My iTunes was a rickety mess. I had links to songs that didn’t exist on my hard drive anymore, duplicates and a bunch of playlists that I didn’t need anymore. I wanted to start over. I could delete all of this data by individually selecting each item and deleting them, but that’s a pain. There is an easier way. Here’s what I did.
Option 1 – Select All then Delete
- Open the list of songs you wish to delete.
- Hold “CTRL” and press “A“. All songs in the list will be selected.
- Press the “Delete” key.
- Select the “Delete Items” button to confirm your selection.
- Repeat steps 1-4 for any other music lists.
The items are deleted from the list, but the actual music files are not deleted from the computer.
Option 2 – Clear Everything from iTunes
Warning: This method will reset everything in iTunes to a default state. All playlists, ratings, apps, and library lists will be obliterated. Music files should still be preserved on your hard drive.
- Close iTunes.
- Navigate to one of the following locations depending on your operating system:
- Mac OS X: /Users/username/Music/iTunes/
- Windows XP: C:\Documents and Settings\username\My Documents\My Music\iTunes\
- Windows Vista: C:\Users\username\Music\iTunes\
- Windows 7: C:\Users\username\My Music\iTunes\
- Windows 8: C:\Users\username\My Music\iTunes\
- Windows 10: C:\Users\username\Music\iTunes\
- Right-click “iTunes Music Library.xml” and select “Rename“. Give it a name of “iTunes Music Library.old“. Do the same thing for the “iTunes Library.itl” file.
- Open iTunes. The library, playlist, ratings will then be cleared out. New “iTunes Music Library.xml” and “iTunes Library.itl” files will be created.
Now if you wish, you can now drag and drop your music files you want to get back to the main window of iTunes. The main folder for iTunes music is located at Documents > My Music > iTunes > iTunes Music. It’s a good idea to organize your music files first before you re-add your music files back to iTunes to avoid duplicates and errant file names.