Ask Different is a question and answer site for power users of Apple hardware and software. Join them; it only takes a minute:

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

Is there any way to force iTunes 11 to rescan the music library and update the information for any tags that have been changed outside of iTunes? I know that selecting a single track and then 'Get Info" will force an update for that track, but it doesn't seem to work with multiple tracks.

share|improve this question

From the MusicBrainz iTunes Guide:

Updating Library in iTunes

Brute force method (full library re-scan)

This method works best if
- you've re-tagged a whole lot of your files and don't remember which files/albums
- or there are far too many for the first approach
- or you've moved/renamed files and iTunes has lost them


  • Go to File > Add Folder to Library
  • Point it at the top of your iTunes directory ("My Music\iTunes\iTunes Music\Music" on Windows, by default).
  • iTunes will rescan your music, but recognize it's already imported, so you shouldn't end up with duplicate files (unless you have moved/renamed files)

You can also refresh a selection of songs by following the AppleScript based solution (on the same page linked above):

Mac-only advanced method

This method is a bit more complicated to set up, but easy to use.

Fire up Script Editor (which is under Applications/AppleScript, but it will work with TextEdit). Paste the following code, then save as a Script called /Library/iTunes/Scripts/Refresh.scpt (create the Scripts directory if it doesn't already exist).

tell application "iTunes"
refresh selection
end tell

Now, inside iTunes, you should see a Scripts menu (an icon of a scroll, just left of Help). The "Refresh" item on that menu will force it to re-read the tags for all tracks that you have selected.

share|improve this answer
The AppleScript trick is super neat! Thanks a lot. – t6d Oct 15 '14 at 9:30
Note that you can save that script in your users home (~/Library/iTunes/Scripts) and it works also in newest iTunes 12 – Dalibor Filus Oct 17 '14 at 16:56

You can go to iTunes->Preferences->Advanced, uncheck Keep iTunes Media folder organized, OK, then go back and check the option again. It will rescan all track after you click OK.

share|improve this answer
I just tried this with iTunes 11.0.2 and it did not update the tags. – pknz May 16 '13 at 5:26

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.