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Archived - iTunes 8: Finding and removing duplicate items

You can remove duplicate items from your iTunes library easily. Just follow these steps:

This article has been archived and is no longer updated by Apple.
  1. Select Music under Library on the left side of the iTunes window.
  2. From the File menu in iTunes, choose Show Duplicates. iTunes will then list all of the duplicate titles in your library.

  3. Select any duplicate item you would like to delete.
  4. Press the Delete key on your keyboard.
  5. A message will appear asking you if you are sure you want to remove the item. Click the Remove button if you are sure. 

  6. If the item's file was in your iTunes folder, you will be prompted by another dialog to either keep the file in your iTunes folder or move it to your computer's Recycle Bin or Trash, which you can empty whenever you wish. If you want to remove the files from your iTunes folder and you're using Windows, click Move to Recycle Bin. If you're using a Mac, click Move to Trash.

Repeat the steps if you want to check for duplicate Movies, TV Shows, or Audiobooks by selecting the appropriate item in step 1.

Tip: To speed up the process of deleting duplicates, you can select multiple duplicates and then delete them all at once. To do this, press and hold down the Control key (Windows) or Command key (Mac), then click each individual duplicate item you want to delete. To delete all of the items you highlighted, press the Delete key on your keyboard and follow steps 3 through 5 from the above list of steps again.

To help prevent duplicates from appearing in your library in the first place, it's recommended that you have two particular options in your iTunes Preferences enabled. If you're interested, follow these steps to enable them:

  1. Open iTunes.
  2. If you're using Windows, choose Preferences from the Edit menu. If you're on a Mac, choose Preferences from the iTunes menu.
  3. Click Advanced.
  4. Make sure the checkboxes next to the following options are selected:

Enabling these options will ensure that when you add an item to your iTunes library it is copied to your iTunes folder and that iTunes keeps your folder structure organized. When these options are enabled, iTunes should not allow you to add an item to your library that already appears in your library.

Last Modified: Jan 7, 2013
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  • Last Modified: Jan 7, 2013
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