Find and Delete Duplicate Files in iTunes and Apple Music

Organize your Music library by removing duplicate songs and titles

What to Know

  • In Music, select Songs from the left menu bar. Choose File > Library > Show Duplicate Items. Browse and delete duplicate items.
  • In iTunes, go to Library, select the drop-down menu from the upper-left corner. Select Music > Songs and repeat the above instructions.
  • To find exact duplicates, hold Option and select File > Library > Show Exact Duplicate Items.

Although you can download software to deal with duplicates, the macOS Music app has its own built-in option for finding identical tracks. Here's how to find and delete duplicate files in iTunes, as well as the Music app that replaced iTunes in recent versions of iOS.

With macOS Catalina (10.15), Apple replaced iTunes with separate apps for each media type:  Music, Podcasts, TV, and Books.

composer typing on laptop in music studio

Stefano Gilera / Getty Images

How to Find Duplicate Songs in Your Music or iTunes Library

Whether you're still using iTunes (macOS Mojave and earlier) or you've upgraded to the Music app, the instructions are similar. To see all the songs in your music library, including duplicates, you need to be in the right viewing mode.

Before you start trashing duplicates, it's a good idea to first back up your music. If you accidentally delete a track that's not a duplicate, you can restore your library from a backup source.

  1. Open Music and select Songs from the menu bar on the left. (If you're using iTunes, navigate to the Library pane, select the drop-down menu near the upper-left corner of the screen and select Music > Songs.)

    apple music find duplicates
  2. Select File from the top menu bar, then select Library > Show Duplicate Items.

    apple music find duplicates

You should now see a list of tracks that iTunes has identified as duplicates. Browse the list to locate and delete the tracks you do not want.

iTunes may list remixes, covers, live versions, and compilation tracks in its Show Duplicate Items list—songs that have the same title but are not duplicates.

How to Find Exact Duplicates

Lurking in Music/iTunes is a hidden option to search for the exact duplicates of songs. This feature is better to use if you have a large music library and want to make sure that you aren't deleting songs that are the same title but different versions. This way, any compilation albums that contain duplicates remain intact. From the same Songs pane in Music/iTunes:

  1. Hold the Option key and select File from the menu bar.

  2. Select Library > Show Exact Duplicate Items.

    In the Windows version of iTunes, hold the Shift key and select View from the menu bar. Select Show Exact Duplicate Items.

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