How to remove duplicate songs from itunes

Anthony Heddings
How to remove duplicate songs from itunesAnthony Heddings

Anthony Heddings is the resident cloud engineer for LifeSavvy Media, a technical writer, programmer, and an expert at Amazon’s AWS platform. He’s written hundreds of articles for How-To Geek and CloudSavvy IT that have been read millions of times. Read more.

How to remove duplicate songs from itunes

If you do a lot of downloading outside the iTunes store, songs in your library can get jumbled up, leaving you with duplicate albums. If you’d like to know whether you’ve downloaded something twice, it’s easy to tell in iTunes.

Show Duplicate Items in iTunes

How to remove duplicate songs from itunes

Open up iTunes from the Dock or your applications folder. From the File menu in the top menu bar, hover over “Library” and select “Show Duplicate Items” from the dropdown.

This will display a list of items that share the same name and artist, so two songs with the same name by different people won’t show up here.

The album, length, and content can be different, which may lead to some confusion. Not everything in this list is an offender, so you shouldn’t just go deleting everything.

How to remove duplicate songs from itunes

For example, compilation and “best of” albums that curate songs from that artist will show up here if you also have the original copy. If an artist puts out an updated version of a song on a later album, that shows up here as well, assuming it has the same name. “Premium” editions of albums that feature additional songs will show up here too if you have both versions. In each case, you might want to keep some of the songs iTunes claims are duplicates, so double check before deleting anything.

However, you never want to select everything and delete, because this list shows both copies of the song. You’ll have to hold down Command to select multiple items and manually click on each song you want to get rid of.

How to remove duplicate songs from itunes

This is annoying, but there’s no faster way that takes into account all the possible reasons why you’ll have duplicates. Once you’ve selected everything, you can right-click and select “Delete from Library” to remove the items you chose.

How to remove duplicate songs from itunes

At the top of the screen, you can change the view mode to “Same Album,” which narrows it down much more and solves most of the issues with separate albums.

How to remove duplicate songs from itunes

Items in this list are likely import issues, and you can usually remove most of the duplicates without any worries.

Bulk Editing

If you’d like to keep the duplicate songs, but change the album they are contained in, you can do that with bulk editing. Select multiple songs you want to edit with Command+click, then right-click the selected items and click “Get Info” on the context menu.

How to remove duplicate songs from itunes

This will bring up a prompt informing you that you are trying to edit multiple items. You can press “Do not ask me again” to hide this in the future.

How to remove duplicate songs from itunes

Click “Edit Items” to proceed to the info screen. From here, you can make changes to any of these boxes, and they will be applied to every song you have selected. If you change the album, the songs will sort into a new album, though you may have to add the album art back under “Artwork.”

How to remove duplicate songs from itunes

Be careful when changing information here because it’s hard to sort everything back into place should you mess something up. One annoying thing is the track numbers, which you can’t edit in bulk. If your track numbers are out of place, you’ll have to edit them one-by-one manually, which can take some time.

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How to remove duplicate songs from itunes Anthony Heddings
Anthony Heddings is the resident cloud engineer for LifeSavvy Media, a technical writer, programmer, and an expert at Amazon’s AWS platform. He’s written hundreds of articles for How-To Geek and CloudSavvy IT that have been read millions of times.
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How to remove duplicate songs from itunes

Well, you might just love those audio books on your iPhone. However, here is the problem. iPhones do not have a lot of space. Unless you’ve bought an iPhone 7 with a 256 gb version, you probably do not have as much space. In fact many of the older iPhones have as little as 16 gb of space. You cannot increase the space with an SD card too like your other Android phones. So, you are stuck. A little bit of apps and pictures can easily take up 16 GB and you would need to store things optimally. So, you may need to delete the audio books.

Top Reasons to Delete Audio Books

Audiobooks are a great way of enjoying a book without going through the hassle of reading it. But for book lovers, their iPhone can get full of audiobooks. You may then need to delete them because:

• You have insufficient space on your iPhone
• You want to download and install new audiobooks
• You want to restore your phone
• You are selling of gifting your phone to someone and would like to delete the files

Guide: How to Remove Audiobooks from iPhone

The process is simple. Here is how you can go about it.

1. Delete directly from iPhone

1. Go to the Settings tab and access the General option.
2. Now navigate to Usage option and then to Storage. Here you will see all the stored data on your device along with their size.
3. Choose the Music option. As audiobooks are in music format, they are stored under this category.
4. Now select the specific audiobook you want to delete and swipe left and confirm.

How to remove duplicate songs from itunes

2. Use Apple iTunes

Now, you would not ed to launch iTunes. This is of course the traditional way. It’s a bit time consuming but it does get the job done every time.

1. Connect iPhone to the computer.
2. Launch iTunes and choose your device. Make sure you have the latest version of iTunes installed.
3. Choose the Summary option and make sure Manually manage music and videos is selected.
4. From the left menu, select On My Device and choose My Music. The audiobooks are saved by default in this location.
5. Now choose the audiobooks and delete them.

How to remove duplicate songs from itunes

Extra Bonus: How to Permanently Erase Audiobooks from iPhone?

You may use the above ways to delete your audiobooks, but they can still be recovered using some tools. The same is applicable for all your data that you save on your phone like passwords, messages, videos, personal chats, financial details and such. It will be a big trouble if your iPhone lands up in wrong hands and the data are misused. You can be a victim of identity theft which can cause great damage to your reputation and finance. The best option is to use a professional program like iOS Eraser or iOS Eraser for Mac software to permanently delete files, including the audiobooks.

Destroy Data Professionally – The factory restore option is not adequate to safely erase your iPhone data before selling or gifting it to someone. Only a dedicated solution like iOS Eraser can delete the items beyond recovery.

Scan and Erase – You can detect files like emails, passwords, contacts, messages with the scan feature and then delete the ones you find appropriate.

3 Levels of Erasing – You can use the first mode to save time and erase data. The second mode is the professional one while the 3rd one is the most foolproof.

It uses the over-writing technique to ensure data is removed beyond restoration. You do not need to use or download any other tool, and iOS Eraser does everything for you!

If you haven’t managed your music files in iTunes for a long long time, most likely you have many duplicate songs. This article will explain how to delete duplicate songs in iTunes and in the Music app on your Mac.

How to remove duplicate songs from itunes

Why do I have duplicate songs in iTunes?

Every music lover might have duplicate songs in iTunes. The reasons for creating duplicates might be different. For example, you imported your favorite tracks from CD to iTunes or Music by mistake more than once, you downloaded different versions of a track (the album version and the live performance version), you saved the same song in different albums on your Mac, you accidentally clicked to make a copy of the audio file.

No matter why you have duplicate songs on your Mac. The more important question is how to remove duplicate songs from Mac. Find below a detailed guide on how to do this.

How to delete duplicate songs in the iTunes playlist

In Catalina and later versions of macOS, the iTunes app has been replaced by the Music app. Actually, the differences between the two applications are minimal, and the steps on how to find duplicate songs in both versions are the same. However, before we explain how to do this, note that you cannot mass select and remove duplicate songs in iTunes. You can delete duplicates only one by one. For mass deleting duplicate music from your Mac, you can use a free application Duplicate File Finder from Nektony. Download the application from the App Store.

How to find duplicate songs in iTunes and Music app:

  1. Launch the Music app or iTunes.
  2. Go to the menu bar and click on File → Library → select Show Duplicate Items.
  3. You will see the list of duplicate songs.
  4. Choose the songs you don’t need and delete them.

How to remove duplicate songs from itunes

How to find exact duplicates in iTunes

How to check the Music library on Mac for exact duplicate media files without third-party applications? In fact, iTunes and the Music app provide such an option. You will need just to repeat the steps above with anadditional one.

Steps on how to find exact duplicate songs:

  1. Open iTunes or the Music app.
  2. Go to the menu bar and click on File → Library.
  3. Press and hold the Alt key on your keyboard.
  4. You will see the Show Exact Duplicate Items option. Select it.
  5. This time iTunes will show the list of exact duplicate songs in your Music Library.

How to remove duplicate songs from itunes

Now you can be sure that you select and delete useless duplicate copies of a track but not different versions of your favorite song.

And once again, you can use Duplicate File Finder, which can automatically find and remove the exact duplicate music files on your Mac.

How to manually delete duplicate songs in iTunes?

We explained how to find duplicate songs in iTunes/Music. Now let’s see how to delete unneeded tracks.

  1. In iTunes/Music click on the track you want to delete.
  2. Press Delete on your keyword.
  3. Confirm removal.

Also, you can right-click on the track and select Delete from Library in the context menu.
If you need to mass delete duplicate songs, just first select all of the files you want to delete. For this, press and hold the Command key while selecting files. Then press Delete.

Depending on where your song is stored, in your Cloud Music Library or Mac Music Library, you will see the appropriate confirmation window for deleting.

How to remove duplicate songs from itunes

Note, if you remove a song from the Cloud Music Library, the file will be removed from all of your devices. You will not be able to access the deleted song.

If the music file is stored in your Mac Music Library, you can recover deleted files from the Trash. If the file is stored in iCloud, you can’t recover a deleted item. That’s why we don’t recommend mass deleting duplicate songs from iTunes.

Can iTunes delete duplicate songs automatically?

Deleting duplicates from iTunes might be time consuming. Unfortunately, iTunes does not provide any option to automatically delete duplicate songs. You will periodically need to check your Music Library for duplicates and manually remove unneeded tracks copies. Also, if you have duplicate songs stored in different folders on your disk, the mentioned method will not help you to find them and free up space on your Mac. In this case, the best way to check your Mac for duplicate songs is to use Duplicate File Finder. Keep reading and learn how to find exact duplicates and similar audio files on Mac in just a few clicks.

How to delete duplicate music on Mac quickly and easily?

The easiest and quickest way to find duplicate music on Mac is to use a special application called Duplicate File Finder. Duplicate Files Finder scans any storage and disk and detects all types of duplicate files, including duplicate music.

What is important about this application, is that it groups detected duplicates into two sections – duplicate music and similar audio files. Unlike iTunes, the application displays in the list of duplicates only those files which are absolutely identical. When you auto select files for removal, by default, it keeps one of the copies.

When songs slightly differ from one another, Duplicate File Finder will display those tracks in the Similar Media section. The same song but from different albums or which have different record times will be shown as similar.

Thus, with Duplicate File Finder, you will not remove all of the copies of your favorite track and can be sure that you remove the exact duplicates. Using the Duplicate File Finder app is very easy and even new Mac switchers can handle this task.

Steps on how to delete duplicate songs on Mac using Duplicate File Finder:

  1. Launch Duplicate File Finder.
  2. Add the folders or disks you want to scan. You can add a Music Library as well.
  3. Click the Scan button.
  4. Go to the Duplicate Music tab and select unneeded duplicate songs for removal.

How to remove duplicate songs from itunes

How to remove duplicate songs from itunes

Using Duplicate File Finder is much easier for finding and removing duplicate songs, isn’t it? The application is free to use. Also, it provides additional Pro options for organizing duplicates on Mac. To use the Pro version you will need to purchase an upgrade for only $19.99.

Duplicity of files is one of those cumbersome which takes a lot of space of your system memory. But when the files are stored in a server, duplicate files can take the space for which you have to unnecessarily pay, whether it is iCloud or iTunes.

Now duplicate files stored in iTunes can be a real headache, and you seriously need to do something about it as quickly as possible. The duplicate files are mostly the music, video and image files, which the iTunes synced with your Mac might be saving them from your Mac memory directly without your knowing. When you have enabled auto backup feature, it syncs any device to your iTunes, it starts to back up any content it finds fresh enough in the device. Now if you have duplicate files of the many items within your very Mac, then all those duplicate files shall be carried over to the iTunes storage and would start to create the issues of less space availability, server freezing issues, etc.

Here in this article we would show you two methods to delete duplicates songs in iTunes, one will involve no utility whereas the second one will involve utility. Since users can prefer to clean their iTunes with or without any software, the article has been provided with both the ways to do so.

  • Part 1. Delete Duplicates in iTunes Manually
  • Part 2 : How to Delete Duplicates on iTunes All at Once
  • Part 3. How Do I Import Music Into iTunes Without Duplicates?

Part 1. Delete Duplicate Songs in iTunes Manually

Duplicate files are often created by the users unknowingly but mostly created by the spywares or malwares hidden within the system, which keeps on creating copies of the same file to damage the storage mechanism in the backdrop, and it is something of an unavoidable situation. Here we can guide you on the path which can help you to get rid of the duplicate files already stored in the iTunes.

Step 1. First of all open the iTunes App in your Mac.

Step 2. Click on “File” and then “My Library” button.

Step 3. In the “My Library” section click on “Show Duplicates”.

Step 4. Click on “All” to check out the duplicate track listed up there, and then click on “Same Album” to trace the duplicate songs.

Step 5. Next; click on the “Name” column to behold the duplicate files all next to each other. The iTunes uses the Artist, genre, matches to display the duplicate songs enlisted.

Step 6. Now one by one select the files and press “Delete” button to get rid of them. It might take some time, but it’s worth it.

Part 2 : How to Delete Duplicates on iTunes All at Once

No more failures will be there if you extend your hand towards TunesBro CleanGeeker. This is a newly popular Mac Cleaner Utility which can clean your Mac off all the unnecessary junk files, delete duplicate files, app cache. etc. Since the article is concerned all about duplicate files, we would discuss the topic of only that zone.

iTunes duplicate remover” function of the program is especially developed to take down any duplicate files that could take up extra space on your iTunes. This feature not only works with music tracks but it will also tackle duplicates on videos, text files, executable software, word files, excel and so on. It literally scans the entire system and the internal/external hard drive to check the duplicates and not only that, it also takes a further step and scans the cloud accounts as well to report duplicates.

CleanGeeker – Remove Duplicate iTunes Songs with One-Click
  • Be able to clear App Cache, Junk file, Duplicate Files, Large sized files, corrupted files login details, mail attachments, etc on your Mac.
  • Improve your Mac general speed, get faster boot time and more responsive apps.
  • Locate and remove the duplicate files on your Mac and iTunes quickly.
  • Smart junk scan: iTunes junk files, incl. old iOS device backup, iOS software update files, iTunes downloads, etc.

Step 1 Download and Run TunesBro CleanGeeker on Your Mac

Download CleanGeeker of the right version to your Mac and install it properly. Open the tool interface and from the main screen, Now just below the column of “Home” button on the left side, click on “Duplicate Finder”.

Step 2 Find “Duplicate Files ” in iTunes

You can see all the duplicate files in your system and iTunes will be scanned and will be represented right in front of you. It not only scan and remove duplicate songs in iTunes but also remove duplicate files, photos, documents, media, package, app and others that stored in your Mac OS X.

Step 2 Start to Delete “Duplicate Songs ” in iTunes Now

Choose the files one by one or all at once, and click “Delete” at the right corner of the screen. And that’s it! It will take seconds or minutes to finish the process.

When you have finished click Start Over button to return to homepage of the software, and check your iTunes in your normal view mode. You will see all the duplicated files was gone. (hopefully)

Part 3. How Do I Import Music Into iTunes Without Duplicates?

We love to increase our music playlist items but as we progress, there’s a huge chance that we could be downloading duplicates over and over again in iTunes library collections. Fortunately, iTunes is smart enough to find those duplicate tracks from your playlist but it will be much better not to have those duplicates in the first place so that you have a well-organized iTunes library. If you enable that option then whenever a duplicate file is coped, you will get the notification of it and can cancel the performed action.

Step 1. In Windows computers – click the “Start” button followed by “All Programs” then “Apple iTunes” to launch the program. If you are using Mac, then simply open the “Applications” and click on the iTunes icon to start it.

Step 2. Click on “Preferences” to see the option from Mac. Similarly, click on “Edit” then “Preferences” on Windows computers to see more options.

Step 3. Now, choose the “Advanced” option and make sure to check these boxes:

  • – “Keep iTunes Music folder organized”.
  • – “Copy files to iTunes Music folder when adding to library”.


The second method can delete all the duplicate files presently stored in your Mac, and this will prevent the iTunes from saving the duplicate files in the server. Later on if you wish you can use the first method to delete manually all the files stored in your iTunes, but prefer to clean your very own system with CleanGeeker, and none else. Keep the software installed for further use and make the system neat and active without any useless items.

Candie Kates is a TunesBro associate editor who writes about apps, Android and mobile hardware. She has a big love for all things tech and covered tech for over 8 years. Now she is exploring wearable tech, phones, and future tech trends. You can catch her on FB, Twitter.

It’s really annoying when there are thousands of duplicate songs in your iTunes music library. Don’t worry, in this post, we will show you how to delete duplicates in iTunes, why does this problem occur and how to prevent duplicates.

By Abby Poole to iTunes Troubleshooting Tips|Last updated on Mar. 12, 2019

What we really hate to see is that the iTunes music library is messed up with duplicate songs. The duplicated songs not only double the space the music should take, they also force users to play the songs twice before they can go ahead with the next song. Really frustrating! In fact, duplicate songs in iTunes have been one of the most notorious iTunes syncing problems for quite a while. Then why does iTunes duplicate songs and how to mass delete duplicates in iTunes? In this post, we are trying to answer those questions.

How to Find and Delete iTunes Duplicate Songs

How to Delete iTunes Duplicate Songs Individually?

First, find the duplicate songs in iTunes.

1. Open the iTunes app on Mac or Windows.

2. On older iTunes version, click View > Show Duplicates. On versions later than iTunes 12, click Find > Library > Show Duplicated Items.

3. Then you will see a list of iTunes duplicate songs. Go check the song’s info (release data, genre, release date, etc.).

4. If you have stored different versions of a song, hold the Alt or Option key (Mac) or the Shift key (Windows) and click File > Library > Show Exact Duplicate Items to display the duplicated songs.

How to remove duplicate songs from itunes

Second, how to delete duplicates in iTunes.

1. After you sort out the duplicate songs in iTunes library, hold Ctrl (Windows) or Command (Mac) key and select multiple duplicate songs you want to remove.

2. Click Song button from the top menu bar and select Delete from Library. Then click Delete from the popping up window.

3. After the duplicate songs are deleted from iTunes library, click Done and that’s all.

How to remove duplicate songs from itunes

How to Mass Delete iTunes Duplicate Songs?

“My iTunes music library has duplicated my entire music library. I can delete these duplicates individually but it will take me possibly hundreds of hours. How can I mass delete duplicates in iTunes?”

Using iTunes to find and delete duplicate songs is easy, but doesn’t necessarily mean fast. Apple provides an option to show all duplicates, no option to remove all of them with one click. It could be a daunting task using iTunes features to manually select and remove all the duplicates of the whole iTunes music library, especially there are tons of tracks. As a matter of fact, music lovers nagged by such problem are not in the minority. Luckily, there are paid and free apps to bulk delete duplicates in iTunes with huge time savings. Below are two famous iTunes duplicates removers that you can download and try.

* Dupin Lite (OS X)

Why does iTunes Duplicate Songs?

Sometimes, new duplicate tracks appear with little cloud icons right after the duplicates are deleted. To stop iTunes from duplicating songs any more in the future, we have to go to the root of the problem. Currently, Apple doesn’t provide an official reason for why duplicates are being created in iTunes, but there are a few things that may cause the problem concluded by experienced Apple users.

1. Tracks purchased or downloaded elsewhere (ripped from CD, downloaded online, shared with friends, purchased from artists’ site, other stores, etc) will be copied. You may see a little cloud icon with an X on it, indicating that the song is stored in the iTunes the library in the cloud but not from iTunes.

2. If the iTunes is set to copy files to iTunes Media folder when adding to library (default option) and the same songs are repeatedly imported from outside the media folder or are added from an external drive that saves the media folder that was offline when iTunes was launched.

3. Songs untagged will be sorted into Unknown Artist/Unknown Album in iTunes with the name .

How to Stop iTunes from Duplicating Songs?

Since we have got some clues of the reason why does iTunes duplicate songs, now the problem is how to stop it doing the same thing. Below are some actions you may take to prevent iTunes from duplicating songs any longer.

1. Import Songs with An iTunes Alternative

When iTunes is duplicating songs from sources other than iTunes, you can try a third alternative: add songs with other programs. You can use the famous one – MacX MediaTrans. It will add/export iTunes purchased tracks as well as songs, pictures, videos, ringtones, etc. downloaded, ripped or shared from other sources. It will import the songs with fast speed without duplicating any tracks.

1. Transfer any purchased iTunes music, playlists & albums, ripped/downloaded songs, etc. between iDevices and computer;

2. Add and export music, photos, videos, ringtones, voice memo, etc. by drag and drop without creating duplicate copies;

3. Manage iPhone music library, delete duplicate iTunes songs, create iPhone ringtones, make personal playlists, etc.

4. Mount iPhone as a hard drive, remove iTunes DRM, encrypt iPhone backups, auto convert video/audio for iPhone, etc.

5. The iTunes alternative will remove the restrictions and possible errors that come along with iTunes.

2. Disable iCloud Music Library

There are users reporting that disabling iCloud Music Library will immediately remove all the duplicates in iTunes. By doing this, you will lose the new syncing tracks. Furthermore, this also creates problems. When iCloud Music Library is turned off, new tracks can’t be synced to the iPhone. And when it is turned on, it’s not allowed to drag and drop songs between Mac and iPhone. So when you get a song not from Apple Music, add it to iTunes > turn on iCloud Music Library on the Mac > upload the song to the cloud and get back all the iTunes duplicates > turn off iCloud Music Library to delete all the duplicates in iTunes.

3. Disable iTunes Copy to. Feature

Since iTunes may automatically copy files to media file when it is launched, you can change the settings to stop iTunes from duplicating songs. First, you can add new tracks directly to the iTunes media folder before adding it to iTunes. Or you’re suggested to disable the option “Copy files to iTunes Media folder when adding to library”.

Average: 4.54 ( 13 Votes).

How to remove duplicate songs from itunes


Do you have loads of duplicate songs polluting your iTunes library? We hear you. This article guides you through the 2 best ways to delete duplicate songs from your iTunes library: A method for automatically removing duplicates using Tune Sweeper is described, as well as details of iTunes’ own built-in duplicate search function.

For larger libraries, we recommend using Tune Sweeper, as the tool can find all iTunes duplicates, automatically select the best to keep, and get rid of them for you.

For smaller libraries with only a few duplicates, you may find that iTunes duplicate search function is enough for you.

How to remove duplicates in iTunes automatically using Tune Sweeper

If you have a lot of duplicate songs in iTunes, it could take hours of analyzing and listening to each track to decide with track to keep and which to delete. This is where Tune Sweeper could save your valuable time (and sanity).

Watch this video to see Tune Sweeper duplicate remover in action.

Tune Sweeper provides the ability to automatically select all duplicates to get rid of, and which to keep, in just a click of your mouse. You can choose to keep the tracks of Highest Quality, Longest Duration, Latest Added, Oldest Added or Latest Played.

Another advantage is that you can specify search criteria for Tune Sweeper to return strict duplicates (an exact file copy), or all tracks with a matching title. You can return a detailed search for duplicates by:

  • Artist
  • Album
  • Track #
  • Track Count
  • Time Difference
  • Media Type

To delete duplicates from iTunes using Tune Sweeper, follow these steps.

  1. Download and install Tune Sweeper
  2. Launch Tune Sweeper and click “Search for Duplicates”
  3. Your current iTunes library will be scanned and Tune Sweeper will return a list of duplicates
  4. Manually choose which files to get rid of, or allow Tune Sweeper to do it automatically by selecting a Keep Selection Preference
  5. Once you’re happy with the selections, click Remove Duplicates

Easy! You’ve just automatically found all iTunes duplicates, selected the best versions to keep, and delete duplicates in iTunes all at once!

How to remove duplicate songs from itunes

Removing Duplicates is not the only thing Tune Sweeper can do though. The program will also allow you to fix missing or incorrect track information, download and fix your album artwork, and clean up your iTunes listings by removing songs with exclamation marks, or adding music from your hard drive which is not yet in iTunes.

Tune Sweeper also works with the new Apple Music app.

How to find and delete duplicate songs using iTunes

iTunes also provides a basic way to find and get rid of duplicate music. However, unlike Tune Sweeper, you’re unable to configure your duplicate search or remove your duplicates automatically based on your preferences. Removing duplicates with iTunes itself can be very time consuming if you have a large library, or if you have multiple duplicates from different sources e.g. original, live version, extended version, radio edit etc. To use iTunes’ own duplicate search function, launch iTunes and display your music library by songs by clicking the Songs header in the menu bar on the left of iTunes.

How to show duplicates in iTunes – Now, you’ll be able to find your duplicate songs. In the menu bar at the top of iTunes, go to File -> Library -> Show Duplicate Items. This option will display only duplicate tracks from your current iTunes library. If the duplicate pairs are not grouped together, you can click the Name column header to group them.

How to remove duplicate songs from itunes

How to show duplicates in iTunes

How to delete duplicates in iTunes – From here, you can simply click a track, or hold down the ctrl key while clicking multiple tracks to select them. Once you have made your selection, go to Song -> Delete to delete your selected music.

While it’s unlikely you’d download the same song multiple times, there are plenty of other ways to end up with duplicate files in iTunes or the Music app.

How to remove duplicate songs from itunes

Here’s a tip: download Gemini 2 and try it for free. Gemini 2 is a popular duplicate finder that will either scan selected folders or your entire home folder looking for duplicates.

iTunes and it’s more recent successor, the Music app, are both great ways to manage the music library on your Mac. But if you have an extensive CD collection or have just been using iTunes for a while, then there’s a good chance you have quite a few duplicates in your library. Whether it’s the album version and a live version of the same song or you accidentally imported a CD twice, duplicate songs are fairly common.

Why is iTunes duplicating files?

While it’s common for your iTunes to have duplicates, there isn’t really one reason in particular that could be causing. Here are a couple of common causes for having duplicate songs:

  • Different versions of the song. Artists release different versions of their songs, from the original album to a greatest hits album, or even a live performance of the track.
  • It was imported twice. Maybe you imported a CD to iTunes/Music twice, or you were sent an audio file that you added multiple times.
  • File is duplicated in different folders. You could have a song file on your computer duplicated in multiple folders. For instance, a copy could live in your Music folder and another in Downloads.

How to delete duplicate music on Mac

If you’re asking yourself how to mass delete duplicates in iTunes, then you won’t want to look any further than Gemini 2. It’s an app for your Mac that quickly scans your entire hard drive or a select folder, like your iTunes library, for duplicate and similar files. After the scan, you can review the results to select which copy of your files you want to delete or remove all your duplicates with just one click of the Smart Cleanup button.

How to remove duplicate songs from itunes

And the best part of Gemini 2 is that you can download and try it out for free.

How to delete duplicate songs in iTunes

iTunes duplicates are so common that Apple has built a handful of features into the software to help you find them. But those features only work for the music you have downloaded to your computer. And a portion of your library may be stored in the cloud, so before you can start searching for duplicates, you’ll need to hide the music that’s not on your computer by following these steps:

  1. Open iTunes.
  2. Click View in the menu bar.
  3. Then, select Only Downloaded Music.

How to show duplicates in iTunes

There are actually two ways to view the duplicates in iTunes. The first way will show you all the versions of a song, whether it’s the original version or a live version, which is helpful because you might only want to keep one version of a song and don’t care if you have the studio, greatest hits, or the live performances. And you can view those duplicates in iTunes by following these steps:

  • Open iTunes.
  • Click File in the menu bar.
  • Select Library > Show Duplicate Items.

The second way is to show the exact duplicates of your music. And how that’s different is it will only show you a copy if it’s the exact same version of a song. To view exact duplicates:

  • In iTunes, click File > Library.
  • Hold down the Option key on your keyboard.
  • Then, click Show Exact Duplicate Items.

Why is iTunes creating duplicate playlists

The most common reason for iTunes duplicating playlists is when you sync an iPhone, iPad, or iPhone to your computer using iTunes. If this is happening to you, the best thing to do is update the playlist on either your device or your computer, not both. Then, delete the playlist from whichever you didn’t update. The next time you sync your device with your computer, it will also copy over the updated playlist and will hopefully keep it in sync without it duplicating.

How to remove duplicate music manually

Like deleting any of your duplicates, using iTunes to remove duplicates can be done but requires quite a bit of patience. After you’ve followed the steps above to show your copies, you can follow these steps to remove them.

    In iTunes, select the duplicate song(s) you want to delete.

Note: You can select multiple songs by holding down the Command key and clicking.

How to clean up duplicates in Music app

Cleaning up all the duplicates you have in the Music app is just as easy as iTunes. In fact, if you want to sort through your files manually, you can follow the steps above for iTunes. The steps for showing and removing duplicates are the same for the Music app.

However, you can also use Gemini 2 to scan your Music folder and help you quickly delete duplicate or even similar songs. Follow these steps to clean up the duplicate clutter in your Music app:

    , install and open Gemini 2.
  1. Click + > Music Folder.
  2. Select Scan for Duplicates.
  3. Choose either Review Results or Smart Cleanup.

Duplicates in iTunes and Music are very commonplace. Especially, the longer you’ve been using the apps to manage your music library, the more likely you are to have multiple copies of the same song. But fortunately, iTunes makes it easy to view and get rid of those duplicates. And if you have more than just a handful of them, you can use an app like Gemini 2 to help you quickly scan and remove them.

How to remove duplicate titles from itunes playlist ? When adding directories with mp3s to itunes that contains playlist files, it’s listing twice (or more) the songs in the album view.

2 Answers 2

iTunes actually has a feature to display duplicates. It shows you all songs which it thinks are the same and you can delete one of them.

Here is a support page from Apple explaining how: Link

After selecting the playlist you would like remove duplicates from in iTunes, you’ll then want to select “Name” in the “Sort By” menu (located under the “View” main menu item).

How to remove duplicate songs from itunes

This will sort the songs in alphabetical order to where you can easily identify any duplicates since they’ll appear right next to each other.

You’ll then want to select a duplicated song and hover over the selected song to reveal the . (More) menu.

How to remove duplicate songs from itunes

Then select “Remove from Playlist” to delete the selected duplicated song.

How to remove duplicate songs from itunes

And, just in case you’re wondering, yes – doing this operation will only delete the selected duplicate, not all instances of the song within the playlist. (Which was a secret worry of mine.)

I would like to get help deleting duplicated songs, I do not know how they got their in the first place.

Posted on Aug 28, 2011 10:29 AM

Helpful answers

iTunes has two modes for displaying duplicates. The first is accessed via File > Display Duplicates and lists all tracks in the current playlist where the same track title occurs more than once. This is, more often than not, a rather loose definition of the term and can bring back obviously different songs, e.g. studio and live versions of the same song, the same song recorded by different artists, or by the same artist but on different albums, or completely different songs that have nothing in common but their title.

A more useful feature can be found if you hold down the SHIFT key and then select File > Display Exact Duplicates. This gives a list of all tracks where more than one track has essentially the same metadata, name, track no., artist, album, etc. (I’m not sure what the exact criteria are for an exact duplicate as far as iTunes is concerned, but it’s good enough for most needs).

There are three types of files that can show up as exact duplicates:

  1. Multiple library entries for the same physical file
    These can occur if your media location is temporarily unavailable, e.g. due to a disconnected external drive, iTunes becomes aware and marks the tracks as missing, you then reconnect the drive and add the media again. iTunes won’t recognize that the files are already in the library and will create duplicate entries.
  2. Multiple copies of the same physical file
    This can happen if you have “Copy to iTunes media folder when adding to library” enabled and accidentally add the same folders from outside of the iTunes Media folder into your library.
  3. Different copies of the same track, in different formats or bit rates
    This can happen if you decide to rip a CD that is already in your library on a later occasion or, for example, decide to create MP3 versions of some existing AAC files and then don’t remove the originals .

Note you could also have files which have the same audio data but different metadata, e.g. the same album ripped twice but with a slightly altered album title, however there isn’t an obvious way to highlight these within iTunes.

Once you have used the Show Exact Duplicates feature you can set about deleting all but one copy of each duplicate file. If all the duplicates have recently been added into your library then you could sort the list on the date added column, select a range of tracks with SHIFT-click and delete all the recent entries. If the duplicates have been added into the library at various times then sort the list by album or track name, select all but one of each group of matching tracks with CTRL-click and delete the selection. Probably best to work one screenful at a time.

Of course the issue isn’t quite as simple as it seems. If the duplicates are of type 1 then you want to delete the tracks from the library, but not delete or send the underlying files to the recycle bin as there is only one copy of each file referenced by the duplicate entries. For tracks of type 2 you do want to delete the duplicate physical copies leaving one remaining version. For files of type 3 you probably want to decide which of the two or more copies you want to keep, the smallest to take up less room, the largest because it is the best quality, the MP3 version because it is the most portable or more than one because each has their uses for you.

By now you should have some idea of why deduping is not a trivial issue. Of the three types I have described it turns out that cleaning up type 1 duplicates is quite easy to automate. I’ve written a script called DeDuper which can go through a selection of tracks, spot those with the same path and remove the redundant entries. As a bonus it retains the entry with the earliest date added value, adds in the play & skip counts from the deleted entries and sets the last played/skipped dates to their most recent values. Although the script would work on the whole library it will be much more efficient to use the iTunes Show Exact Duplicates tool before running the script. You should also backup your library or, at the very least, the iTunes database iTunes Library.itl before running the script. Chances are you have type 2 duplicates and the script is of no use to you in its present form.

I hope to extend the script over the next few days to cope with type 2 and type 3 duplicates, ideally making the distinction between the two types, handling type 2 automatically (hopefully moving the removed files to somewhere they could still be restored from if required) and prompting for the user to choose which file to keep in the case of type 3. Again metadata would be merged. Hmm, just realized I need to do something about rating too.