iTunes Match Mac CDs Cloud

iTunes Match is a paid service from Apple that allows you to store all your music in iCloud, regardless of where it originated from. For example, it could be music imported from CDs, downloaded from online music stores, or even music that was downloaded in ways that go against copyright laws. In short, iTunes Match matches or uploads all your music to iCloud so you can stream or download it from any of your Apple devices, including Mac, iPhone, and Apple TV.

With that said, iTunes Match offers an easy way to move your iTunes library to a new computer without having to deal with transferring files from one hard drive to the other. In this post, I will show you how to transfer your iTunes library to a new computer using iTunes Match.

Pre-requisite 1: Obviously, for this to work, you must already be an iTunes Match subscriber. The service costs $25 per year. If you are not subscribed yet, you may want to read more about the benefits of iTunes Match, and subscribe to it here.

Pre-requisite 2: You must match and/or upload your iTunes library to iTunes Match from your old computer first. Depending on the size of your library, and the amount of songs that need to be uploaded, it could take a long time. Only when your entire library has been uploaded or matched on iTunes Match will you be able to go ahead and transfer that library to your new computer.

Going forward, I will assume you have signed up for iTunes Match and that all your music has either been matched in iCloud and/or uploaded there.

How to use iTunes Match to move your music to a new computer

Step 1: On your new computer, launch iTunes, and go to Store > Turn On iTunes Match.

Step 2: Click on Add This Computer, and enter your Apple ID password when prompted.

iTunes Match add this computer

Step 3: After a few seconds, you will see a screen similar to the one below to let you know your iTunes library is now available in iCloud. Click Done at the bottom right corner of the screen, which will take you to your library.

iTunes Match library available in iCloud

Step 4: If you’re not there yet, go to the Songs view to see the entire list of your songs. On your keyboard, press Command + A to select all the tracks.

Download entire iTunes Match library

Step 5: Once all tracks have been selected, make a right click on any of them and select Download. Again, depending on the size of your library, it could take a while to download everything to your computer.

Note that by moving your iTunes library to a new Mac or PC using iTunes Match, you will preserve all your playlists, play count, ratings, and other meta data linked to your tracks. If everything goes according to plan, you will have an exact clone of your library on your old computer.

Related: How to copy your iTunes library to a new computer using a hard drive

We’re always interested in helping out our readers, so if you have a tip you want to share, or a problem you’d like to find a solution to, let us know at [email protected]

  • jatenk

    alright, this is pretty straight forward, but I have a huge library, so downloading everything would take ages, especially with my shit internet connection. is there any way to transfer the library via cable or hard drive, but have match know they are identical libraries without doubling every song?


      You really don’t need Match at all

  • Rigs101

    I have 5 songs that keep reappearing on my device on iTunes theyre grey not black and they’re waiting to be transferred to my phone I always delete them and they come back everytime I plug my phone and anyther thinh

    • Are the FLAC HD or some incompatible format? That is a problem I had in the past with some files. 24 bit will upload but only up to 96kHz files. I have a lot of Rolling Stones’ files in a whopping 192kHz and none of them will upload and only appear greyed out on my iPhone.

      • Rigs101

        Mines are MP3 but the thing is I don’t have the songs in my computer at all I had to restore my laptop so everything got wiped

  • moparbob

    I have all of my iTunes music and movies on a hard drive so whenever I re install Windows or build a new computer I just point iTunes to that hard drive and it imports my stuff. Easy as that!!

  • sorrento

    What a shame ! Have to pay for that! Hahahaha
    Why not doing for free what I’m doing since the beginning: copy/paste your folders to the new computer and lunch iTunes, et voilà !

    • Yeah that wouldn’t take forever for someone like me, with 25k in songs and mostly lossless in their library… That is why iTunes Match has been perfect for me. I have access to 1.5tb of music and don’t have to sync it up and pick and chose from it.
      I definitely don’t recommend using Match to transfer as it will downgrade all of your music files to 256kbs. I also am smart enough to know though that if I plan to have a music library this big that I would never keep in on anything but an external HD.

      • sorrento

        What about the everything else ?
        App, etc…
        So we’re talking about music here but once you change computer I think we all would like to get back everything on the new one so we could sync again via iTunes and not only from the phone via iCloud…
        I’m just saying cause changing computer can be a pain in the ass with iTunes….

  • Soy tu papi

    You can do the same thing with Google play music for free

  • hessopoetic

    this is good…. except for the fact that some Explicit songs may get matched with the clean version in iTunes…. and there seems to be no way around this