How to Remove Duplicate Files from Your iTunes Media Library

Are you tired of starting up your iPod and starting your playlist to find the same song playing over and over? This is caused by duplicate files in your iTunes library or in Windows Media Player. Here are a few tips to help.


If the only problem is duplicate *tracks* in iTunes (not duplicate files on the hard drive), the solution is easy: use iTunes’ built-in “Find Duplicates” feature to find and remove the duplicate tracks. There are also scripts on Doug Adam’s iTunes Scripts website to perform this. I synchronize my Libraries all the time (between Mac OS X and Windows, actually) and run into this often.

However, if the *files* (on the hard drive) are duplicated (because of different folder/file names), then the solution is tedious and requires lots of temporary disk space.

Manual Solution:

1. Use iTunes built-in “Find Duplicates” feature to find and remove the duplicate tracks in iTunes. (This does not affect your drive yet.)
2. Highlight every track in your iTunes Library (still in iTunes, not on your drive), and then drag the tracks from iTunes to a new Folder on your drive.
3. This will make a complete copy of your Library (without any duplicates).
4. Delete every track in iTunes and every file in your original Library on your drive.
5. Then, either move the contents of your new Folder to your Library folder and drop the Library Folder back into iTunes, or just tell iTunes that your Library has moved to the new Folder.

You will now have a new Library with no duplicates.

Some other solutions are as follows:

Enter the shareware iDupe (it’ll set you back $8). It claims to dedupe your music collection intelligently by looking at more criteria than Apple’s offering and allowing you to adjust certain settings. It helps tremendously in removing duplicate files from your music library. I find that the default setting does a good job of identifying duplicates, erring on the side of being slightly conservative IMO. (This is a good thing!)

The user can choose to delete duplicates from the currently selected Playlist, from the entire Library and from the hard drive. The docs suggest that it works best with limited chunks of files (under 2000), so I have created a “TEMP” Playlist and move 3-500 tracks at a time into that list. It is not exceptionally fast at deleting files, but it does the job like nothing else I have tried.

The Conversation

Follow the reactions below and share your own thoughts.

  • Anthony Robinson

    I think we all know about the find duplicates feature…the point is who wants to sit and manually select every duplicated and delete them one by one. Is there a magic button that says “find all duplicates and delete them for me?”

    I’ve got easily over 400 dupes and do not relish having to sit and manually remove them.

    • http://blogs.tech-recipes.com/davak/ davak

      The “Show Duplicates” feature (iTunes -> File -> Show Duplicates) only guesses files that are the same. Frequently, it will show two tunes that are similar but not exactly the same– Live versus album, for example. Because of this, it’s always going to be dangerous to try to develop some automatic way to remove duplicates using this feature. Thus, there is not a “find all duplicates and delete them for me” magic button.

      Several paid software packages exist that will help with this. If somebody posts a free solution, we’ll be glad to publish it.

      • hanna

        From the help:

        Choose File > Show Duplicates to find every instance of a song from the same artist from any album in your collection. For example, the same song could appear on the artist’s album and on a movie soundtrack.

        Press the Shift key and choose File > Show Exact Duplicates to find multiple copies of the same song (if, for example, you inadvertently imported the song twice).

        • Bryan

          Thank you SO much! this just blew my mind

        • http://errantadventures.wordpress.com Mitch

          On iTunes 9.2 and OS X use the OPTION button instead of SHIFT.

          Also, its still not perfect… can’t tell the difference between same song on different albums, different lengths, etc… Still much easier that scrubbing back and forth LOOKING for things that might be dupes…

          • Ladidadi

            This does not work on my iTunes v10? Ive tryed using tyhe shift, control, option and command buttons but none change the file menu??

          • Nevindawson

            Note that you need to hold the Shift or Command key BEFORE clicking the file menu.

    • Anonymous

      I tried mdeldupfile from mdecks.com. No apps needed. It is a simple bat file (or sh on mac) you get by submitting your exported duplicates as a text file.

      Works great. Nothing to it.

      • Anonymous

        Thanks

    • JSJSJS

      1.COPY ALL ITUNES FILES INTO A FOLDER ON MY COMPUTER, when it one file and its duplicate click “yes to all” (basically just deleting every duplicate for you)
      2. DELETE ALL SONGS ON ITUES (trust me on this one)
      3. Paste all the songs back on itunes, and 400 less dupes on yo pc.

      • idiot

        Oh my freaking god. How is it that simple?!

      • N0nuf2

        Ok, this only works if you don’t have names like:

        Song1.m4a
        01 Song2.m4a

        LOL…

        Looks like it’s time for a second move and then a file renamer app. :-)

        Good Tip by the way.

        /sg

      • Scap

        Didn’t work on my computer

    • Kavanabp

      yes nigga thats what im talkin about!

    • http://twitter.com/wideanglesoft Wide Angle Software

      Using iTunes’ own “show duplicates” option is extremely time consuming if you have a lot of duplicate tracks. Tune Sweeper is a good program to check out if you wish to take the pain out of finding and deleting duplicate and missing songs from your iTunes library.

    • http://www.facebook.com/Johnny.Redstripe John Anthony Robertson

      Hehe ive got about 22000 dupes! try doing that manually! eekk!

  • sysadmn

    Another PITA about Apple’s Find Duplicates is that it does not detect when two entries point to the same file. It will happily let you move the file to the recycle bin. Then the next time you access the remaining entry, you get the “Cannot find file” dialog. Way to go Apple – comparing paths (or, on OSX inodes) is sooo hard.

    • http://blogs.tech-recipes.com/davak/ davak

      I think everybody agrees with this. I think that’s why there is such a huge collection of software out there that tries to fix the problem with dupes. I was really sad that apple did not take the time to improve iTunes with version 8 instead of just adding more and more features.

      Removing duplicates safely would help a ton of people. However, the genius feature means that apple will make more money… You can see where the priorities are. :(

    • Caesius

      Delete the duplicate line in iTunes, just as you’ve noted. Then go immedately to the Recycle Bin and Restore that song. The remaining iTunes listing (the one you didn’t delete) will now be the only one pointing to the Restored file.

      This is exactly the problem I am having. And while what I’ve written IS a fix, it is not one I want to use on 900+ files. I do believe the other fixes noted above (placing songs copied from iTunes Library to a new folder, then delete iTunes Library, and throw the copies back into iTunes ) might work for this… But since this is a wonky issue to begin with, I think it’ll tie up my laptop all day to copy/paste 5000 songs back into iTunes. And I really don’t want to point iTunes to a folder of my own creation as the new path for all song files. I like the ease and functionality of the “Automatically Add To iTunes” feature, so the less I screw with it, the better.

  • Joe

    Thanks a bunch for this, i am relitvely new at itunes and was unaware of this feature…

  • joshua

    use the program duplicate finder. you can select weather to find the duplicates of the same size or name in the thing with artist. i use it all the time and i love it.

    • Luke

      What I did was copy the duplicate play list, then copy it into a folder I made. All the duplicates were on one side of the folder because it had the name and a number, and and all the normal ones were on the other. All i had to do was delete the left side and it was done.

      • Gavin

        not sure how that took care of the dup files in your itunes library

      • Anonymous

        GREAT idea Luke. Simple and fast. This should be stickied at the top. thanks all for helping me with my dup issue.

  • joe blow

    when you do that first manual step, just select send to trash or recycle bin, respective to your os, and skip all the rest.

    that is unless you’re not sure if the itunes library file duplicate points to the same file on your drive.

    itunes is funky. in it’s native library, you only see links to the actual files. sometimes when you’re moving between machines and trying to get your library organized, you might inadvertantly make dupicate “itunes library links,” but not duplicates of the actual files.

    thats when his manual method comes in handy. by not selecting the “send to trash” option after selecting your duplicates and hitting delete, but selecting the “keep files” option, you only delete itunes duplicate links. then, once all your dupe links are gone, he has you tell itunes “hey! take all these links and copy the linked files here” by selecting the entire library and dragging it to another folder.

    tada! itunes made a copy of your library without dupe files or library links.
    delete your old library, delete all links in itunes, then import the copied file.

    if you like, you can tell itunes to copy them into the itunes folder, meaning it doesnt link to the folder you’re importing, but to a copy in a different folder.

    by doing that, you get a nice neat itunes organized folder system complete with a nice neat dupe free itunes library.

    sorry if i repeated a few things…. but i’m sure someone wanted to know something here….. whether or not they will ever come across this, i do not know :)

    • Karlyle

      What do I do if the files are only duplicated on my iTouch and iPhone? I don;t have the duplicated files and songs on my iTunes anymore. I manualy deleted them before it to be too many. BUt when I sync my iTunes to my iTouch and iPhone, they got duplicated. Not under my artists i have TWO of each songe for a couple artist… not all, but enough.>

  • Sam

    I’m running a laptop with windows so couldn’t run Doug Adam’s scripts for Mac. Another way to remove duplicate itunes entries is:

    1. Remove all tracks from itunes (select all and press delete)
    2. Select not to remove the actual music file
    3. When your library is empty again, select ‘file add folders to library’ and select the MyMusic folder

    It didn’t even take that long because the files are all in the right format, itunes just has to find them again. N.B. I dont purchase music at the itunes online store so dont know how this will affect your bought mp3 tracks.

    • hanna

      But you lose the original Date Added context.

      • you’reabigfatphony

        So what – it’s probably the easiest solution to a terribly frustrating issue – F’ tha’ Date added content.

    • Rhett

      Boy was this easy and I did not have to buy any new application. Thank you!!

    • Ronzoweaver

      Sam is the man no doubt!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Ryan

    Another easy way is to simply uninstall and then re-install iTunes. You can then import a single library instead of dealing with duplicate files. I recently changed my music directory to a different folder and had all of the same files imported to my library again, though only the recently imported files are playable. Really irritating, but I think this will fix it.

    Anyway, less chance of loss in the process of dragging and dropping. And it’s free.

  • Jordan Hewitt

    i wrote an autohotkey script to select every other song in the “show duplicates” window very very quickly.

    ===================================
    SetTitleMatchMode, 2

    ^t::

    WinActivate, iTunes
    Sleep, 1000

    Loop {

    SendEvent {Control down}

    y = 94
    Loop {
    SendEvent {Click 1000, %y%}
    if (y > 930) {
    break
    }
    y += 34
    }

    PixelGetColor, done, 1237, 926
    if (done != 0xBDBDBD) {
    break
    }

    SendEvent {Click 1237, 935, 50}

    }

    SendEvent {Control up}

    return
    ================================================

    Very simple to use, but you will have to adjust the numbers to fit your screen size, unless you are in 1680×1050 like me. You also of course need to download autohotkey, but i highly suggest that for anyone anyway.

    • efef

      I have a g15 keyboard so I have a macro button, when do I type this in just while I am looknig at itunes?

    • jon

      i made an auto hot key, it goes to the tray, but nothing happens.

    • gayboy1

      i havent been able to get one of these scripts to work yet

      ipod sux

  • jim

    Be careful about iDupe and don’t get duped–It’s for Macs ONLY. If you have Windows do not buy it, you’ll just be making an $8 donation.

    • Anonymous

      iDupe is for Mac OS X only, as stated on the product page. It will not work on Windows. There is no intent to dupe anyone, unfortunately sometimes Windows users do not read the stated system requirements. Please understand that many software companies have no refund policies unless the product doesn’t work as described, because software is not a physical product that can be returned. I regret the confusion it sometimes causes.

  • efef

    I followed the above steps for manual removal except I used an automatic itunes library dupe remover so I didnt have to sift through 488 dupes, program was called “Dupe eliminator for itunes” Ran that then followed the steps above. Vista 63bit

    • Emily

      How much does that cost though? Is there anything free?

  • Dan

    Why is iTunes creating the duplicates to begin with? This is so incredibly frustrating. This software is so crappy. It has done this on every computer I own. If I didn’t own an iPod Touch I would get rid of iTunes all together. Can’t you Apple software developers get this simple piece of software working correctly?

    • Pralz

      If i remember correctly… iTunes is QUICKTIME’s child… Apple just bought QuickTime to own iTunes. It’s not Apple who created iTunes, it is QuickTime.

      • Brett

        I am struggling with another twist on the dupe problem. I recently installed a network drive at home and want all computers/notebooks to be able to access the same iTunes music folder on the network drive, for their iTunes library.

        I set about transferring the files that had built up on 2 of the computers onto the main drive, plus the collection on my iPod, which had become separated from its mother due to a drive crash (alot of the songs were already dupes of the other libraries). The problem is, the songs from the iPod have copied directly to the main folder, not in organised into albums, whilst the ones from the computers are saved within their respective albums.

        I’ve ended up with no less than 5 dupes in some cases, in a 30Gb library. I have moved the default folder referenced by iTunes to the network drive, however when I try to ‘add to library’ it still tries to copy them back to my local HD, which I am trying to avoid (and besides don’t have the space!). How can I set up iTunes on each of the computers to only import links to the songs on the network drive to its library, and also remove the dupes??

      • Pellet

        LOL how wrong you are Pralz, iTunes is created exclusively by Apple and Quicktime was created exclusively by Apple from the start.

        • Anonymous

          not quite.

          Quicktime has been an Apple product for almost 20 years now, but iTunes was originally SoundJam MP, a program apple purchased in 2000 and modified into iTunes.

          • Charles

            In a Macromind Director Demo in 1992 QT was fully integrated part of the app.

      • guest

        QuickTime was developed by Apple in 1991 and has always been owned by Apple. iTunes was developed by Apple in 2001. Neither have been separate entities (although early iTunes was based on SoundJam).

      • Johnny Canuck

        > You remember incorrectly. You seem to be confusing Quicktime with SoundJam MP, which may also indicate that you sometimes confuse video files with audio files.

        Quicktime was originally developed by Apple. The first version was released in December 1991. The lead developer of QuickTime, Bruce Leak, ran the first public demonstration at the May 1991 Worldwide Developers Conference, where he played Apple’s famous 1984 TV commercial on a Mac, an astounding technological breakthrough at the time. Microsoft’s competing technology, Video for Windows did not appear until November 1992.

        Soundjam MP, on the other hand, was developed by Bill Kincaid and released by Casady & Greene in 1999, and was renamed iTunes when Apple purchased it in 2000. Jeff Robbin, Bill Kincaid, and Dave Heller moved to Apple as part of the acquisition, where they continue to work today as the software’s original developers. They simplified SoundJam’s user interface, added the ability to burn CDs, and removed its recording feature and skin support.

        I agree, though, that it is incredibly frustrating for users not to be able to easily remove duplicates. It’s not just iTunes, though, I find all these music apps suck at differentiating between “where are the actual files” and “where are all those pointers in my library actually pointing”. I’ve had this same problem with Music Match Jukebox, Windows Media Player, and several other apps I’ve tried to organize music with. The problem is the developers try to make it work “automagically” for the user without considering that most of us actually occasionally back up our data, have multiple storage media, move files around, have computers fail on us, and need this relatively simple feature added to the software – an automatic “de-dupe” feature. It could be easily designed to avoid the danger of removing similar songs (i.e. same title, different artist, live versions, etc.) by only de-duping if the track length is identical and other key data points match up. This would then perhaps, in a large library with lots of duplicates, require a bit of manual user intervention at the end to remove the few remaining duplicates that are of slightly different running time length due to different original source. Please, iTunes team – take a tip from Nike and just do it! Or, if you prefer Star Trek, please – make it so!

    • Emily

      Actually it’s probably because you need to uncheck a box which automatically makes duplicates of every song you save in itunes, you have to Go to Edit -> Preferences.
      Switch to ‘Advanced’ tab.
      Uncheck ‘Copy files to iTunes Music folder when adding to library’.

    • B

      I agree. It shouldn’t matter who own’s it. The problems needs to be fixed. I have researched this issue and how to resolve for myself and all i get it the same question with the same answer that no one is at fault and still not the appropriate way to fix the initial problem of why itunes/Quicktime has a problem of getting duplicate file destinations on there. We understand if we have duplicate songs due to different albums but what is the reason that the same song from the same album arrive into our library. There has got to be a way that as the songs are uploaded, the program recognizes duplicates and will ask if we really want to. I notice it does this when there already are games on there. It asks if we want to replace that. Is there some basic resolution on settings that may be causing this problem that the average joe’s(joe-ets for the ladies) is not aware of?

  • Emily

    Is there anything free or for UK users (not sold only in US) and does the first method you mentioned get rid of dead links as well, because I have about 4000 of those somehow!

  • Christa

    Just a warning: the hyped program “iFix” to de-duplicate itunes hasn’t loaded on any of my or my friends’ computers; it just crashes before install.

    • Sean

      I ran an 8 double one D file dumper and it seemed to clear the problem up in a jiffy. The only problem is that I have to engage the manual choke to get my monitor to work in cold weather!

  • tonybaloney

    your “easy” approach isn’t very easy if you have 20 GB of duplicates.

    • Anonymous

      how about 293gigs in a 587 gig library? Im so frustrated and overwhlmed!

  • Anonymous

    I Tried… Audio Comparer but did not find how it works(poor design)… in that case Duplicate Finder 2009 is the winner for me…. its so simple to find and remove duplicate files in this program…

  • Anonymous

    manual method worked great, but lost all playlists (they are all blank) and trying to see if any way to recover. help

    • Terramadre

      Only way I know to move over playlists…make a “playlists” folder on your Ext. HD, go to EACH playlist you want to keep (I know…each and every one..) and control/click– select “Export”. A window will open showing default info consisting of the playlist name (followed by .txt) and a place to choose location. Just choose the playlist folder on you Ext. HD. THEN…go to your iTunes and hit File>Library>Import Playlist. Far as I know, you have to do this for EACH Playlist!

  • tyler

    don’t listen to any of these just do this:

    1) HOLD SHIFT- and press file
    2) Magically a new option comes up labeled, ‘show exact duplicates’
    3) voila delete all the unwanted ones, such as unrated ones, in a massive group.

    • Anonymous

      but how do you delete in a massive group?

    • Timesnewromance

      this doesn’t work for me? what am i doing wrong?

      • Just Pugh

        Do not click show duplicates, then sift then file as this way does’t work! DO hit show all then press shift then whilst holding down shift click File, hey presto there it is “show exact dupes”, Cheers from South Wales

        • Cmonster

          …a-heh…heh heh heh…Ha Ha…..BWA-HA-HA-HAAAAA!!!!!!
          Just Pugh, good fellow human, for some reason your description of the process made sense and, BY GOD!, IT WORKED!!!!

          I originally had over 2500 duplicates. Real ones. Many were different versions of the same songs, but some were the diabolical ones thanks to iTunes, I guess. I had been going through my library after hitting “Show Duplicates” and having to listen to a few bars of every song I was uncertain of…which was a lot. After searching through software reviews and reading an insane amount of comment sections in several places I wound up here and had seen this solution given more than once. The real duplicate amount dropped to 648 from over 10,000. I can go through that, for safety’s sake, on my head. *whew!*

          Thanks to all of you that suggested the solution and thanks especially to you, Just Pugh, for presenting it in verbiage that made sense to my ragged brain.

          Thanks and Best Wishes! I hope the weather in South Wales is treating y’all well!
          -Cmonster

          • Cmonster

            …argh…mistyped information. I had over 10,000 music files and and at least 2500 were duplicates. The duplicates are now down to 648. My bad.

            Cmonster

    • Runby61

      It is actually alt/option and File on a Mac, but it actually shows exact file names, but for some reason it doesn’t distinguish bit rate. Weird!

  • T3

    Simply amazing job. You probably just saved me two – three hours. I would’ve been deleting each duplicate if it wasn’t for your simple manual way of fixing it. Thanks a million.

  • Name

    iDupe shareware will take care of it easily. i had 3000 duplicates, no way was i going to go through manually.

  • Anonymous

    I get the removal of duplicate files but when they are of different extension types, which extension type should I keep so that ITunes doesn’t make copies again so it can recognize them. I have several different types such as MP3, M4p, windows media audio file, etc.. In other words, what is the best file extension type for ITunes to read?

  • Anonymous

    This is a very inefficient solution but a solution nonetheless. I’d like to find or write an iTunes plugin that does nothing but auto-select even (or odd) items in the list.
    Then the steps would be:
    Show Duplicates
    Run Plugin to Auto Select Every Other Track
    Delete the selected tracks

  • Tor I.

    Another reason for duplicates can be if you have upgraded songs to iTunes+ and chose to keep the old files. Then “Find duplicates” will list both, and you can look in info (Command+I) to see which is the crappy protected 128 kbps version and which is the unprotected 256 kbps version you want to keep.

  • Anonymous
  • Si

    The tedious method listed above (copy out, copy in) doesn’t work in iTunes 9 on Windows. It exports duplicates as trackName.mp3 and TrackName1.mp3

  • vinchete

    Anyone try Automator yet?

    Because iTunes automatically adds a “1” or “2” to the end of a duplicate file name, you can use Automator to move those files from your iTunes library to another folder. After the files are physically gone from your iTunes music folder, you can use any number of means to remove the dead/broken links from your iTunes library.

    Step #1 – Open Automator, and first use “Find Finder Items” in your iTunes Music Folder to find file’s whose names end with ” 1.mp3″, ” 1.m4p”, ” 1.m4a”, or ” 1.wav”, etc. I thought it important to use ‘ends with’ and the file extension, rather than ‘contains’ and ” 1.” to prevent accidents, but either would work I suppose. I also added the space before the number one for the same reason.

    Step #2 – “Move Finder Items” to a new folder that you created, let’s call it “Temp Trash”. Automator has a “Move Finder Items to Trash” function, but my music files are stored on a server and they’d be deleted immediately. I wanted to put them in a temporary folder so I could look through them one time before I deleted them permanently.

    Repeat for ” 2.mp3″, etc., even ” 3.mp3″ if you have to.

    FYI: Automater won’t replace existing file names unless you check that box, so even if you find 1,234 songs in your search, it might not delete all 1,234 if some have the exact same file name (but are stored in different folders, for example). Check that the number of files found in Step #1 match those moved in Step #2. You can check the box to overwrite file names, or create another folder and run the Automator task again for the duplicate duplicates.

    WARNING: I found that songs ending in “…Part 1.mp3″ would get snagged in this function, so after I was done I opened my temporary trash folder in a finder window and searched for songs containing the word “part”…saved 8 songs/shows that I otherwise would’ve removed accidentally.

    After I felt I was done, I chose to remove all the songs from my iTunes library (but NOT the files!), and then re-import my iTunes Music folder (it’ll take all night).

    I started with 10,760 files + duplicates, and moved a little more than half of that to my temp folder (including files ending in “2” and “3”, and duplicate track names hiding in different folders). This method should have gotten most, but tomorrow morning I’ll “show exact duplicates” and manually remove whatever is left.

    Cheers,
    V

  • Anonymous

    I wish that I had known that the iDupe product only ran on a Mac. I just finished buying it for nothing. I saw no “Mac Only” data until the “purchase complete” screen.

  • Anonymous

    how can you highlight a group of songs and delete them rather than having to delete them one by one?

    • Anonymous

      You need 3rd party software.

  • Anonymous

    Great just what i needed i hate duplicates

  • Ryankwanten000

    I bloody hate iTunes its crap, I have duplicated folders, the problem is I have say Thirty Seconds To Mars folder on my PC containing all the trakcs edited correctly under advance properties to ensure all have same propertys and only thing differant is the track name and file size, if I then import this folder into iTunes and Sync with my iPod I end up with 2 folders both called Thirty Seconds To Mars one has 11 tracks in it the other has just one, what the hell is going on here ??????????? this is repeated though several albums and is driving me to the point I threw the darn thing acros the room crazy, AGHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHh !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!111

    • Nick5454

      click get info and find out which property is mispelled. it does a character check so even a blank will cause it to be different.

  • Lanorra Fedora

    I found a good way to doo it so ya don’t have to click on by one on yer duplicates.

    Use the iTunes command “File->Show Duplicates” then right click on the sorter bar and add the “Date Added” field.

    Then you can sort by Date Added, all the new ones will be at the top, and it may make it easy for you to select all the ones you want to delete.

  • Cmcstretford

    i have over 7000. but there not duplicates… there like there like 15x the same song :S
    i am NOT deleting them manually :/.

  • Yuna Rapoport

    Does anybody know how to make it so that “delete” is an option when I try to delete instead of just “remove from library?” I know delete used to be on there, and now I can’t find it anywhere to put back on. Thanks!

  • Cameron_pascoe001

    I have a tonne of itunes files that i copied from and old ipod before it died onto my hard drive. THey are of course all in the form FTWW and THIW. I am wondering if there is a program out there that can help me convert them so I can see the tracks names etc for easier recognition and so I can manage my music folders

    • Kyle

      Yes there is..
      1. Open “my computer”
      2. Go to folder options and select “show hidden Files”
      3. Now open your ipod like its a drive..(which it is)
      4. Open the faded folder that says ipod control
      5. then open the folder that says ipod/itunes music
      6. now highlight the folders only (all of them) i.e. F00, F01, F02…. and so on
      7. Right click and click properties.
      8. uncheck hide and click ok then on the window that pops up clik ok again.
      9. once the files are unhidden, just drag the highlighted folders over ur itunes library and itunes will automatically put the songs in and give them all the correct info about the song name, artist, etc.

      ENJOY : ]

  • Vvnp159

    On my ipod, there is a duplicate album under a different artist name. The duplicate is not seen on my itunes library, only my ipod. How can i delete the duplicate?

  • Bustergob

    This was amazing and simple thanks 221!

  • Ash121981

    This manual solution worked GREAT!!!! first and best answerI found!

  • http://twitter.com/mikman Mikael Blomfelt

    The problem that I have is that no automated script that deletes every second file in the “Show (Exact) Duplicates” view is going to help when I sometimes have the same song more than twice. Why exactly does the Show Duplicates view also show the original? Why can’t there be an option so that it only shows the duplicates, filtered by a parameter of your choice (i.e. keep the one with the highest bitrate, etc.)?

    Somebody mentioned TidySongs somewhere, but I’m reluctant to let some random piece of Freeware delete 20GB of music from my library.

    • Orbitmars

      I would quickly do the manual fix of dupes (copy all from iTunes library to HD then copy/import back to iTunes, EXCEPT that it will destroy all the info in my many playlists.

      Is there any way to maintain integrity of playlists while deleting the dupes (other than manually selecting each dupe and having either script or iTunes delete it?)

      thanks!

  • http://www.facebook.com/wolfduke Bryan Duke

    Wow…overcomplicated solutions here. Select show exact duplicates as discussed then uncheck every double….very quickly done, even with a lot.
    After that, just arrange order by checks, then just select all unchecked for a bulk delete. Logic

    • Cynnes Gwyn

      Problem is, iTunes leaves some dupes unchecked, but not all. Looks like it is trying to decide which is the original. Then it is a little unnerving to decide whether to delete or leave on disc. Like so many others, I wish iTunes didn’t take so much space duplicating everything.

    • Grmarlow

      It would be a simple solution on Apple’s end to have iTunes run a hash analysis on the files to determine whether or not a file is unique . It’s either a duplicate or it’s not – why rely on file names? Generating hash values to determine duplicates is neither time consuming nor costly in terms of computer resources. .

  • Tezm

    my duplicate songs are in win media player..i did try itunes so it colud be connected,but its not from itunes i want them of.any ideas?

  • Guest

    Thanks for this step by step tip. It really worked out.

  • Kellyvoet

    Best solution so far – thanks!

  • djsurreal

    i tried this and clicked show duplicates then show all then shift file and clicked show exact duplicate and it came up with all the duplicates(both copies) so do i have to manually go through all 5000 and delete the duplicate?

  • Dadda

    What about a Boolean setting in iTunes preferences like rules in Mail: import ‘if’ AAC ‘and/or/not’ MP3 ‘and/or/not’ etc.
    There you go Apple, a free feature for the next iteration.
    I’ve tried a few dupe finders, currently using iDupe. It’s not very good with Track 1, Track 2, etc, deletetes the multiples even thought they are by different artists and vastly different sizes.

  • dan

    unfortunatly i have 37 000 music files on itunes 22 000 of which are duplicates

  • http://www.rollinshultz.blogspot.com Rollin Shultz

    I believe my duplicates were created when itunes converted my wav and mp3 files to aac versions. To rid myself of the duplicates I used the above technique of copying to temp folder and deleting the library, but instead of copying back, I checked in my music/itunes/music and everything seemed intact so I pointed my music library to that folder to recreate my library w/o dupes.

    I was most worried about losing my purchased music, but it is intact.

  • Panda

    There is an advanced keyboard trick. I know it works I’ve seen it a few years ago.It’s something weird like fn command and – at the same time you click on the second check box next to the track name.I can’t find it online anywhere. But believe me I learned it while studying sound engineering. Now I’ve forgotten :(

  • sally

    I need help on my playlist in itunes one playlist somehow is duplicated over 2,000 times and of course it is on all my devices in the cloud…help me please

    • sally

      > my itunes has one playlist that has duplicated over 2,000 times …I cannot figure how to delete it without doing it one at a time. It is of course in my cloud on all my devices. Any suggestions and thanks.

  • Veronica

    Dont know if this is the right site but – I like my talking books; I can get them onto my iphone (3GS) but dont seem able to delete them They have been deleted from the ‘music’ section in itunes but still appear on my iphone. Can i delete direct from the phone?

  • michael

    Google Play app seems to remove duplicate files. One way to do this might be to upload all your music to google let them remove the duplicates and download the complete copy again.

    I know when I tried to upload to good 4000 songs only 2200 would upload as the rest were copies of each other. I had a weird issues with MP3 tunes a few years ago that duplicated most of my files

  • Gary

    I merely selected all duplicates (approximately 360), right clicked, moved them to trash, problem solved.

    This of course was done within iTunes iMac program. Not on my iPhone. On iPhone, choose manual versus automatic during synchronization. This will allow you to manage your music as above. Keep in mind, I figured I had nothing to loose by attempting this as all of my iTunes are backed up via iCloud…

    Additionally, iTunes store keeps all of my purchases stored as well as updated. After upgrading to another Mac, reinstalling iTunes, signing in, my music automatically began downloading until all was restored, I appreciated that immensely.

    I hope this helped some people.

    • HAVIE

      > Fantastic worked for me on windows 7 you are a life saver( eh ! i-tunes saver !) WOW !
      WHY doesn`t I-tunes use this as one of their HELP ! FILES.
      just about everyone i know has an external-device for their i-tunes back-ups and this should be made widely available to i-tune users !.. it takes someone like the average working class man to sort-out someone who`s makes a million how to do their job ! MATE YOU SHOULD TAKE OVER AS THEIR CHEIF EXEC !

    • Wozza

      > try doing that with 27,000 tracks!!!

  • connor

    So I have well over 4,000 duplicates in my iTunes. There is absolutely no way I’m going through and deleting them one by one. So is my only solution to buy some program online to do it for me?

  • Wozza

    I have 9000 duplicates.. I can not find an option that will delete all duplicates (but leaving one of each). How do I delete all duplicates, without having to manually highlight each one?(9000 is alot and would take days to go through and highlight, not only that, if highlighting one by one, but accidently click twice on one of them, every other one that waws highlighted, UNhilights, and the track that i accidently double clicked on starts playing(double click=play that track, lose all highlighted items and having to start again)) This is extremely frustrating and I just want one click to delete mutiple tracks but leaving only one of each.. Why can I not find this option on itunes? I remember having same issue few years ago but i never posted any questions about it… Someone, please tell me a quick, one-step way of deleting 9000 duplicates…??? (including duplicates, most of which have 3 tracks of the same title, I have a total of 27452 tracks! so you can imagine my dilema.. Any relevant answers/ solutions would be much appreciated! Thanks everyone :-)

  • Steve

    Thank you! Dude, you deserve a medal for this. GENIUS.

  • Barbelala

    Your recommended solutions are really easy and useful. It helps me a lot. Thx. =)

  • http://tech-recipies Dupe for dummies

    I’m running Windows 7 Home premium 32-bit. I have several dupes but so far only a few of the steps work. I can get duplicates or exact duplicates but it doesn’t give me a way to delete them. Some songs are on 4-5 times. For someone who want to listen to music and is not a computer geek I need all the help I can get. I still haven’t seen the answer to “delete by massive group”
    And last but not least, dragging Jesus into this in a vulgar way is definitely NOT one of the steps you need to take!

  • hmumm

    I think I have a more severe problem that duplicates,,,moved from XP to WIN 7 music and all files came over using the MS tool…but I now have a totally duplicate itunes library…if I delete one of the dupes, the other will not play….the purchased music from the itunes store is not afected, but any ripped CD’s ofr “acquired” music will not play if one of the dupes is deleted,,,both play in the library…
    where do I start,,,i believe it has something to do with the way WIN7 lines up the media files in its disk structure,,,so when I delete one of the dupes, then try to play the orphan,,I get the error message that iTunes cannot find the original file,,would you like to find it,,,i can go find it, but I now have 7600 pairs of dupes and doing this process would take me years…
    thoughts or help available??

  • bbw

    Can one delete everything and start over???? My duplication problem extends to the videos I’ve purchased from iTunes. My iPod says I have 255 videos, but in reality, I only have 30 or so. As for songs; I’ve ripped all of my 400+ CDs which were imported into my iTunes playlist— And as it has been stated there are songs duplicated on different albums. OH MY GAWD!!!! What a duplication nightmare!!!! I’m wondering if I delete “everything”? Delete iTunes “anything” even delete every CD I’ve ever ripped and start over. And then Re-rip all my CDs and I am thinking/hoping iTunes will reload all the songs/videos and autiobooks I’ve purchased from them automatically? It has been 2 days and I CANNOT find out how to get to where the “DUPLICATE” videos reside so I can delete them. I call myself being loyal customer to iTunes but, I just do not have the finances to buy other software to “try” and resolve this duplication issue. Where’s iTunes’ loyalty to their customers???? With all the money we pay out this is frustrating and ridiculous. It’s really sad :-(