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.


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.

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  • The AppleScript trick is super neat! Thanks a lot. – t6d Oct 15 '14 at 9:30
  • 7
    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
  • 1
    Unfortunately this doesn't seem to work in iTunes 12.9. – fluffy Jul 17 '19 at 6:12
  • Two things on the Apple Script method: 1) if you found this in the present day, you need to sub out "iTunes" with "Music" 2) I initially missed that this works on the songs you selected. So to do your whole library, go to songs, do a select-all, then run the script – Billy Oct 13 at 4:05

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.

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

Building on M K's answer, the following script won't stop the first time it hits a file which can't be found:

tell application "iTunes"
  repeat with aTrack in selection
        refresh aTrack
    end try
  end repeat
end tell

Verified in iTunes

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  • Interesting, though it's probably useful to figure out what your problem songs are...I modified my Apple Script to output the song information to a file as it goes – Billy Oct 13 at 4:09

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