How to Backup iTunes Data and Remove Duplicates

iTunes has been a big-time favorite for as long as it has been around. Once it saw the light of the day, iTunes succeeded in winning over a respectable number of extremely loyal fans, and it continues to enjoy that position as we speak. Its ascendancy has also been helped by the introduction of “propping up” devices such as iPod, iPad, iPhone, Mac etc.

Users nowadays are highly addicted to listening to songs on one (or more) of the devices we just mentioned, and often they own huge song collections. These collections might be spread over more than a decade (or even more) and might well be considered one of the most prized possessions by the users.

With the passage of time, duplicates are formed into these song collections. Mostly this happens because users just keep on piling up songs from various sources without properly organizing their songs’ collection. This often leads to situations where several songs are downloaded multiple times because they aren’t named properly. When the user wants to play a particular song again, they can’t locate them because the songs aren’t named properly or they are scattered at multiple locations.

Backup Your iTunes Data and Remove Duplicates

To help users deal with duplicate tracks, we’ve penned down this guide. So let’s look at what can be done to deal with duplicate iTunes tracks.

Step 1: Consolidate the iTunes Media Files

The first step involves gathering all the songs and getting them to move to a single folder. This helps organize all the data into a single folder named as iTunes Media. This folder can be found at C:\Users\%username%\Music\iTunes in Windows systems. The following steps describe in detail what you need to do to consolidate all the media in a single folder.

1. In the iTunes user interface, click the Edit menu and select Preferences.

2. Now click the Advanced tab in the window that just opened.

3. Now select the checkbox for both Keep iTunes Media folder organized and Copy files to iTunes Media folder when adding to library options.

4. Click OK.

5. Now click File, point to Library and click on Organize Library.

6. In the Organize Library window, select the Consolidate files checkbox.

7. Click OK to save the changes.


Step 2: Scan for Duplicate Music

Here comes the big deal. This step is perhaps the most important portion of this whole exercise. You’ve ticked all the required boxes so far, now you’ve got to scan your iTunes collection for duplicates.

This can be done in 2 ways. You can either do so by remaining within iTunes and doing it all on your own. This method is sadly quite limited in scope, does not take into account at all the content of the song, and is totally reliant on the user doing it all themselves and paying utmost attention to the song name, size, duration etc.

Here is how you do it:-

1. First, if you suspect any songs on your computer haven’t been added to iTunes Library, you can add them easily by clicking File in the iTunes user interface and choosing Add File to Library/ Add Folder to Library (as it applies).

2. Next, simply navigate to the library and arrange all items alphabetically by clicking the Name column head. This will arrange all similarly named items next to each other.

3. Now you can start looking out for duplicates. Once you find a duplicate, right-click it and select Delete from Library.

4. In the next prompt, click on Delete Song to complete the deletion.

5. If you find a big number of duplicates, you can use the Shift + left mouse click combination to select several songs in a sequence, or Ctrl + left mouse click to select many songs in a non-sequential manner.

For a more comprehensive scan that can handle a large volume of duplicate songs, and most importantly focus on the content within the song, we recommend you try out Clone Files Checker. You can use our coupons to get this software at a discounted price.

There is a specific mode named iTunes Search in this software which helps you scan for iTunes duplicate songs by comparing the tags of the songs concerned. However, one neat hack over here is that you can uncheck all the tag related checkboxes and check the File Content checkbox.


Clone Files Checker will now compare all the songs by taking into account the content of the song and completely disregard any kind of info contained in the file tags. This will result in a perfect degree of results for you.

1. Download Clone Files Checker and install it.

2. Launch the program and click the iTunes Search mode to launch it.

3. The iTunes Music Library will automatically be added in this mode to the to-be-scanned folders.

4. Deselect all the checkboxes in the Step 2 section and select the File Content checkbox.

5. Click Start Search to initialize the scan.

6. Click Select Duplicates and choose your preferred option.

7. Finally, click Select Action and select Permanent Delete to purge all iTunes duplicates for good.

8. Once the duplicate data has been removed, the entries for these respective songs will still be there in your iTunes library (known as Dead Tracks), even though the actual song has been removed.

9. Click the Remove Dead Tracks button, located just next to the iTunes Search heading.

10. Clone Files Checker will now connect to iTunes and quickly tabulate a list of all the dead tracks.

11. Simply select all the tracks and click Remove.


Step 3: Backup the Files

Now you can easily backup the iTunes Media folder to a medium of your choice. You can burn a DVD, transfer it to a USB or even sync them to a cloud service of your choice!

As stated in the Step 1 section, the default location of the iTunes Media folder is C:\Users\%username%\Music\iTunes. Simply copy the right folders, and create a backup for the future.

So here I have explained how to backup iTunes data and remove duplicates using the three steps given above. Do let me know through comments below how this post has helped you.

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