How to Match Songs to Playlists in iTunes

Easily locate a song's playlist

iTunes is a powerful media tool, capable of holding songs, movies, audiobooks, podcasts, and more. One of iTunes' most popular features is its ability to create playlists. Make playlists with upbeat, motivating songs for your workouts, or use melodic instrumentals for a meditation playlist. Create playlists by certain artists or groups, your favorite oldies, or use the iTunes smart playlist feature to automatically build playlists.

Many of us end up with multiple playlists, and it's easy to lose track of which songs you've put on which playlist. Fortunately, iTunes makes it easy to figure out which playlist houses a specific song.

We've included instructions for locating songs on playlists using iTunes 11 and iTunes 12, as well as using the Music App, which replaces iTunes in macOS Catalina.

Match a Song to an iTunes 11 Playlist

If you're using iTunes 11 with an older macOS version, here's what to do:

  1. Launch iTunes, and select the Library button from the iTunes toolbar. You should be viewing your music library.

    The Library button is on the far right. If you don't see the Library button, but instead see the iTunes Store, then you're already viewing your music library.

  2. From the iTunes toolbar, select Songs.

  3. Right-click on a song's title and select Show in Playlist from the pop-up menu. A submenu will appear, showing all the playlists to which the song belongs.

    Playlists are displayed with an icon showing how they were created. A sprocket icon indicates a smart playlist, while a staff and note indicate a playlist that was created manually.

  4. If you like, select a playlist from the submenu, and that playlist will begin to play.

Match a Song to an iTunes 12 Playlist

The instructions are a little different if you're using an iTunes 12 playlist.

  1. Launch iTunes, and select My Music or Library. You should now see content from your music library.

  2. From the sorting button on the left of the iTunes toolbar, select Songs.

    The sorting button displays the current sorting method, so if it says Songs, you don't need to do anything.

  3. Right-click on a song's title and select Show in Playlist from the pop-up menu.

    Screenshot of iTunes 12: Show in Playlist

    Playlists that contain the selected song are grouped by type. Smart playlists are depicted with a sprocket icon; playlists you created manually use a music staff and notes icon.

  4. A list of playlists that contain the selected song will appear in a submenu.

Match a Song to an Apple Music Playlist

If you have macOS Catalina, iTunes functionality now belongs to the Apple Music app.

  1. Open the Music app on your Mac and select Songs from the menu on the left.

    Open the Music app on your Mac and select Songs from the menu on the left.
  2. Select a song's title.

    Select a song's title.
  3. Control-click the song, then choose Show in Playlist.

    Control-click the song, then choose Show in Playlist.
  4. You'll see which music playlists that song belongs to.

    You'll see which music playlists that song belongs to.
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