Remove Missing Songs From iTunes

Remove iTunes Missing Songs


How to Remove Missing Tracks From iTunes

If you have moved your audio files or have deleted songs outside of the iTunes application you have probably ended up with missing tracks in your iTunes library. Surely, if you have altered just a few files it is easy to find and remove them. However, if you have reorganized many files it gets difficult to identify and remove them. That is especially true if you have a large audio collection. There are many applications that can do this for you, but those are paid and not worth the money for something that you will need once or twice. Certainly, you can find and delete all of the missing songs in your iTunes library without using any apps or having to pay.

Missing Songs in iTunes

In the screenshot below you can see the list of all songs in iTunes. To clarify, the missing songs have an exclamation mark in front of the name. This denotes that those files were either moved or deleted and iTunes can no longer find them.

iTunes Missing Songs

iTunes Missing Tracks

If you try to play such a track, iTunes pops up a window that it can not be found.

iTunes Missing Song

iTunes Missing Song

While you could fix or remove several of those entries manually it is hard if you have many files and playlists.

Steps To Remove Missing Songs in iTunes

First, you need to create a new playlist.  To do that, select ‘New Playlist’ when you right-click in the left pane in iTunes. Call this ‘All Files’. After you created this playlist, drag all of your songs into it. This means all songs in all other playlists. This can take a bit of time for iTunes to process, especially on large collections. Hint: you can select all songs in a playlist and drag them together.

  1. Create a new playlist by selecting ‘New Playlist’ in the File menu. You can also right-click the left panel or press CTRL+N. Name this list ‘All Files’. Drag all your songs and all other playlists in it.
    iTunes Create Playlist

    iTunes Create Playlist

  2. Next, you have to create a smart playlist by selecting “New Smart Playlist…”. Apply the rules listed in the below screenshot. By default, iTunes will list only one row as a rule. Press the plus button at the right in that row to create the second rule. Click OK and name that list “Missing Songs”.
    iTunes Smart Playlist

    iTunes Smart Playlist

  3. Select the “Missing Songs” list. It contains all the missing tracks. Select all items (CTRL+A) and right-click the selection and choose “Delete”. Apple iTunes will display a warning that it will permanently delete the files. Surely, those are already missing so you are safe to go.

    iTunes Missing Songs List

    iTunes Missing Songs List

Deleting missing tracks in iTunes is as simple as that. Basically, you can remove the tracks that are missing in just a few minutes completely free.

Deleting Repeating Tracks in iTunes

Probably you have many tracks in your iTunes library. We have covered the topic of removing the missing entries, but removing duplicate songs is a bit more difficult. Surely, you might be interested in tidying up your audio collection by eliminating repeating tracks too. Undoubtedly, we have covered this in another detailed tutorial that you can find here: Delete Duplicate Songs – Remove Repeating Audio Files.
Additionally, that tutorial is not specific to iTunes and you can remove duplicate songs on your computer, NAS, external drive, or an entire network.

If you liked this tutorial please share it with your friends and drop a comment below.

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10 thoughts on “Remove Missing Songs From iTunes

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  4. Bob

    Correction in the instructions.
    Step 1 says create a playlist called ‘All Files’
    in Step 2 the screenshot show ‘All Songs’ [Playlists Is not ‘All Songs’]. It should actually say ‘All Files’ and not ‘All Songs’ – the one that you created in step 1.

  5. Jim

    Fantastic Article – worked like a charm and completely cleaned up my missing itunes tracks.
    Follow the instructions exactly. It works like a charm.
    Thank you!!!
    PS – If you are smart, you won’t download any software.

  6. Allen

    I have over 500 songs that iTunes can no longer find, because I moved them. If I follow the instructions above, will I lose the connection of the remaining songs and the original playlist?


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