How to Delete Duplicates from your iTunes Library

When you delete duplicate items from your iTunes library with Araxis Find Duplicate Files, be aware that iTunes will not automatically recognize that items have been deleted.

The following steps – tested with iTunes 10 – are therefore strongly recommended whenever you delete duplicates from your iTunes library:

  • Backup your iTunes library. This step is essential – please do not skip it. Your music and other media files are important, and we’d hate for you to lose them. iTunes is not designed to cope with external applications like Araxis Find Duplicate Files deleting items from its database, so there is always a possibility that something may go wrong.

  • Make sure iTunes is not running. (To be certain, run iTunes and then press Cmd+Q to exit it.)

  • Start Araxis Find Duplicate Files.

  • Drag your iTunes folder (it is usually found in your Music folder) on to the Choose what to scan table in Find Duplicate Files.

  • Click Start Scan, and wait for the scan to complete.

  • From the Show drop-down, make sure that The other occurrences of each duplicated item is selected.

  • Click Select Duplicates Excluding First Occurrences to select all the redundant duplicates.

    Alternatively, you can select only some of the redundant duplicates. If you have changed the Show drop-down to anything other than The other occurrences of each duplicated item, be sure not to select all the copies of a duplicated item – you will almost certainly wish to keep at least one copy of each.

  • Click the Delete Selected button to move the selected items that you are sure you no longer want to the Trash.

  • iTunes will still find files, even though they have been moved to the Trash. The Trash therefore needs to be emptied. In Finder, choose the FinderEmpty Trash… menu item.

  • Run iTunes.

  • If you attempt to play an item that has been deleted, iTunes will complain and display a small exclamation mark next to the item that it could not find. You can safely delete such items from within iTunes.