[GUIDE] How to get music off an iOS device on to your Windows laptop or desktop for free


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Sep 12, 2012
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Hey iMore - I just inherited an iPad through work on one condition: I had to get all of the previous owner's music off before I reset the device. As an Android/Windows user, I figured I'd have an iPad in about a minute and a half. No such luck. iTunes doesn't allow it and there's no good way to explore the files system of an iOS device. Rats. After a lot of awful software and adware and freemium and hacks, I found something that works for free for as much music as you have. No limits - just free. Here's how I did it.

What you need:

iOS device
Windows Computer
USB Sync cable
iTunes - iTunes - Download iTunes Now - Apple
Media Monkey Free - MediaMonkey ? Download
A 'dump' folder in your "C:" drive

What you need to do:

1) Make sure both iTunes and Media Monkey Free are installed
2) Open iTunes and sign in to the same iTunes account on your computer and iOS device
3) Agree on both the computer and the iOS device to allow communication
4) Open Media Monkey Free
5) In the navigation pane on the left, select the drop down for your iOS device
6) Click on "Music"
7) Your songs on your iOS device should now be displayed in the main box
8) Select all songs (right click in song box and press Ctrl+A)
9) Left click over your selected songs
10) Select the "Send to" menu
11) Find the 'Drop' folder you made in "C:" in the "Folder (copy)" menu
*Note: this will give you a folder with a bunch of 4 letter music files*

Congrats! Your music is officially off your iOS device. Now let's get it organized

12) Get back into iTunes
13) Click the dropdown in the upper left of iTunes and open Preferences
14) Click the Advanced button at the top of preferences
15) Check the box for "Keep iTunes media folder organized"
16) Check the box for "Copy files to iTunes Media folder when adding to library"
17) Select all your music files in your 'Drop' folder and drag it into iTunes
*depending on how much music you have, this could take a pile of time*
18) Go back into the advanced preferences to see where your iTunes folder is
19) Get to that folder in File Explorer using the path from iTunes (you can copy it)

Awesome! You'll notice iTunes is automatically organizing all your music by artist and renaming the files to be the name of the song!

Apple made it a challenge to do this, but with this method you can get all your music off your iOS device and on to your computer. Now do yourself a favor and back that music up into the cloud so you never have to do that again!

Let me know if you have any questions in the comments!

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