How To Delete Duplicate Songs In iTunes

Does your iPod keep playing the same track? Have you got several versions of the same album in your Library? Whatever the issue, learning how to find and delete duplicate songs in iTunes is a lifesaver. Follow our step-by-step tutorials to find out how.

For any additional information about the process, or if you have any other queries, please see the FAQs at the end of this article.

How to find duplicate songs in iTunes

  1. Load up the iTunes app on your device and sign in with your Apple ID
  2. Now, click ‘File’ and from the drop-down menu, select ‘Library’

  3. Next, from the pop-out menu, select ‘Show Duplicate Items’
  4. You’ll be presented with a list of all of the songs with duplicated titles or albums in your Library, we recommend sorting them by name so you can see the duplicates more clearly
  5. If you like, you can click ‘Same Album’ at the top so that you only see those songs which have the same track title and the same album title (since many duplicate track titles may be live or cover versions of the same song, and thus not true duplicates)

How to delete duplicate songs in iTunes

  1. First, follow the above tutorial to navigate to the list of all duplicate songs in your iTunes (File > Library > Show Duplicate Items > Sort by name)

  2. Next, begin selecting the duplicate versions you wish to delete. To select multiple songs for deletion, click on the first song, and then holding CTRL (Windows) or CMD (Mac), click each individual other song until you’ve completed your selection
  3. Finally, right-click any one of the highlighted duplicates, and from the drop-down menu, select ‘Delete’
  4. If asked to confirm the deletion, simply click ‘OK/Delete’

And there you have it! It’s a bit annoying that there’s no quicker way to select multiple songs for deletion, we’ll grant you that. But otherwise, the whole process of finding and deleting duplicate songs on iTunes really couldn’t be easier. 

If you require any additional help or information, please see the FAQs below.

Frequently asked questions

Why would I want to delete duplicate songs in iTunes?

iTunes is still one of the world’s largest music streaming, listening, and purchasing services, used and loved by millions around the world every single day. If you’ve only ever populated your iTunes with music purchased and downloaded from the iTunes store, then you’re probably not going to have many duplicated songs.

Let’s face it, though, we all do plenty of downloading outside of iTunes – whether it’s torrenting or actually ripping CDs that you physically own. As such, it’s often the case that your iTunes library can become muddled, and you may soon find that you appear to have several copies of the same song.

Perhaps you’re listening to music on your iPod and suddenly the same come on twice or thrice in a row. Maybe you’re just cruising through iTunes and notice that you appear to have several copies of the one album downloaded.

Whatever the reason, duplicate songs are a total nuisance and take up precious space both in your iTunes and on your iPod. We’re here to show you how to quickly find and delete unwanted duplicate songs.

Why are songs duplicated in iTunes in the first place?

When it comes to duplicates, we all have them. Usually, though, this is because we’ve got a live version of another album, as well as the original, or a cover version of the same song, say. But these aren’t the issue. The issue is with the exact same song or album being duplicated in your iTunes library one or more times. 

Usually, this is because you’ve downloaded the song or album on more than one separate occasion and have, without realizing it, added each consecutive version to your library. Those of us old enough to remember the days of free torrenting software such as Limewire will know that the problem can also arise from badly misspelled versions of songs leading us to believe we don’t have song or album ‘X’ in our library and downloading it all over again.

Sometimes, of course, it’s a simple glitch that duplicates the material. Whatever the cause, we know how frustrating it can be. Follow the tutorials above to solve the problem.

How do I know if I’ve got duplicate songs in iTunes?

This is easy, and also a part of the deletion process. Simply click File > Library > Show Duplicate Items > Sort by name, and you’ll see all of the songs of which you have duplicates.

Will deleting the duplicate song erase all versions of the song?

No, absolutely not. You can be as precise as you like when it comes to deciding which version(s) of the duplicated songs in iTunes you wish to delete, and once you’ve deleted them, you’ll leave yourself with only those versions you’ve chosen to keep. They will not be affected by your deletion of their duplicates, even if those versions are identical.