I have a mixture of local music that I added myself to iTunes, along with albums added through Apple Music. Fortunately, iTunes recognizes this and allows me to “Remove Download” for the songs I added manually to iTunes. So all my songs effectively behave like Apple Music “songs.”

I'm wondering if there's a way to batch-remove all downloads from iTunes to free of some disk space, since I can stream non-downloaded songs anyway.

2 Answers 2


In iTunes 12.6, under Music, select Songs and sort by iCloud Status. If that column is missing, right-click the column headers and tick iCloud Status.

Music Library Songs

Select all songs with a status of Apple Music by clicking the first one, holding ⇧ shift, and selecting the last one. Then right-click and select Remove Download. Repeat for all songs with a status of Matched, Uploaded and Purchased.

Remove Download

In fact you can simply select the first song with a status of Matched, hold ⇧ shift, then select the last song with a status of Uploaded. This is true in particular if you use iTunes Match rather than MUSIC.

The songs you want to leave on disk are marked as Duplicate and Ineligible.


The simplest and quickest way is to setup a new iTunes library. This will ONLY work if you have Apple iTunes Music Match purchased. Otherwise do NOT attempt this process.

  1. Close iTunes.
  2. Move your existing iTunes library to another location on your drive (DON'T DELETE!).
  3. Re-Open iTunes, and you should now get a message like.

    The folder “iTunes” cannot be found or created, and is required. The default location for this folder is inside the “Music” folder.

  4. Hit OK.
  5. You should now get a new window asking you to Create Library..., Find Library... or to Quit. You want to Create Library.
  6. You will get the New iTunes Library window. Choose where you want it to go and hit Save.
  7. This should create your new iTunes Library.
  8. Sign back into iTunes, and as long as you have Music Match you should have access to all your music again. BUT.....

The MAJOR DRAWBACK to this method is that you will have removed any videos, books, apps or anything else stored as part of you iTunes library. These should also all resynchronize with your iTunes library, if you want to download them. Otherwise they will be stored on the Apple cloud tell you do re-download them. This does NOT include any videos, audio books, or other files that you might have "ripped" that were not acquired from Apple. You will lose these files if you don't move them from your older iTunes Library to the new one.

If you are happy with the way this turns out, then you can just start using the new library and get ride of the old one. MAKE SURE you have all the files you want in the new library BEFORE deleting the old one.

Otherwise you can trash the NEW iTunes library, and move you old one back.

ALTERNATIVELY: You can go into the iTunes library folder, open the iTunes Music folder, and then delete all the music folders, while leaving the Movies, TV Shows, Podcasts, and iTunes U folders. AGAIN, you must have Apple iTunes Music Match purchased for this to work.

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