[HOW TO] Move the iTunes apps to another folder

iTunes is probably not the most friendly and usable application by Apple. For example, in Windows, even if you install iTunes on a specific disk or partition but C disk, data will be stored in My Documents\My Music\iTunes\, that is, in the C disk. If you installed iTunes with username account, the physical path will be C:\Documents and Settings\username\My Documents\My Music\iTunes\.

This choice by iTunes’ designers creates some problem if your C disk has not enough room to contain all your iPhone or iPad media, included the mobile applications. In fact, such folder can easily reach more than 10GB, and since C disk is where you usually have also the operating system, you could get short of disk space, especially on laptops and netbooks.

So you may think to move your iTunes data elsewhere, but this is not possible. There is a way to consolidate your music on another disk or partition, but no way to do the same for mobile applications.

There is a trick, anyway. Windows 2000 and higher supports directory symbolic links, where a directory serves as a symbolic link to another directory on the computer. Such directory symbolic links are also known as NTFS junctions in Windows. Unfortunately, Windows comes with no tools for creating junctions unless you have the Win2K Resource Kit, which contains the linkd program for creating junctions.

Fortunately there is a freeware utility by Mark Russinovich called junctions which allows to easily create directory symbolic links in Windows. Once you have downloaded it and saved in a folder listed in PATH system variable, you can safely move your iTunes directory where you want. Here is how.

First of all, ensure that iTunes is not open. In case, close it. Then move the whole iTunes folder from My Music to another place; let us say, for example, D:\Music. In case you have locked folders, you can use another free utility to unlock them, that is, Unlocker by Cedrick Collomb.

Now you have no more iTunes folder in My Music, since all iTunes subfolders are now in D:\Music\iTunes. So, open a command line window and type

junction "C:\Documents and Settings\username\My Documents\My Music\iTunes" "D:\Music\iTunes"

If junction is in the command path, you will see that now there is again an iTunes folder in My Music and, if you open it, it looks like all your data, media and apps are still there. However, if you look at free space on C disk, you have more room than before. In fact, that folder is really a junction, that is, a symbolic link. Note that you cannot do the same with a shortcut, because the shortcut of a folder does not behave as a folder; a symbolic link does.

Please, note that this is just a trick. iTunes is not designed to work in this way, so this is only for advanced user. You must understand what you are doing. I take no responsibility in case of loss of data or other damages because you followed the above instructions or used the referenced tools.

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