How to Transfer Purchases from your iOS Device to a Computer

If you purchased items from the iTunes Store and the only place you have them stored is on your iOS device like your iPod, iPhone or iPad – you can transfer them to any computer that is authorized for your iTunes Store account. This feature adds an extra layer of protection against losing your valued purchases.

If you want to transfer iTunes Store purchases from an iOS device or iPod to a computer, be sure to authorize the computer before connecting the device. To authorize, follow these steps:

  1. Open iTunes.
  2. From the Store menu, choose Authorize Computer.
  3. In the dialog that appears, the Apple ID button is selected by default.
  4. Enter your Apple ID and password, then click the Authorize button


If the iTunes Store purchases on your device were purchased with multiple accounts, you will need to authorize the computer for each one.

To transfer iTunes Store purchases from your device to a computer, follow these steps:

  1. Connect your device to the computer. If it is synced with another iTunes library, the following dialog may appear:

    1. Click the Transfer Purchases button.

Important: Clicking Erase and Sync will delete any existing content currently on your device. The content will be replaced with whatever existing content is in the current iTunes library your device is connected to. If there is no content in the iTunes library, nothing will be synced to your device, and your device will be empty.

iTunes will begin copying any purchases made with any account for which the computer is authorized.

There are 2 more ways of transferring purchases from your iOS device to a computer.

Go to iTunes -> File -> Transfer Purchases from iPod

Or, you can right-click (Windows or Mac) or Control-click (Mac only) your device in the iTunes Source list, then choose Transfer Purchases from the shortcut menu that appears.

After connecting your device to the computer and its icon appears in iTunes, you can choose Transfer Purchases from “Your device name” from the File menu.

Please note that this feature only works for items that were purchased on the iTunes Store. Any items imported from audio CDs or acquired from other sources will not copy from your device to the iTunes library.


About The Author