Do you even backup, bro?

How to backup your Serato library properly

Ever wondered how to backup your precious music library?

Sure, a Time Machine backup or something similar is fine but what if you don’t have the time or ability to restore your full computer because you’re supposed to go on stage in an hour and you’re back up is at home while you’re god knows where?

Another option would be an external hard drive but I was never a big fan. You always have to make sure to keep that stuff up to date (not only the music files but your Serato library as well) and I always felt suspicious about connecting yet another USB device to my computer.

So here’s what I came up with:

First I moved my music library to Dropbox. There is no affiliation so I guess you may use whatever cloud service you like best.

I chose to create a single folder that contains all my music. Each time I add new files to the folder I drag the files to Serato so they end up in my library as well (so long iTunes). I found this to be a very easy and effortless approach.

Now, whenever I need my music on another laptop I simply install Dropbox and am able to download my entire music library to said laptop with the click of a button.

That still leaves the question of how I’m syncing my crates.

This might get a bit technical and my solution will only work on a Mac (sorry Windows). But you’ll get the idea and maybe this is working on Windows as well (if so, please leave a comment, you beautiful stranger).

Unfortunately, you cannot tell Serato where to store its music library. It’s always being stored in your home directory in the music folder.


Obviously, we want the folders in our Dropbox (that’s the easy part) but we must trick Serato into thinking they did not move. We may achieve this exact behavior with symbolic links.

Let’s assume I have a folder in my Dropbox that looks like so:


By issuing the following commands you will move your Serato folders to your Dropbox folder. Please adapt the path to your liking and replace tandwilliams with your actual directory name. For those who do not frequently use the Terminal, ~ always refers to your home directory.

mv ~/Music/_Serato_ ~/Dropbox/tandwilliams
mv ~/Music/_Serato_Backup ~/Dropbox/tandwilliams

Now that we have moved the Serato folders to our dropbox we will need to trick Serato into thinking they are still there. Here’s where the symbolic links come into play. By issuing the following commands you will create links to the folders you just moved to your Dropbox. It happens on such a low level however that Serato will not be able to distinguish the links from the actual folders and is so being tricked into reading from and writing to your Dropbox.

sudo ln -s ~/Dropbox/tandwilliams/_Serato_ ~/Music/_Serato_
sudo ln -s ~/Dropbox/tandwilliams/_Serato_Backup ~/Music/_Serato_Backup

If you now start Serato it will access the files that are being stored in your Dropbox.

Whenever you need to set this up on another laptop you need to follow these steps:

  1. Download and install Serato (if not already present)
  2. Install and configure Dropbox and download your music library
  3. Set up the symbolic links with the last two commands above
  4. Start Serato

I hope you’ll find this useful! Please let me know in the comments what’s your approach or if you had any trouble setting this up.

There are 4 comments on How to backup your Serato library properly

  • Although an older post, I find this very useful. I have a huge library (over 100k) in my Serato Library. I know I need to clean it up especially now that I’m doing videos. I do have DropBox but I also have Google Drive so maybe I’ll see which one will work better for me. I have a Mac so I can definitely use the commands. Thank you for this post.

  • Is this post still relevant considering dropbox moved their locations on Mac’s?

    • You would have to substitute the location of the Dropbox folder but the principle idea remains the same, yes. I believe the new location is ~/Library/CloudStorage/Dropbox. Please consult the Dropbox manual for the exact location.

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