How to Copy Playlist From iPhone, iPad, or iPod to iTunes on Computer

I went through the trouble of making a killer playlist on my Apple iPod. This playlist took quite a bit of time to create and contained hundreds of songs I currently love listening to. After jamming out to this playlist, I thought “Wow, these songs I selected would make a great playlist for when I listen to music on my computer!”

I attached my iPod to my computer, fired up iTunes and created a new playlist called “Currently Dig”. I then selected the playlist on my iPod and tried to drag and drop them to the playlist on the computer. It didn’t work though. iTunes doesn’t let you copy a playlist from your iPod to your local computer. Nor will it allow you to drag individual songs to from an iPod to a computer playlist.

What a bummer! I just had to find a workaround for this. Fortunately, I was able to find one rather quickly. You can do the following.

Note: This tutorial has been revised to reflect iTunes version 12.

  1. Be sure you have enabled the Menu Bar.
  2. Connect your iPhone, iPod, or iPad to your computer.
  3. From iTunes on your computer, select the icon for your device at the upper-left portion of the window.
  4. Select the playlist you want to export under the “On My Device” section.
    Select Playlist
  5. Select “File” > “Library” > “Export…” to export the playlist to a text file. Give the export a name, then select “Save“.
    iTunes Export Playlist
  6. Select the Music icon located at the upper-left portion of the screen to switch back to the computer’s library view.
  7. Select “File” > “Library” > “Import Playlist…“, then select the text file created in step 5.
    iTunes Import Playlist

There you have it. You have successfully added a playlist from your Apple iOS device to iTunes on your computer.


  1. LSki says

    I had a rather long playlist on my iPod Touch — it copied into iTunes (except for two songs??–weird!) but iTunes sorted the playlist alphabetically and must have sync’d the sort order to my ipod too! Is there any way to get the sort order back? Or to export a playlist from the iPod touch to iTunes and keep the sort order? Thanks!

  2. David says

    In the Mac version of, the instructions seem to be: file > library > export (import).

  3. Rick says

    I’ve tried this method and the “Export” option works but when I go to “Import Playlist” it is only importing only a few songs. A pop up appears and says all the songs could not be found.

  4. Marisa says

    My problem is that I have created three new playlists on my phone. When I plug the phone into iTunes and select my device, the playlists are not listed there. Because of that, I cannot export them.

    Any suggestions?

  5. Debbie says

    I have tried the above but on the version of iTunes I have there is no menu bar with file etc where yours appears. Do you know how to make it appear or do you have any other ideas as to how I can transfer my playlists?

    Thank you very much.

  6. Linda says

    Hi Mitch, I’m about to try this but want to clarify one thing so I don’t mess up. What do you mean exactly by ‘export a playlist to a text file’? Do you mean .txt? could it be a word file?

  7. MC says

    I have a problem where I accidently deleted the itunes folder on my computer. Thankfully, I have all my music backed up and was able to restore the songs but the playlists/library are gone. I tried to recover the playlists from my ipod but when I export, it exports a blank playlist. The playlist works on the ipod and appears complete and plays in iTunes but will not export. What the problem is!

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