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 “Morgan”. 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.

FAQ

Why do I get an error that says “Some of the songs in the file were not imported because they could not be found”.

This tutorial assumes that the actual music files exist on your PC as well as the device. If they don’t, you will need to transfer the music files to the PC you’re working with. If they only exist on your device, you will need to research how to extract music files from your device.

Comments

  1. Debbie says

    THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU!!!!!!!!!!!

    Now if I could just sync my iphone calendar to my imac instead of the other way around!!

  2. Daniel says

    Thank you so much, I was searching through dozens of vague and incorrect apple forum posts before trying your instructions, which worked instantly.

  3. Linda says

    I spent hours searching for instructions to import my playlist before I found your instructions. I did have to upgrade my iTunes to the latest version. Once I did that it worked exactly they way you instructed. Thanks so much for you help!!

  4. Don says

    I had to rebuild my library and I lost all of the playlists, some being over 10 years old. Fortunately they still lived on my device. Thank you so much!

  5. Ian Dow-Wright says

    Cheers Sir. I had a five hour playlist from my wedding reception that I would have been very sad to have lost. Somehow restoring the library from a backup ate all of my playlists. You’re a star!

  6. Nan says

    How do I copy playlists to computer from my ipod if I have changed computer (due to theft of original computer) ? and no backup of playlists?

  7. Bill Maselko says

    Somehow my Playlists magically disappeared from my W7 PC iTunes 12.x.
    My iPad and my 2 iPods had 50 Playlists with 6 days 5 hours 55 minutes.
    Fortunately, after 4 hours of tedious work, they were restored.
    Needless to say, the 4 hours saved years of creation.
    Thanks!

  8. Duaan says

    Thank you soooooo much!!!! It was a little time consuming, but saved my life :) Really appreciate it!

  9. FSR says

    Worked like a charm. Wish Apple made this easier. Thanks for the clearest article on transfers I’ve found to date.

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