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How to Save Files to Reference in iTunes Without It Saving to Your Internal Hard Drive

How to Copy Files to iTunes Without Saving to Your Hard Drive

This weekend I wanted to copy some movies that I had ripped with Handbrake to my Apple TV, and to do so, I had to copy the movies to iTunes first from my external hard drive.

No big deal, except that usually when you copy things to iTunes, the files also automatically save to your internal hard drive — a huge pain if you have limited drive space there.

Luckily, I discovered a very simple tip to avoid an unnecessary new file being created and stored. As you're highlighting and dragging the file, just hold the option key as you're dropping into iTunes. The file will be referenced in iTunes and not copied to your actual hard drive.


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MissMarisol MissMarisol 7 years
That is a great tip! I just recently purchased an Apple Tv & wondered if there was a way around it. How would one go about deleting a file from Apple TV then if I use this scenario?
mintz mintz 7 years
yeah i'd like to know if there's a PC version to this b/c i have loads of movies i'd like to load on my ipod but dont want to load them on my computer.
macgirl macgirl 7 years
That's an awesome tip. You can also keep your entire iTunes Library on an external drive (iPhoto too).
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