How to Remove Duplicate Songs From iTunes

by Joe Murray

While iTunes is an excellent tool for managing and organizing your music, sometimes it can get littered with duplicate songs. The songs may be exact duplicates, meaning all information, including metadata, name, album and track number, is identical. Some songs may be duplicates, but not exact. You may have two of the same songs sung by the same artist, but on different albums. Either way, you can easily find and delete the duplicates with iTunes, iTunes Match or third-party software.

Use ITunes to Delete Duplicates

Open iTunes. From the File menu select “Display Duplicates.” To display exact duplicates hold down the "Shift" key when you select “Display Duplicates.”

Decide which criteria you want to use to delete a copy of your song. Select “View Options” from the View menu to comprise the criteria you select. These consist of date Added, song and other choices visible in the iTunes window.

Click the column to select viewing options in your library. Select all the duplicate songs that you want to delete. To select more than one song in a row, press the "Shift" key and highlight songs; to select non-adjacent songs, press the "Control" key and highlight songs.

Select “Delete” from the Edit menu.

Use ITunes Match to Delete Duplicates

Subscribe to iTunes Match, an Apple service application. Select “Turn on iTunes Match” from the Store menu, which opens the subscription page.

Begin to scan your library with iTunes Match, which will upload your songs to iCloud while at the same time eliminating duplicates.

Choose “Display Duplicates” from the File menu. Note any duplicates that still exist and highlight those you want to remove. Select “Delete” from the Edit menu. Check “Also Delete This Song from iCloud” from the dialogue box that appears.

Tip

  • ITunes Match converts your songs into higher quality 256 kbps and ACC format, if the song is in a lower-quality format, as well as deleting duplicates, if it has a copy in its library. If there is no copy in the iTunes library, the song is uploaded in its original format. Several third-party software options are available to help you delete duplicate songs (see Resources).

Warning

  • Your songs will be permanently deleted when you delete them from your iTunes library. Back up your files until you are sure your library is the way you want it.

About the Author

Joe Murray began writing professionally in 1980. As a technical writer, he authored white papers and articles for Hewlett Packard and Intel. Since retiring, Murray has written several home-exchange travel articles for KnowYourTrade.com and CHECtravel,com among other outlets. He holds a bachelor's degree in philosophy from Santa Clara University.

Photo Credits

  • Justin Sullivan/Getty Images News/Getty Images