Apple's iTunes allows Apple iPhone users to back-up the content stored on their smartphone to their PC. Everything from music, and video to apps and contacts can be stored in the software, so that if your handset gets accidentally wiped, or you upgrade your device, you can easily transfer all your content back to the smartphone.

But what happens if you change the PC you want your back-up to be stored on? Perhaps your getting a new laptop to replace you're existing machine, or perhaps you've previously stored your iTunes library on your work machine and want to move it to a personal computer.

It is possible to move the iTunes back-up to a new PC, but you will need an external hard drive to complete this process. The size of the drive you need will depend upon how much content you have stored in your iTunes library, but prices start from around £30 for a 120GB drive. Alternatively if you already own an iPod (although not an iPod Touch) you can actually use this as the external drive, providing you have enough free space. Here's how.

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Step one
You need to start by locating and consolidating your iTunes Media folder. To find the location, from the Edit Menu, select Preferences. Press the Advanced tab and then take a note of the folder's location displayed in the box. Then press OK.


Step two
From the File Menu, click Library and then select Organize Library from the drop down menu.


Step three
Check the box next to Consolidate files and press OK. You'll be warned that the action "will copy all of your music into the iTunes Media folder" and that it can't be undone. Press Ok to continue.


Step four
Now exit iTunes and plug in your external hard drive. Open the drive and then drag and drop your iTunes folder, which includes the library file that contains your playlists and settings, into the drive. If you're using your iPod as an external drive, simply drag and drop the file into this instead.

Step five
Right-click on the drive under Computer in Windows and press Eject. Shut down your machine and boot-up the PC you want to transfer your iTunes library too. Download and install iTunes if it isn't already on the machine and then launch the program. Now connect your external drive to this new PC.

Step six
On this machine, locate the iTunes folder, which can be found in My Music and drag it on to your desktop. Now locate the iTunes folder you transferred to the external drive and drag this to the location of the iTunes folder you just moved.

Step seven
Open iTunes. You should know find all your music, contacts and apps as well as playlists and settings have been transferred.