Follow one of these two options to remove duplicate songs from your Apple iTunes library.
This tutorial applies to iTunes 12.4 or higher.
Option 1 – Manually removing duplicates
- Select “File” > “Library” > “Show Duplicate Items“.
iTunes will then show all copies of audio files that have the same name and artist. To make it easier to identify duplicates, click the “Name” column to sort it by the name of the song.
- Choose which copy of the song you would like to delete, then right-click on it and select “Delete“. Be careful if you have different versions of a song, such as live or acoustic versions as iTunes sometimes doesn’t distinguish between them.
- When you’re done, select “File” > “Library” > “Display All” to view the library normally again.
To keep the duplicate songs from coming back into the list, go to “Edit” > “Preferences” > “Advanced” and place a check the two boxes that say:
- Keep iTunes folder organized.
- Copy files to iTunes Music folder when adding to library.
If you have a ton of music files, this procedure will take a while to complete, but it’s really the only way to keep iTunes clear of duplicate songs without using a 3rd party software solution.
Option 2 – Using third-party software
If you don’t have the patience to delete duplicate music files the manual way, there are many third party software solutions available. Tuneup is a software package that will delete duplicate music files as well as organize your music files so that they are displaying the correct song and artist names. There is a trial version that will only work on 50 songs before it expires. If you wish to work with more songs than 50 files, TuneUp is $29.95 for the full version.