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Any iTunes library containing lots of duplicate songs is not fun, believe us. This may result in many songs being hidden and scattered over various folders. You need to know how to remove these duplicates, clean the mess in your library, recover the lost songs, and save valuable space taken by unwanted iTunes downloads on your hard drive.

 As you have probably noticed, the inevitable problem that arises after creating a music library in iTunes or any software media player is that you are doomed to end up with duplicates of tracks in your collection. This problem is often aggravated by the fact that the “collection” of duplicates tends to grow over time since copies are something that you rarely notice right away. The cases where you buy one musical composition from a non-Apple service and then purchase it from iTunes store for the second time because of your forgetfulness are not that rare. Moreover, after converting iTunes music files to different formats, you wind up with two versions of the same track.  It is also possible that you’ve ripped the physical music discs or copied archived songs from external storage, which, of course, left you with two versions of your songs.

There are two possible options for deleting the duplicates in iTunes. The first one involves using iTunes built-in tool for identifying duplicates, while the second one is removing unwanted files with the help of specific software.

Prior To Removing iTunes Duplicate Files  

Just before you start deleting annoying duplicates maliciously, it would be wise to make sure that your songs are backed up, in case something unexpected happens. In case of any mistakes, you will be able to restore your library from a backup location.  

Checking Duplicates In iTunes Library

To view all of your music compositions that are currently stored in your library, you will need the right viewing mode.

1. First, start iTunes.

2. Then, select the drop-down menu that is located near the top left corner of your screen and click “Music” from the list.

3. After that, choose tracks from the options under “Music” to view the list of songs in your iTunes library.

4. Choose the “View” option on the menu bar and click on “All Music.”

5. Click “File” on the menu tab and then, choose “Library” and “Show Duplicate Items.”

After performing the afore listed operations, you will be able to see a list of songs that have been identified as duplicates by the program. Please, note that iTunes may deem covers, remixes, parts of an album or your compilation duplicates. All you will need to do is to manually choose those tracks you want to remove out of the provided duplicate list.

To remove duplicates from your library, it is necessary to check the unwanted duplicate.

On the right side of your screen or iTunes window, you will see the “Song” option. Select it and then press “Delete.”

Identifying Exact Duplicates

If your iTunes library is too vast, you may want to obtain more exact results. Maybe, you want to be 100 percent sure that the songs you are deleting are not covers of your favorite songs, or live recorded versions, or acoustic versions of the same musical composition. In such a case, you are free to use another iTunes option that allows you to identify exact duplicates on your device.

To make sure that your precious tracks remain intact, you will need to do the following:

1. If you use Mac version of iTunes, then you will need to press the “Option” key and hold it down. 

2. After that select “File” on the menu bar.

3. Then, go to “Library” and click on “Show Exact Duplicate Items.”  

*Anyone using the Windows version will need to hold down “Shift” and then select the “View” menu tab. Once you are done, you also will be presented with the “Show Exact Duplicate Items” option. Don’t hesitate and select it to proceed.

Using Software To Scan For Duplicates In iTunes

As noted above, you may avail yourself of non-Apple software to identify and remove duplicate files in iTunes. There are plenty of such programs available online. Still, before downloading them, make sure you are not installing malware from some unreliable website.

Dupe Away and Tune Sweeper are among the most popular programs designed for you to find and delete duplicates in iTunes.  

Once you get the soft installed, the scan process will launch automatically and present you with the list of songs deemed duplicates.

You are free to decide which of them to delete and which to keep.