How to Get Rid of Duplicate Songs in iTunes

With the rise of music streaming services, the demand for digital and physical record copies has significantly decreased. However, it has not stopped people from appreciating music and supporting their favorite artists. Some fans simply choose to have 2-3 albums they like best, but others own extensive music libraries full of files that take tens of gigabytes of storage. Of course, no one intentionally keeps multiple copies of the same song or album in their iTunes library, yet practically everyone ends up having song duplicates. Luckily, iTunes has a built-in duplicate remover. To access it:

  • • Open iTunes
  • • In the Menu bar choose File > Library > Show Duplicate Items (hold option to look up Exact Duplicates)
  • • Click ‘All’ to view a list of duplicate tracks
itunes duplicate files

If you have trouble following these steps, then you are most likely running an older version of iTunes (below version 12). In such case, in the Menu bar simply choose View > Show Duplicates.

Go through the tracks and highlight the ones you don’t want anymore. Pay close attention to files though, as iTunes does not consider the length of the tracks, only artist and name. As a result, sometimes the live and studio versions of the same song are considered duplicates. It’s up to you to decide if you want to keep both.

After selecting all the unwanted tracks, hit Delete and Move to Trash to free up space. Choosing Keep File option will remove the track from your iTunes Library, but the physical copy of the file will remain on your hard drive.

Once you are done eliminating duplicated tracks, get back to normal view by choosing File > Library > Show All Items in the menu bar.

How to Delete Duplicates in iTunes All at Once

The built-in duplicate remover will suffice if your music library consists of, let’s say, 10 songs, yet the process of manual selection does not scale well and gets tedious. To find and eliminate all music files all at once you’re going to need MacFly Pro.Download and install the application, switch to the Tools tab and start scanning for Duplicates. Sift through the results and select the files you want eliminated, hit Clean.

delete duplicate music

Clean Up iTunes and Keep Music Library Organized

Now that you have finished cleaning your iTunes from duplicates you’ve got to keep it organized. No additional tools required.

  • • Open iTunes and go to Preferences
  • • Choose Advanced Tab
  • • Check the boxes ‘Keep iTunes Media folder organized’ and ‘Copy files to iTunes Media folder when adding to Library
  • • Click ‘OK’ to confirm the changes
organize library itunes

With these setting enabled iTunes will now conveniently store songs and albums, organizing them by artists.

Clean Up Duplicate Music Files and iTunes Media Files

While iTunes handles the organizing of your music library, it’s up to you to make sure you don’t keep any extra files around and no valuable free space is wasted. Namely, those extra files can be the same that you’ve already imported to iTunes. To organize them, iTunes creates copies upon import, which are placed in the iTunes Media folder. The built-in remover won’t be much help here, however, you can take a look inside the folder where the music library is kept. To access the folder:

  • • Open Finder
  • • In the Menu bar choose Go > Go to Folder
  • • Copy & Paste the following address: ~/Music/iTunes/iTunes Media/Music
  • • Click ‘Go’ to open up the folder

Review the sorted files and make sure that you don’t have unneeded copies anywhere else on the drive. Alternatively, you can run a Duplicates scan with MacFly Pro and let it locate all the copies.

Whether you choose to go the Macfly Pro or the iTunes route, these tips will set you on the right path to cleaner Mac and organized music library.

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