Having multiple copies of music, movies, TV shows and other media in your iTunes library can quickly take up a bunch of space. It’s actually very easy to get duplicate copies. They sneak into the library and you rarely ever even notice the space hogs unless you look for them.
Duplicates sneak in like Ninjas
How to Delete Duplicate Copies
There are two ways to find the duplicates. One method will show you all the duplicates, and the other will only show you the exact duplicates.
Here’s the trick, it’s all about the “alt” key (shift key for you Windows users). In iTunes go to the menu bar and select View. If you aren’t pressing the “alt” key then you’ll see “Show Duplicate Items”.
Now press and hold down the “alt” key and it will change to “Show Exact Duplicate Items”.
A quick warning about the difference between the two methods:
“Show Duplicate Items” will show you all the songs with the same name, even if they are from different albums. You may not want to delete the duplicate songs this way because those songs are part of the album. I’ll give an example:
In my iTunes library I have 3 copies of “Smells Like Teen Spirit” by “Nirvana”. Those 3 copies of the song are from 3 separate albums however. So I don’t want to delete those copies.
“Show Exact Duplicate Items” is the method you want if you are looking to find just the exact copies that have snuck into your iTunes library. Example:
When I show just the exact copies of my music I can see that I have 2 copies of “One Day” by “Matisyahu”. This copy is listed under the same album. This means that I should delete that identical copy because it’s only wasting my space and messing up my library.