Remove Duplicate Songs from iTunes
If you have a large iTunes library it’s really easy to inadvertently gather duplicate songs, thankfully cleaning up and removing the duplicates from the iTunes song library is really easy.
Both iTunes for Mac and iTunes for Windows support an ability to easily remove duplicate songs, here’s how to do it:
How to Remove Duplicate Songs from iTunes
- Within iTunes, open the ‘File’ menu
- From iTunes 12 onward, go to “Library” submenu under File
- From iTunes 11, this will be in the “View” menu instead
This method does not always work though to find true duplicates of songs and will sometimes give you songs that are just very similar in name or artist, so you may want to try this instead:
How to Remove Exact Duplicates from iTunes Song Library
- Hold down the Option / ALT key
- Navigate to “File” menu
- Click on ‘Show Exact Duplicates’
- Now iTunes will display ONLY the exact duplicates (see screenshot)
- Confirm a song is a duplicate, then select that song and hit the “Delete” key to remove it from the iTunes library
- Repeat with other duplicate songs in iTunes
This list shows you the songs that iTunes thinks are duplicates, so do not delete everything in the list or else you may delete the original song that you want to keep.
iTunes isn’t perfect in detecting duplicates either, it looks like it bases most of the detection on song, artist, and album names, so if you have two songs named the exact same thing but they are different iTunes will likely think it is a duplicate.
After you have cleaned up your duplicate songs, you can get the iTunes library looking like normal again by clicking the ‘Show All’ button that is highlighted in the above screenshot, or simply navigate back to the ‘File’ menu and click on ‘Show All’ where “Show Duplicates” once was.
Note this feature was briefly removed and re-added to iTunes 11.0.1 and beyond. It’s now under the “View” menu of iTunes 11, and works with other media libraries beyond music as well. From iTunes 12 and later, it’s under the “File” > Library menu.