Running iTunes on an limited size SSD / Relocating iTunes

One of the problems with iTunes is that it insists on storing it’s iTunes library folder in “My Music” which is generally residing on your system drive. Even if you choose to not copy your music into the library it still builds up to a fair size. Also, iTunes will do device backups (iPhone, iPad etc) under your Users AppData\Roaming folder, again this is on your system drive.

This became a real problem for me recently when my nice new shiny PC came, with a 60GB SSD as the system drive for fast boot and fast windows operation. The operating system alone takes 20GB of this by the time your WinSXS folder has fleshed itself out and your .NET components are installed, that’s even before you start adding stuff to C:\Program Files (I have been installing everything under D:\APPS to avoid that issue).

Then comes iTunes with it’s complete lack of options for relocating your iTunes folder, so how was I going to get around this?

The solution proved to be a combination of, changing the default Music folder, AND careful use of mklink /D. Here is an overview of what I did. All based on Windows 7.

First off, I created a new Music folder (D:\MEDIA\MUSIC in my case) and added to the Music library. To do this, right click on the Music library, and Include Folder… and add the new music folder. Then highlight the newly added folder and click Set Save Location. Having done that, I then moved my existing iTunes folder to the new music folder on D:\. Actually I may have run iTunes first without an iTunes folder so it created an empty one, then closed down iTunes, removed the newly created empty library and moved in my existing library (which actually came from another PC in my case).

*UPDATE* 2015/04/08 – due to issues with iCloud control panel sign in, the following instructions have been revised to avoid this *UPDATE*

Having got iTunes reading the library from D:\MEDIA\MUSIC I noticed that it stores backups, mobile applications and downloads under AppData\Roaming. Again, I shut iTunes down, (and iTunesHelper.exe by killing it in task manager). I first create an AppData folder in D:\MEDIA\MUSIC\iTunes.  I then find the “MobileSync” folder in C:\Users\Username\AppData\Roaming\Apple Computer) and I move it into the AppData folder I just created in my iTunes library folder on D (D:\MEDIA\MUSIC\iTunes\AppData).

Now for the magic, get to a command prompt (with administrator privileges) and enter the following commands:

C:\Users\Username> cd "AppData\Roaming\Apple Computer"
C:\Users\Username\AppData\Roaming\Apple Computer> mklink /D "MobileSync" D:\MEDIA\MUSIC\iTunes\AppData\MobileSync

and that’s it, relaunch iTunes and check it functions properly. Now all my backups, apps and downloaded iOS updates and iTunes library are on my 1TB D: drive.


About austinfrance

Technical Developer @ RedSky IT / Explorer Software
This entry was posted in Apple, iTunes, PC and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to Running iTunes on an limited size SSD / Relocating iTunes

  1. Mike says:


    This was the easiest way to get this to work and cleared up 7GB on my boot drive!

  2. Bill Butler says:

    Wow. Why didn’t I think of that. I used to use SUBST all the time for creating artificial drive letters to simulate other environments.

    Thanks for the tip!

  3. Norman says:

    That was a great help thanks!

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