In the new version of iTunes 11 the find duplicates option is gone and I don't want to revert to iTunes 10 to get that function back.

I know I had 1 GB of duplicates in iTunes 10, but I can't have iTunes show them to me anymore. My first thought was wondering if iTunes 11 finds/delete/merge them automagically?

I mean, I know that I had two versions of "Lemon Tree", one is the original one and the other is a cover, but now I can't find the cover anymore. The same with other covers.

I ran http://www.macroplant.com/meta-tunes/, and I only found 3 duplicates, while I am sure I had 100+ duplicates, because last sunday I imported a lot of songs and the "find duplicates" found 800 MB.

If anyone has insight into what iTunes 11 does when upgrading a library that would be a great start, but I'd prefer an ongoing plan to keep my library minimally duplicated.

  • Anyone with an interest in this - please head over to meta and weigh in - meta.apple.stackexchange.com/questions/1511/…
    – bmike
    Dec 1, 2012 at 15:57
  • @bmike perfect edit! I'm not a native English speaker and I don't express my thougth correcly - that's perfect Dec 1, 2012 at 16:29
  • 3
    Awesome - I will bend over backwards to help non-native speakers. Also - thanks to all for bearing with the process where both assumptions and wording gets challenged.
    – bmike
    Dec 1, 2012 at 17:02
  • I believe Apple has indicated that view duplicates will be added back to an upcoming patch and that the absence of this tool is a temporary change.
    – bmike
    Dec 7, 2012 at 18:37

3 Answers 3


With iTunes 11.0.1, Apple restored the Find Duplicates functionality in the new iTunes.

enter image description here


I found 160 duplicates with dupeGuru.

But, none of them can be found in iTunes, even if they are in the hard drive.

Look: I have two identical copies of the same song on my hdd (same artist, same bitrate, same duration, different album), but when I search it in iTunes I can't find it.


It looks like iTunes found duplicated songs and removed them from the library (without removing them from the hard drive, though)

Maybe that's why tools that scan the iTunes library file won't find duplicates, while tools that ignore the library file and scan the folder will find a lot of them.

I arrived to the conclusion that iTunes will "hide" songs if it thinks that it's an exact duplicate.

More proof. I got two identical songs from iTunes store in 2010 (The same song in two different albums) One of them is on the HDD but can't be found in iTunes


Or, again:


But, when there are too many differences, like 1 second in duration, or an "à" that become an "a", the entry is kept:


That's why Apple "removed" the "find duplicates" menu: it's done silently and automatically - no need to search for them. (Though, the file gets "lost" in the HDD, wasting space...)

  • The WhatSizeMac app does similar file duplicate searches and could work for Mac users that seek a similar answer. It's not targeted at iTunes, but you could use it only on that. It also does many great file space usage measurements as that's the primary function as software.
    – bmike
    Dec 2, 2012 at 17:56
  • I found that other duplicates with different length are not merged/hidden and can be found in the library Dec 2, 2012 at 18:00
  • Many libraries have either un-imported or removed, but not deleted songs lurking in them. Smarter tools look at file metadata like ID3 tags and you can always "re-import" your Music folder into iTunes and it will incorporate all "missing" files so you can then dedupe by looking over the library itself.
    – bmike
    Dec 2, 2012 at 18:11
  • I want to add some duplicates (one in a compilation, another in the original album) but iTunes simply won't. Did you find where the duplicate is stored in the HD? Dec 10, 2012 at 17:59
  • They are stored in the library folder Dec 11, 2012 at 0:35

Might be interesting to find out what happened to your tracks. On my Mac there still is a huge list of duplicates (which is exactly how I want it to be).

enter image description here

  • I think there will be some interesting discoveries as people realize what changed with iTunes 11. I am curious if the Match service or even the app now does the right thing when a true duplicate is offered.
    – bmike
    Dec 1, 2012 at 17:04
  • It looks maybe I was using the search wrongly? I searched for "Ligabue" (an Italian singer) and I was selecting the "album view", instead of "show it in music". When in Album/Artist view, duplicates gets merged? Dec 1, 2012 at 17:06
  • When I chose "show in music", I found duplicates, instead Dec 1, 2012 at 17:07
  • Maybe your search was limited to the current playlist or album initially?
    – nohillside
    Dec 1, 2012 at 17:08
  • It looks like I was searching wrongly, I am finding duplicates that aren't found by meta-tunes, Maybe it does not read the iTunes 11 database correctly. Dec 2, 2012 at 17:19

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