to music you bought on iTunes anywhere. Say you’re going to your in-laws and want to listen to some music on their computer. You log in to iTunes with your account and can listen to the music you have payed for. But when you leave the music isn’t available to your in-laws because they’re not logging in to your iTunes account so can’t see your library.

Anyway, that’s how it should work.


Thank you so much! This was a big help!



Great instructions. I’m right at the point of “no return” and need to know why I have to get rid of all of the songs in my current library. I had a hard drive crash on me and was so despondent that I didn’t even think about my ipod for quite some time. I bought some music added some new CD’s. I then started trying to move the music but as you stated, Apple doesn’t facilitate this very well. So, Why get rid of current library content? What’s the danger of keeping it in? Thanks in advance.

Mark O’Neill

The danger of not doing it is that it won’t work! ;-)


ok, fair enough. What would you suggest? Should I burn them to some CD’s first then re-import after the “procedure” is finished?


It worked Great! Thanks Mark for posting this valuable (and free!) procedure. I just moved my current music to a zip drive then re-introduced to I-Tunes.. Perfecto!




I also had problems with step 4. So I messed around and instead of going to edit and selecting preferences to add the folder, I went directly to the file tab on Itunes and then add folder to library, then VOILA! All the music appeared on my Itunes. Hope this works for you because it did for me!


that’s usefull~


I am not computer nor iPod savvy, but this worked so well! If you can follow instructions step-by-step, you’ll have no problem. I have a new computer with Vista, and it took a few seconds to find what to look for, but it was totally easy!
Thanks for teaching me how to save my music Mark! :D


hey,, i got a free software from


Thank you. It worked great.


I was wondering if your songs named ADAS and stuff are renamed
back into their orginal titles on your computer? I know you said they are renamed in itunes but are they on you computer?


I am copying the files and then something pops up and says
“The parameter is incorrect” Then it stops copying.
Help please.


ok when i put the files in a new folder, i copied them, so the ipod folders arent empty, will it still work?

copy ipod

It seems a little complicated. I use a sofeware which named ipod to computer transfer.I hope to share with you!

copy ipod

( iPod to Computer Transfer is designed to help you backup all your files from your iPod.


I tried this method, didn’t work, but found one that did, but it’s slightly more time consuming, if you don’t mind.

1) make sure your pc reads your Ipod as an extra hard drive.
2) make sure hidden files and folders are shown.
3) open I tunes, to the music list.
4) open the G:\iPod_Control\Music* folder
*replace G with whatever your ipod drive is.
5) open each folder and you’ll see the music with 4 letter titles. Just drag and drop those onto your itunes music list, and wait for itunes to add it.
Once that’s done for all folders, just sync your ipod.



I followed steps 1-5 and the files did not transfer. Nothing happened. I have window xp and a reg pc. I copied the files to my folder on my external drive. In steps 4-5, I provided the same file name of the copied ipod music files. When I cleared my playlist in itunes, I cleared the playlist in both places, music files on my hard drive and playlists on my ipod which was listed on itunes. When this did not work, I copied the ipod music files from my external drive back to ipod/control/music folder. This still did not give me access to my music on my ipod. Any suggestions or have I just lost my music files?


I personally use Cucusoft iPhone/iTouch/iPod to Computer Transfer.It helps me to transfer my songs/videos/photos from ipod to my computer directly and safely.It works well for me. It even has step-by-step guide on the whole process.
Free download it at:

Tim Anderson

I have read almost all the comments, there are a lot of tools have been mentioned.
I tried some of them (well, it’s not easy but fun :) ), personally, iPodPCTransfer is my final choice because it is the most easy-to-use one. You can find it at


this is a great guide and works perfectly, if your having problems and something has gone wrong then you have not followed the guide correctly. my mom even followed this guide for her ipod and my mom is useless when it comes to things like this.

People need to learn to read and have a little patience

Thanks Mark x


I just followed the steps and lost everything on my ipod. When I turned the ipod on it looked like I wiped everything clean. I still have all the music files saved on my desktop. Does anyone have any idea what I can do to restore this music? Thanks


I just tried to follow the steps and I obviously did some thing incorrectly. When I went into my ipod I was prompted to choose a lanquage. My whole ipod is wiped out. I did save the music folder on my desktop. Is there anyway to get my music back?


THATS AWSOME… THANX… i just did it and it works… thumbs up

Jon Doe

All of you know that downloading music from ipod your ipod’s to other people’s computers is illegal.

Dylan Topper

Well, Just worked perfectly for me with nearly 3000 songs!! If you follow the procedure correctly it should work fine.


awesome awesome awesome. took awhile but well worth it!!


I just did this. Took me about 15 minutes to move over around 2000 tracks. I lost 4, but that’s nominal. Thanks for the instructions!


thx gkar i just completed the floola expierience THX SO MUCH got all 13 gigs of my 4g nano 16 gb with the exeption of 8 songs for some reason it had some problems but it alerted me of those songs and i just went and torent dowloaded them all so all in all floola is great


Finally a process that works. Thank you so much!


Worked as you described
Thanks for the guide.


Well, I followed the instructions exactly but at step 5 when I select the folder all the music is in, the window closes and Itunes just sits there doing nothing. There is nothing in the music library.

So close but yet…

Any help?


You are a genius! This “how-to” saved me a lot of time. My husband got his own iPod and wanted the same songs on his iPod. Of course I do not keep the library (space issues on the computer). I thought I would have to do it all over!
I would just like to know one more thing: Can I remove the games that came with the iPod, by just deleting them?

Heather McEwen

Hi Mark,

Thanks for the guide on transfering ipod to pc. Only thing is that it has overridden what was already in my itunes library! Boo Hoo! Can I get the songs back?



Worked like a charm for me, easy to use, no flaws, no trouble.
I guess if you follow the steps correctly, it is the perfect way to do it.
And for the guy who said it wiped out everything that was in his library: Well, Mike O’Neill said: make sure your library is empty.
My opinion: The library might be wiped out, but the the files should still be in their location, like the music folder, movie folder etc.
My stuff was all still there.

Silver Wolf

You are a life saving god! My computer crashed and all my music was gone except for my ipod. Thanks to this I’m well on my way back to normal. Thank You! :)


time consuming but amazing. It worked perfectly. My ipod had 1,000 more songs than my itunes and now both are at 3,500! Thanks.


thanks man. This way worked perfectly. It took less than an hour for 10 gb of songs.


Wow I manually moved 21 gigs of stuff..

I am doing it right now, but I dont think I checked the organizing thing… I hope I did.

Fingers crossed…
btw, this is an excellent and easy idea!

thanks for the helpful information



darn, it did unscramble for my songs…

but not for my vids…

gotta play thru every single vids I have…


McDonalds, that’s probably because videos are DRM-protected.


Hey! Great tip! ;)
everything works just fine! Thanx man ;)


Thank you, Mark, for posting this. It certainly saved me a lot of effort in cleaning up my music folders when I switched to a new computer.

Natalie Straub

Thanks so much Mark. Was great to have this as a resource after my PC was stolen. Cheers~


Thanks for this Mark!

I noticed a couple of comments/questions from people that said they did it all and then the content didn’t sync in the iTunes library. This happened to me. I then copied the music file information from each subfolder that the initial copy from the hidden file created into a single folder, then repeated steps 4 and 5 – and then it worked.


Hey all, I found the same thing!!! Completed all steps and didn’t seem to add list. So i tried Drag & drop: from the folder you made on hard drive to copy all the songs into (from ipod control file step 3), dropping them straight into itunes. If you have selected the organise tunes boxes as in step 4, then the songs should list in correct names.

Cheers for the help



all comments are very good, i’d like to offer a site which contails more information about data transfer between handheld device, like ipod iphone itunes etc. you can find it at, at this page you will find the best data transfer softwares for giving you various solutions.


I tried this and it does not work with my iPod. I have standard Windows Vista XP and an iPod touch, first generation. When I plug in my ipod it does not pop up in a drive. It only says “Portable Devices” and underneath “Sara’s Ipod”. When I go to show hidden files and apply it, nothing happens. The only folder within my ipod is “Internal Storage” and within that is the pictures stored on my ipod. None of my music comes up or anything. Does anyone know a way to fix this?


i love my computer


Thank you so much!!!! Worked perfectly on Vista with an iPod Nano.


Really? i couldn’t figure it out and i have vista. i had to find my own way through the comupter.

Cynthia Preston

I have the file of the moved songs. they are a faded color, and still hidden. When I ask ITunes to add the folder, it does nothing. What should I do?


Hi – this looks really useful BUT in moving the ‘fragmented’ mp3 files across from the ipod to pc, windows constantly detects the earlier file fragments as having the same filename as the later bits and asks if these are to be replaced with the later fragments. I can’t see how you can be certain you get the whole mp3 file over and I think it would be fatal to delete the files off the ipod. Am I being obtuse?…keith


I figured out how to do it if you have to get a new hard drive and these steps dont work on your computer. Make sure you have itunes downloaded when you are doing this. Bring up itunes and go to the top bar and click “File”. Scroll down to “Transfer purchases from ‘ipod'” click that and it should imedietly start to transfer the music from your ipod into your new itunes library.My computer has windows xp. i dont know if it effects anything, but i thought that bit of information could help.

Dave Wilkinson

Well, I followed your instructions to the letter and everything worked perfectly. No need for any of the software your other commenters are clearly trying to sell. Oh, and for my modest 1000(ish) songs, the whole process only took about 10 minutes. Thanks for the great guide.

Cynthia Preston

Everything worked perfectly. the only thing i had to do was highlight all of my copied music, right click to get to the properties, and un-click “hidden”

Took a while, but everything worked great. thank you SO much!


Oh my goodness! this is the best site and explanation ever wow!!!!!!!!!! for the whole day I was goign crazy and I was driving myself crazy on how I can put all my music back and i came across this site and it helped me so much words cant explain how happy i am right now THANK YOU SO MUCH!!!!!!!!


Note for Vista users. In step 1, to get to Tools in Windows Explorer, you need to open the folder, then hit the windows key and the alt key at the same time. Then you can get to Tools. Also, in step 2, you can just plug in your iPod and open Computer, then find your iPod and open it from there. That is what I did and it worked like a charm.

Thanks for sharing this info. I had to do a system recovery and this was the quickest way to get all my music back on my PC.


Holy Sheeeeez… Thank you thank you. Worked perfectly. I even did it in two parts cause my music library too large to fit on ipod. Just make sure you copy all files to folder before you reimport… DISREGARD ALL REPLYS THAT WANT TO SELL YOU SOFTWARE TO DO THIS. This five step method is easy and fast…. no need for additional software. thank you again…


Thank you thank you thank you thank you! I’d been trying to figure this out and was afraid I’d lost all my music! Not being very techie this was written in a way I could understand. Thanks!


Does this apply to Second Generation iPod Touches ? I was unable to see the subfile “iPod_Control”.



It took over an hour for me to get back my 2000+ tracks but well worth it !



I copied all of my CD’s to an external hard drive along with my itunes library. I inadvertantly deleted the library and am trying to restore it from my ipod. I am having trouble becasue when I connect my ipod, itunes starts up and wants to synchronize. I was woried it would erase my library as it synched so I stopped the synch. When I do I lose the windows explorer link for some reason, ie it wont show the folder and gives mean error message.

What can I do? Is it ok to let it synch and if so will the link be maintained?


Oh my god, thank you sooooooooooooo much!!! I love you. btw. (:



I followed all of the steps and it worked! How do I now sync the files to the itunes folder on my computer?? Can i reverse step 4 and change it back to the itunes folder ?? I am a little worried as I have some different music in the itunes folder to the one i transfered from my old ipod!!

Can anyone help??



Fantastic thanks sooooo much have been tryin to transfer songs this way for soooo long! Legend!


If “all y’all” would have purchased a PC based MP3 player (like I did – Sony) you wouldn’t have to “F” with all this iPod “S”. I still don’t understand how Apple has this image of being the “cool one”, while they are far more the Big-Brother-Control-Freaks-do-it-our-way-or-else. At lease PC based players don’t make you jump through hoops just to control your own music between player and computer. My kids have gone through several iPods each, and always have major problems trying to ‘migrate’ to a new computer, or share, or just about anything except “drink the coolaid and only purchase from the iTunes store”

Jason white

THIS WORKED PERFECTLY! Thank you so much. I just bought a new iphone and my old ipod was the only place where my music was so now I have all my songs back yay!


Hey Mark, before I try this I’m curious as to wether or not you know about songs on an iPod from another computer. ie they show up as songs I don’t have ownership of. Will it transfer them to my PC as well?


This was excellent!!! :D It wasn’t THAT hard if you follow it step by step. There are a few songs that it wouldn’t copy and as a result wouldn’t copy any others but all you have to do is unplug and replug in your ipod, and carry on copying the files onto your hard drive (just not including the one that made it mess up before).. a few odd songs missing here and there is better than NONE! Genius, thanks! :)


Wow, thank you so much. With my well over 1000 songs, did take som time. But it work. Can’t thank you enough.

– Herman (Happy)


Hello, i have windows vista, ipod nano 2nd gen., and the latest itunes. out of 16GB of music on itunes, itunes does not find about 20 songs! The title is there in itunes among the other files, but it will not play, itunes give a “original file cannot be found” error. When i plug in my ipod, in windows explorer, i can find where all the songs are in the ipod, and those “missing” files are in my ipod and play. But when i go to view the files in my ipod thru windows explorer i only see the RTYX.m4a. The artist, title, track # etc … is completely blank. And yes i did click on the show hidden files thing. So ..
Why can’t i,and how can i view the details of the files of my ipod in windows explorer. If i can get that far, then maybe i can transfer single songs and not the entire library into itunes from my ipod. Thanks.


great guide, worked perfectly fine with me. Put about 2900 songs back on my Pc Thanks for the toutorial!


I can’t tell you what a life saver this article was. Thank you for writing it so clearly.

all the best,
Rae =D


For a better iPod-to-PC transfer, I used this iPod Transfer, it supports iTunes 9 and iPod Touch


i did everything listed for vista and it worked, got my songs onto itunes, but they will only play if my ipod is plugged in, wth


THANK YOU! THANK YOU! THANK YOU! I was able to transfer not only my music, but also all my videos!
Thank you!


It works perfectly!!! I was moving media to a totally new computer, so followed steps and BINGO.



But it doesnt rename videos, but only got 8, so renaming dem aint an issue


Just moved all my music to my new PC. It worked great, thanks a lot man, really appreciate it!


I love you, man. That’s awesome. Thank you!


thank you, are god! just coppied 2k songs from my classic to ipod touch

iPod to Computer Transfer

Hey there,
There are several free applications out there that will also pull the photos from your iPod onto your computer. One of those is iPod to PC transfer. Works great. Give it a try or go ahead and search around for one of your own. Good luck. One thing to keep in mind is that the photos have been optimized to fit your iPod’s screen and will not be the same size as the original files were on your computer. Hope this helps.


I AM NOT A SOFTWARE DEVELOPER – I used this method and it worked Great! It preserved all my ipod files and file names so all you naysayers are just trying to push your product. HIGHLY RECOMMEND THanks for the Info, I almost bought the $20 program, glad I didn’t, PHEW!


There’s an interesting and more up-to-date iPod to PC tutorial on this page and it also works for iPhone.


Thanks for this helpful tutorial. I am currently in the stage of copying the music.
I have an empty iTunes and everything, but when I plug in my ipod, iTunes automatically comes up and asks if I want to sync/erase my itunes or transfer purchases. I don’t want to do either, but in order for my ipod to show, itunes has to be open.
As I said, I’m in the copying process, but am kind of worried about the next step, once the copying is done. In order to open up the window, I have to make a choice (cancel will make my ipod disappear). Should I be worried, what would you do?
I have a lot of music on this thing, and don’t want to lose it!

Scott Sloan

Mark- I have a 30 Gig Ipod classic that was originally sync’d with a PC. My HD crashed, I lost my entire music library, some of which I purchased from I tunes, but I primarily uploaded music from my original CD collection into the Itunes library. I have installed a new HD (still using XP as the original OS) in the computer but do not have a current copy of Itunes on the HD. My Ipod classic is the only remaining copy of the library, I’d like to install(transfer) it on my new HD, will your method described transfer all of the music off the Ipod to the HD and will all of the music (purchased and uploaded) be accessable on the Ipod and computer to play and burn? And do I need to install a current copy of Itunes on the new HD before attempting the transfer? You insight would be greatly appreciated- Thanks-S

Scott Sloan

Oops, Mark I actually have an Ipod 4th generation not an Ipod classic, I don’t know if the Itunes version or actual unit affects the sequence or steps for the transfer, thanks again for your sage info.


I do step 5 but nothing happens…. any help?


I can’t download itunes at work but need to listen to my ipod sometimes to drown out the noise around me. Thanks to your info above I was able to download the ipod music to my computer and can now listen to my music on my computer without using itunes. Thanks VERY much for providing this information!!


Just did it, WORKS AMMAZZINGG!!!
Promised my friend that I would back up his music to a HD for him. Music was only on the iPod. Thought it would have been easy… Well, being there was about 30GB of music, this took a little bit of time, but a HECK OF A LOT BETTER THAN PAYING FOR IT!!!



i used this tonight, it took me about a half an hour but it did work successfully… i was really concerned that i would lose the music on my ipod of CD’s i no longer own or that are scratched… THANK YOU!!!!!


Absolutely awesome. Super easy thanks to the above step by step instructions. Just migrated all the music from my Nano 3G to my new Sony Vaio Windows 7 in about an hour. I had dreaded doing this but the instructions were great. Thank you so much for taking the time to post.


I can’t believe how well this worked! Thank you so much, I thought I was going to have to pay to get my 1640 songs off my ipod but following these simple instructions managed to do it myself in approx 30 mins. Brilliant cheers.

Bishara Andonie

How can I transfer music from a PC to a 1st generation 5GB ipod?

C Frazier

Hi mark,
Been searching the web for awhile hoping to find a thread on how to do this. About a year ago my computer crashed and i bought a new desktop. Seemed like I’d never be able to get my ipod connected to my computer with the lack of information available about it. I was so glad to find your article!

Did everything you said but I’m not sure where but guess I made a mistake. Have all my songs back I believe because the number of songs on the ipod are the same on my itunes desktop, but a portion of the songs have random names like JKKO and the playlists i had did not come back. I’m sorry to be redundant if you did answer this…. but what did I do wrong?

Thanks for your patience.

C Frazier

Oh no! You gotta get back to me soon! I just noticed right after my last comment trying to play my ipod tht it doesn’t play anything! It just skips pass the songs as if I were holding down the forward button!

UHHH! Help! Somebody Please!

Mark O'Neill

I’m sorry but I can’t see exactly what is wrong because I am not there to look at the iPod and your computer. I guarantee the process I have described works. So the best thing you can do is start again from the beginning.


Thank you very much, this really helped and I’m so happy:))
Just a little thing: “Add folder to library” option did not work and I selected “Add file to library” and then selected all the scrumbled files. Can’t thank you enough.

C Frazier

Hi Mark,
Thanks for your response. I have tried to do the steps over again. Maybe I havent been successful since having to try it a second time I need to wipe the itunes clear and I’m not sure how to do that (& did you mean make sure there arent any playlists or any songs in the itunes library on the hardrive of my computer itself?). PLease let me know which direction I should try next.



I have tried your method and in step 1 everytime when i tick ‘show hidden files and folders’ my computer automaticly changing that for ‘do not show hidden files and folders’… mmm any ideas why???


Your instructions partly worked for me but I did end up losing music as the transfer did not take all tracks over from my albums. To enable the file transfer I had to click on each folder. There were about 50. Once this was done I was able to sync my IPOD. However, my IPOD just froze and I had to reset it all. Once it was wiped out everything went over with the exception of the missing album tracks.

At least I can now start adding more. Thanks


UHhh, for some reason there’s nothing in those F## files…


I think that happened to me and I just had to repeat it all over again. It did take me around 3hours to get it to work


Thanks so much for this, I just did it and it worked perfectly!


I have a ipod touch which doesnt seem to show up in windows explorer once I have selected ‘show all hidden files and folders’. Any ideas? I am also using Vista.



Thx man, this saved my life! My toshiba laptop’s hard drive burned out, and i didn’t have any backup discs ready for my new computer. This saved a ton of time…


This worked for me. In the last step when adding the folder to itunes.. it did not work. So i opened up my folder, and opened each file individually and dragged them to itunes. This took a long time, but worked. Some of the songs remained scrambled, but they are at least on my PC and in itunes now. Thanks!


I’ve got Vista and it’s worked perfectly for me, thanks!

The only slow part I would say was waiting for itunes to process the songs, album art, etc, which really can’t be helped but it’s all good :)


OMG!!! Thank u so much!!! my computer crashed and I lost everything and I did not want to lose all my music and this worke!!! thank u so much! I appreciate it


Thank you so much. This site is awesome! Yours steps were clear and easy to follow. I did however do something wrong sinec this was a new pc i did not have itunes on it so after i copied the music onto my harddrive and put them into one foler I downloaded itunes from apple so this website is fantastic. Everyone who says you have to oay for it are wrong they were probably loose in the brain and paid for it and want eeryone else to do that too. Thank you so much for this website and for all y0ur help on simplifiing this mystifying procedures. I am off now to find instrucions on how to restore my ipod to factory settings.


i found a even quicker way.
if you know the name of the song you are looking for,
make sure your hidden folders are viewable,
click “Search” and click “search subfolders” and then search for the songname or artist in the TEXT IN FILE box, NOT THE TITLE BOX!


My iPod wouldn’t show up as a drive. To be honest, it didn’t show up at all, but my iPod was still charging.


Mike – THANK YOU! Your instructions were very clear and concise, and it worked perfectly for me. I successfully transferred the iPod data back to my PC without any glitches.




So, i figured it out. I have vista home premium. I changed the settings in windows explorer, tools, folder options, view, show hidden files and folders. I then went to itunes and created mp3 versions of the songs i want transfered back to my PC. (i have AAC versions in itunes). I then go to Windows explorer, find the itunes file where all my itunes music is stored. For me its Music, itunes, itunes music. There i see all the bands i have in itunes. I find the band and albums and songs i made mp3 copies of in itunes, and drag and drop them to a desired folder in my PC. These instructions are probably already in the forum somewhere, i just didn’t see them, so i found these elsewhere. It worked great.


i cant seem to get past step 1 with windows 7. when i get to the show hidden files part, i click ok , then nothing happens at all. it says a windows warning should come up, but nothing happens. i dont trust any internet downloads, and ive got over 12,000 song that i really dont want to lose


Thanks Mark, worked perfectly!
One question though: That new folder I made to copy the files into off the ipod, and then added that file as the iTunes media location in ITunes preferences- do I changed the setting back to the default locatoin, or keep this new folder as the iTunes location permanently?

Mike Broome

I have tried and tried but cannot get it to go into itunes I have followed your instructions, I have all the files(songs) in the folder. But when I try to put them into itune it just blinks and dose nothing. Please help. Mike


Hi. I followed your procedure and it worked well, I just had to get used to iTunes organizing everything for me but it’s good, and it worked. I do have a question and I want to know if you could help. You see, whenever I plug in my iPod into a new pc with a new iTunes it only saves the playlists with names on the iPod but erases the On-the-go-lists. It’s always been an issue because I can never remember what songs I placed on what lists. While following the previous procedure I noticed I could retrive the ONT file but I cannot open it using itunes and check the songs. Could you tell me how to do this? I really REALLY ned those songs back in the order they were! I’ll be looking forward a reply soon, cheers and many blessings!


Oh, by the way, I read a few of the comments from people that followed the procedure and didn’t work for them, I think the problem might be that their iPods aren’t configured to be used as external USB disks, maybe they should choose that option first before retrieving the music (if the such is possible)!


umm this didnt work for me, not only did the songs not appear in my i-tunes, but they are on my ipod and will no longer play! They are still listed in my actual ipod, but when i click on them to play it just exits out of it!


This worked perfectly. Thanks very much.


OK i am operating on vista and can not figure this out for the life of me and belive me im trying, iv been so deep into this computer trying to figure this out. infact this is hour 3 (i know i suck lol) and im getting no where except extremely frustrated. if any one can help it would be awsome thanx alot.

p.s. im not trying to steal music ether i had to get rid of my old computer because of some serious finantial issues and now i just want to put whats saved onto it into my library and even more so expand on what i allready have thanx again.

Sara Gee

Okay, I tried this method and everything worked up until I tried to move the new folder back in to my itunes. What the heck? NOTHING IS HAPPENING! It lets me choose the folder, which it is saying is EMPTY when it’s NOT, I click “OK” and NOTHING. Seriously freaking out here, HELP!


This procedure was simple and worked perfectly!! Thanks!!


Make sure you hit sync when your done…


thanks a whole lot you solved so many problems for me i am very apriciative that you posted this blog thanks alot


hey, when i got to step two and plugged in my 1st gen. touch i couldnt find the ipod control.. nothing ever popped up on my screen showing my ipod ive been searching for over an hour.


It worked perfectly, thanks!


For Tools > Folder Options > View My Internet Explorer doesn’t have the “Folder Options” option under tools!

I’m kind of mad I can’t figure out how to get past the first step please help :\


Do you have Windows 7? Open up windows explorer and go to Organize > Folder and search options. It’s in the View tab. Good luck!


OMG thanks so much u r my hero how many times could i say thanks to make up for this


I have windows vista on my laptop and I followed the instructions equivalent for this. It all went well and I managed to transfer all my music from my old ipod nano to my laptop. But when I tried to transfer it then from my laptop to my new ipod touch it was unable to transfer a lot of the songs as they could not be located. The majority of these songs are from old cd’s i had purchased and saved on my old laptop, which I no longer have.

Did I go wrong somewhere? It wont even allow my to play the music I copied in iTunes.

Can u help me please ??


Hello Clare,

This is what i did, i hope this helps. Do you have itunes? If so, make mp3 copies of all the songs you want to transfer IN itunes. If your songs are already in mp3 format in itunes, then obviously it’s all ready to go.
Go to Windows explorer, go to where your itunes folder is. Mine is under MUSIC/ITUNES/ITUNES MUSIC. You should see all the artists there. If not I changed the settings in windows explorer, tools, folder options, view, show hidden files and folders, and click apply. Go back to the itunes folder in windows explorer and find all the songs you made mp3 copies of in the itunes folder. Click on one of them and play the file to make sure your good to go so far … After that, make a separate subfolder like “clare music” under the music folder. Now go back to the itunes folder, find the COPIES (mp3) of the songs you want and click and drag ONLY THOSE COPIED songs to your new “clare music” folder. If you drag the wrong file, itunes will not be able to find the file when you go to play it in itunes (because you moved it) After the dragging and dropping, play a file or two to make sure things went well. You now have files back on your PC to do with it what you want. I hope that explaination is helpful to you or whoever.


If you have Vista, go to Control Panel-> Classic View-> Folder Options-> View and in a list below click the bubble for Show hidden files and folders and exit out.

Afterward, go to Computer-> (iPod sign)-> iPod_Control. Copy the file labled Music.

Find and open your iTunes Music folder, create a new folder and paste the other folder into it. When that finishes, right-click the new folder and go to Properties. Where it says Attributes, unclick Hidden.

That’s how I got it to work. Just make sure to go back to the Control Panel and hide all the hidden folders again. Simple as pie. Hope that helps.


Thank you so much for this – My old computer completely crashed and I cannot access anything on it. I was so upset about losing my itunes library. This worked perfectly and I am so happy! Thanks again and Happy New Year!

Sharon, UK

I tried this after looking at various software and other “how to”‘s and this was the only way that worked for me. I’m not that PC savvy so if I can, anyone can. Hurrah!


Thank you Thank you Thank you Thank you Thank you Thank you Thank you Thank you!!! Easy moving all files from my ipod to my new computer. Only thing… in Step 5, I had to select ‘Add File to Library’ instead of ‘Folder’. Shift + Select All made that pretty easy.


worked like a charm! and it really doesn’t take that long, even with 3,000 songs!!


Thank you SO much you saved my life with this.


Thanks so much. It was really easy!!!


I followed the steps listed and everything worked. I successfully transfered over 7000 songs in about 25 minutes. The only problem I have is that iTunes did not organize my music in the folder it is in. It all looks the same in iTunes, but when I go look at the music on my hard drive, it still lists all the songs in one folder with random file names. How can I fix this? I have the box checked to keep my music organized and it does nothing.


Thanks a million Mark and Thomas. I have Vista and everything worked perfectly as easy as ABC.Unlike Mark, I didnt create a single folder. I copied the music folder as it is from “ipod control” folder and pasted it on my desktop. I then added the music folder to itunes library and all 17000 songs were added.


Why in the wide world of sports doesn’t somebody PLEASE ADDRESS HOW TO DO THIS WITH AN I-POD TOUCH??? HELP!!!!


Thankyou so so much! This tutorial has just saved my entire music collection && made me one happy person :D


Thanks a million. It worked.



followed the instructions and it worked perfectly.


I used a program on cnet called iPodFolder. It’s free and super simple blah blah.
But I don’t reckon it saves the names of the files on Windows Explorer but if you play the files on iTunes or media player, the names are there.

Anyhow I really don’t care about the names…as long as the music is there! :D


What about the iTouch? This worked fine for my nano, but it wouldn’t work for my iTouch, is there a way I can transfer the music back from the iPod without having to download a program?


I Dont think anyone can help us with the touch. If they can, they sure aren’t wanting to share it.


thank you very much for posting this, i have windows 7 and i was able to get all my songs onto my laptop without a problem. only difference was in changing the setting for showing hidden files. it is so great to finally have this figured out THANK YOU!!!

Jay Cee

I followed the steps and it worked perfectly for my latest generation iPod Touch. Thanks Mark. You seriously ROCK !!


Worked perfectly, thanks so much!


genius man thanks your awesome

Steve T

What if you only accidentally deleted two songs from your hard drive. Can those be retrieved without having to wipe out all the remaining songs on the hard drive? I’ve read too many comments where it seems folks lost everything. I don’t want to take that chance.


Recently had a computer virus and in my attempt to purge, deleted my itunes songs figuring I could put back later. Funny thing is that the music files are gone but not the album art. Can I leave the album containers and assume the music files will sort accordingly? Or should I simply delete the all the leftover itunes folders?


Excellent directions, worked like a charm and I was easily and quickly able to salvage my 5 gigs of music.



i had to reformat my pc and all so i lost all my songs, but i still have them on my ipod. the thing is, when i plug my ipod in, it wont connect to the pc. or my computer wont recognize it. so i cant go to my ipods folder. any advice?


Hey _I have tried for about an hour and I´ve read all the post, yawn. I have an ipod classic 160gb filled with 10000$ worth of programs but I cant move on with step 2. When I try open my ipod in COMPUTER it says “You have to format your ipod befor you use it”. Im not the best with computers but I guess that will delete all the programs.I can open it as an external drive but I dont see any folders eventhough I completed step 1.
Please Mark give me a hand. It would make my life so much easier if I can get those programs out.


First thing you want to do is to make sure your ipod doesn’t start syncing when you initially plug it in. That WILL delete all your songs (what your calling “programs”). Open up iTunes and in upper top-left click on “edit” tab / “preferences” / “devices”. Then put a check in the box that says “prevent ipods and iphones from syncing automatically”.
Even after you do this you should make sure iTunes is not running when you plug in your ipod.
Plug in, give it a few seconds and open up windows to view your lettered drives. You should see it listed there.
I won’t take you beyond this as I ended up doing an end-around solution as I see others have, so apparently there are a few ways to get your songs back into your pc.




DOESN’T work for IPOD TOUCH. Cannot go beyond step 2. It doesnt show on my computer as being another drive. It only shows as a device when you are in I-Tunes.


An IPOD TOUCH doesn’t show up as a “lettered drive”… there any way to make that happen?


thank you!!!!!!


I just finished these steps, and everything worked perfectly. For the people on here who are saying it doesn’t work, they either didn’t follow the steps correctly, or they are trying to sell you some program to do it for you. This isn’t hard, I’m no computer whiz, and I got it to work great.


TO ALL OF the people that are saying it works>>>>…. which model of IPOD are you working with? THIS DONT work with an IPOD TOUCH…IT will NOT show up as a lettered drive..!!


I’m using the 80GB ipod classic. My suggestion would be to check out forums specifically dedicated to the Touch where I’m sure someone will be able to point you in the right direction.


This actually worked. I’m so happy!
Many thanks!!
I’m no where near a computer whizz, I seriously thought I’d mess this up and delete the music off both my computer and my ipod but the steps are simple and dont do anything shocking. It explains everything really tbh. No surprises.
& I have a Nano Chromatic & Windows XP if anyone has the same, it works.


Worked perfectly!!! Thanks alot!!


Oh god, thanks man. Worked perfectly. I’m so relieved. I thought I had lost all my music…



I’m getting an external HD this weekend and want to transfer all of my music to it — any ‘easy’ tips to keep my music arranged exactly how I have it, without having to re-org them all & load them back into iTunes?



I recently purchase Media Widget and used it to download my 80gb iPod to iTunes on my laptop. I found no scrambled names or any other misrepresentations of my music. The only problem I have had is the loss of some of my artwork both on my iPod and on my laptop. I have contacted Bootstrap to resolve this. For $20 bucks I like the control that this program provides.

Dee Ann

Mike…you are very knowledgable and need you help if possible about all of this. As posted by many, my 80 GB iPod shows no music or podcast yet is orange on storage up to where it was around 67 gb. I was starting to follow your instructions and realized my desktop doesn’t have enough space nor does the laptop. Do I buy more memory to insert into desktop computer or buy and external drive which I should have backed up before? Will an exernal drive accomplish the same thing? I can’t stand the thought of losing all of the work I’ve put into this, and I’m not very tech savvy. Would really appreciate your expertise. Thanks.


Actually, I just used this method to transfer music from an iPod formatted for Mac to my PC. I had lent my shuffle to my friend who has a Mac and he loaded it up with his music, which would have required the iPod to be reformatted for a Mac (or am I wrong on that part?) I just copied the music he had put on my iPod onto my computer.

Mark O’Neill

You can transfer it to an external hard-drive if there is 80GB space on there. Should be no problem. Just don’t disconnect the hard-drive during the whole procedure.

Dee Ann

I’m sorry I was directing to you Mark. I bought an external hard drive today..Seagate which wasn’t like creating a folder in C. I wasn’t sure of any other way so I opened the Seagate back up and copied the folders from the iPod control/music into it. It may not quite add up to the same gb but close. I consolidated the folders into one. I only have 30 gb hard drive on desktop. So do I still follow same instructions in iTunes and direct it to the folder on the external drive? Also, under step 4, am I deleting all music from my desktop iTunes library or just playlists? That’s a scary thought but I’ll do it if I must. Thanks.


So Alex — what you are saying is that you just illegally downloaded music, right? You just inadvertently admitted to this audience that you are a thief and that you should be ashamed of yourself!


yeah,I just downloaded MediaWidget – iPod to PC transfer.
the link is where i downloaded it from… may be someone else could try this if you need to.


Yes. Just transfer the files directly from ipod to a folder on your computer disk. I share this iPod to computer transfer software. It can help you do it easily.


It’s not illegal in Canada. We pay a fee on all storage devices instead.