How to Remove Duplicate Music Files from Computer in Windows & Mac?

  author
Written By Mohit Jha
Anuraag Singh
Approved By Anuraag Singh  
Published On February 5th, 2024
Reading Time 14 Minutes Reading

Outline: In this digital age, downloading and storing files has never been easy before. For instance, if you are a music enthusiast, your disk space is sure to be filled with a collection of music libraries. Now, the problem arises, when you go to find a particular song and play it but find a plethora of disarranged audio files. In such a scenario, we have come up with a solution on “How to remove duplicate music files from computer (Windows & Mac)?”

In general, the duplicate music files are copies of the original audio. They clog up in one place consuming your PC memory resulting in reducing the system performance. In this write-up, we will cover a complete guide on how to find and delete duplicate music files on Windows 10/11 PC, macOS, or laptop. 

How to Find and Delete Duplicate Music Files on PC (Windows & Mac)?

  • Download and Open the Duplicate Music Detector App.
  • Click on Add Folder.
  • In Scan Configuration, pick the file type and tap on Continue.
  • Hit on the Delete button. 
Table of Contents Hide

How to Find and Remove Identical Audio Files in Windows

Method 1. How to Get Rid of Duplicate Music Files on Computer? – Manually

In this section, we will come to know how to remove duplicate audio files without any software. Now, delete the similar songs present in your PC Windows 10 & 11 without employing any application. Rather than using the built-in utility. Keep in mind to meticulously follow the steps given below to get the appropriate results. 

  • Click on the “Type here to search” bar corresponding to the Windows button. 
  • Next, enter the folder name where you have stored the music files. 
  • After that, Open the desired folder and navigate to the music libraries. 
  • Then, go to the “View” Option → “Details View” to preview the entire details of each .mp3 file.
  • Hit on the “Sort by” parameter and select the “Name by” column to arrange the files alphabetically. 
  • Thoroughly, go through each duplicate file before deleting it.
  • After manually confirming, choose the duplicate song and hit “Delete.”

Method 2. How to Remove Duplicate Music Files from Computer? Using Windows Media Player

Just like a file manager for files, in Windows 10, we have a Windows Media Player for songs. Further, this not only plays the music files but also manages the duplicate collection of similar audio. Let’s see the use case of the handy application. 

Insert all the music files into the “Library” of the Windows Media Player:-

  • Go to the “Type here to search” section adjacent to the Windows icon on the bottom left of your screen. Then, enter the forwarding text “Windows Media Player” in the Search area.
  • Once the player is opened. Click on “Music” on the left and right-click and press on “Manage Music Library”.
  • Next, tap on “Add” to select the song folder you want to check. After that, hit on “Include Folder.”
  • Now, navigate to OrganizeSort byFile Name to name-wise arrange the music files in alphabetical order. 
  • In the end, manually review and pick the duplicate music file and press Delete.

Method 3. How to Delete Duplicate Song Files on Windows using iTunes

Out of the above-mentioned methods, this approach can be reliable. Viewing hidden music twins in iTunes is a common practice in Windows. And at times, things get very frustrating. Follow the steps given below to get rid of the duplicate audio files.

  • Press the Alt key or Shift Key for earlier versions of Windows. Tap on the View menu in iTunes.
  • Next, select the “Display Exact Duplicate Items” option. By doing this, you will be shown all the duplicate tracks on your PC with the same song names, artists, and albums. 
  • Here, make sure you are using the up-to-date version of iTunes on your system. In older versions, you could find the “Display Exact Duplicates” button in the File menu instead of in the View menu section.
  • Now, you can remove the duplicate music files either one by one or in a batch. Just select the files and click on the Delete button to get rid of these redundant music files. 

Also Read: Unique Ways to Remove Duplicate Files on Windows.

Method 4. How to Find and Remove Duplicate Audio Files via PowerShell

If you are looking for a programmatical way to detect and eliminate duplicate music files, this is the right section. Here, we are going to use the script given below to compare files based on certain aspects such as file names, sizes, or content. Then, deciding which files to delete or keep. 

  • Right-click on the Windows button. Then, go to Windows PowerShell (Admin). Copy and paste the code given below.

Here is the code instance:

# Set the path to your music folder

$musicFolderPath = “C:\Path\To\Your\Music\Folder”

# Get all music files in the specified folder

$musicFiles = Get-ChildItem -Path $musicFolderPath -Filter *.mp3

# Group files by name and size to identify duplicates

$duplicateGroups = $musicFiles | Group-Object -Property @{Expression={$_.Name + $_.Length}} | Where-Object { $_.Count -gt 1 }

# Iterate through duplicate groups and keep one, delete the rest

foreach ($group in $duplicateGroups) {

    $group.Group | Select-Object -Skip 1 | ForEach-Object {

        Write-Host “Deleting duplicate file: $($_.FullName)”

        Remove-Item -Path $_.FullName -Force

    }

}

Note: Don’t forget to replace “C:\Path\To\Your\Music\Folder” with the actual path to your music folder. We will recommend you run the code on a small set of music files at first. Or have a backup of the required data before proceeding. 

Method 5. How to Erase Identical Music Files on Windows PC through CMD?

This segment will study the usage of the Command Prompt (cmd) on the computer to find and delete duplicate MP3 files. This built-in application has a powerful feature i.e. fc (File Compare) command. Here’s a step-by-step guide:

  • Press Win + R to open the Run dialog box.
  • Next, enter cmd and press Enter.
  • After that, use the cd command to navigate/change the directory. 
  • Run the following code to get a text file that contains a list of all the music files (like MP3, MID/MIDI, OGG, AAC, RealAudio, VQF, etc.) present in the directory: 

dir /b /s *.mp3 > filelist.txt

  • Now, use the FC command to compare the files and find the duplicates more effectively. Here, we will use a for loop to iterate the scanning through the list of files. The idea is to compare each file with all other music files in the folder.

for /f “tokens=*” %a in (filelist.txt) do (

    for /f “tokens=*” %b in (filelist.txt) do (

        if “%a” neq “%b” fc /b “%a” “%b” > nul && echo Duplicates: “%a” “%b”

    )

)

This script will give you results by comparing each file with others in the list. At last, shows the message if duplicates are found. However, just for the sake of convenience, try to take a large number of files.

Drawbacks in the Manual Solution to Delete Duplicate Songs on PC

Here are some of the major challenges we have faced while using the above techniques:

  • Time-Consuming 
  • Less Accurate
  • Limited File Types Scanning
  • No Automated Deletion
  • No Handling of Metadata
  • Complexity for Novice Users
  • Risk of Data loss

Method 6. How to Erase Duplicate Music Files on Windows 10/11? – Expert Solution

The above-mentioned methods no doubt are free and easily accessible but aren’t reliable and secure. As a result, we suggest the best alternative i.e. SysTools Duplicates Finder. To use this tool, you don’t need any technical knowledge or any subject expertise. Just simply download and entertain its facilities. Moreover, this utility is designed with sophisticated and easy-to-operate features. Let’s witness some of the features through the following:

  • In-depth scanning of folder and its sub-folders
  • Cross-platform compatibility – Mac and Win OS
  • Recursive scan option
  • Move and delete feature
  • Detects music files (MID/MIDI, OGG, AAC, RealAudio, VQF etc.) and other 70+ file formats (.docx, .pptx, .txt, etc.)
  • Use different scanning mechanisms (such as MD5 hash, meta data, content hash, etc.)
  • Allows to preview the duplicate files

Simple Steps to Instantly Find the Duplicate Music Files:

Step 1. Download, Install, and Run the Duplicate Audio file remover tool.

Tool main Window

Step 2. Click on Add Folder to upload a folder that contains songs.

click on Add Folder

Step 3. From the Scan Configuration dialog, choose the music file type under the File Extensions. Then, tap on Continue

pick the scanning configuration

Step 4. Hit on the Delete tab.

tap on Delete tab to delete duplicate music files on Windows 10 & 11

Step 5. Once completed, you will see the result in the Action section to Deleted. Here, we have shown an example of an HTML file. The same process is followed for other file types. 

results will be display

Solutions For Mac Users

How to Delete Duplicate Music Files on Mac using iTunes?

Using the iTunes application on Mac, you can easily remove duplicate songs or identical audio files released by the same artist. However, before deleting the targeted MP3 files, ensure to have a backup of the same to avoid accidental loss. This utility works well irrespective of your macOS versions like Mojave, Sierra, or High Sierra. Given below are the different ways to delete copies of music files from iTunes. 

Get Rid of Duplicate Music Files From the Music Option

  • Open iTunes and navigate to Music in the drop-down menu.
  • Then, pick Songs to view all music files in your Library.
  • Next, click View, then select All Music.
  • Select File, then choose Library.
  • After that, click Show Duplicate Items.
  • Sort or group music files by title, artist, genre, or date added for deletion.

Find and Remove Identical Audio Files From the Tool Bar

  • Choose the Song tab from the Tool Bar.
  • Once you have found the duplicate files, click on Delete From Library.
  • Next, tap on Move to Trash to permanently delete the music files. 

Eliminate Similar MP3 Files Through Smart Playlists

  • Navigate to  “File” → “New” → “Smart Playlist.”
  • Next, fix the criteria like “Same Artist” and “Same Album.”
  • After that, ensure to review the generated playlist for duplicates. 
  • In the end, manually delete the copies of the original songs. 

Find and Erase Exact Duplicate Copies of Media Files

  • To locate exact duplicates, hold down the Option key.
  • Then, go to File Library Show Exact Duplicate Items.

How to Find and Remove Duplicate Music Files on Mac in Music App?

In the latest versions of Mac such as Big Sur, Monterey, Ventura, and more, Music App is the only way to manage your song library. However, in the earlier versions like macOS Catalina, iTunes is present which is currently replaced by the Apple Music App. Nonetheless, the process involved in eliminating duplicate audio files is almost similar to iTunes. 

  • Launch the Music App and choose Songs from the left menu bar.
  • Go to FileLibraryShow Duplicate Items.
  • Next, Find and delete Apple Music duplicate MP3s. 

To Find Exact Duplicates: Similar to iTunes, in Apple Music you can find the hidden function i.e. show exact duplicates. Just hold the Option key to locate exact duplicate files. Then, Select File LibraryShow Exact Duplicate Items.

How Can I Remove Duplicate Music Files on macOS Using Terminal?

By using the Terminal Commands, you can easily identify and delete identical audio files. But, keep in mind to always have a backup of your songs in case anything goes wrong. Follow the steps below:

Use Command + Space to open Spotlight.

Enter “Terminal” and press Enter to open it.

Navigate to your music directory using the cd command:

cd ~/Music/

Identify duplicate files using the fdupes tool:

fdupes -r .

Review the list of duplicate files provided by fdupes, grouped together.

Manually delete duplicate files, retaining one copy of each:

rm duplicate_file.mp3

Make sure to replace “duplicate_file.mp3” with the actual file name. Exercise caution with the rm command to avoid permanent deletion of incorrect files.

Problems in Finding and Removing Duplicate Songs Manually

  • Time-consuming and labor-intensive.
  • Easy to overlook that duplicates can lead to human error.
  • Difficult to trace similar files with the human eye.
  • Inconsistency in metadata makes it challenging to identify the identicals.
  • File format variations – have different extensions but similar appearance.
  • Not compatible with large music libraries.
  • Lack of automation to efficiently scan and identify duplicates.

Read More: Learn different techniques to delete duplicate videos on Mac.

How to Delete Duplicate Music Files on Mac Big Sur, Sonoma, and Older Versions? – Automated Solution

From the above, we can say that the manual approach is free and easily accessible but has some considerable drawbacks. Due to this, Duplicate Files Remover for macOS will be a reliable solution to accurately find and delete duplicate music files. Further, the application offers robust and 100% accuracy in its operations. The scanning algorithm is focused on the MD5 Message-Digest Algorithm to precisely locate and erase duplicate audio, video, photo, and document files in secs. Here are some of the rich features of the software:

  • Thoroughly scans folders and sub-folders
  • Compatible with Mac and Win OS
  • Offers recursive scanning
  • Enables moving and deleting files
  • Detects 70+ file formats including music files (MID/MIDI, OGG, AAC, RealAudio, VQF, etc.)
  • Uses multiple scanning methods (MD5 hash, metadata, content hash, etc.)
  • Provides previews of duplicate files
  • Identifies duplicates across various storage devices (USBs, SD cards, internal and external hard drives)

Condense Steps to Find and Clean up Duplicate Audio Files on macOS

  • Download, install, and run the Duplicate MP3 remover for macOS tool.

tool preview

  • Open a folder containing songs by clicking on “Add Folder”.

hit on Add Folder

  • In the Scan Configuration dialog, select music file type under File Extensions, then click Continue.

Select the scan configuration

  • Next, Click the Delete tab.

click on Delete button to delete duplicate music files on mac

  • View the results in the Action section, confirming the deletion. 

Do check the Action column

How to Prevent the Creation of Duplicate Music Files on Mac?

Things you should know to avoid the creation of identical audio files in macOS Ventura and other versions. Go through the following to know ways to adopt:

  • Choose a single method for syncing music files.
  • Transfer all data simultaneously using an external storage device.
  • Disable automatic downloads from third-party apps.
  • Avoid using AirDrop when iCloud Music Library is active to prevent duplicating music files.

For iTunes versions older than 12, follow these steps:

  • Open iTunes and go to Preferences.
  • Select Advanced.
  • Check “Keep iTunes Media Folder Organized.”
  • Check “Copy Files to iTunes Media Folder When Adding to Library.”
  • Choose “Reset All Dialog Warning” and click OK.

Final Takeaway

In the write-up, we have covered the different methods to answer the question on “How to remove duplicate music files from computer?” There are a total of 5 manual and free solutions. One absolute method to encounter the challenges is the easily accessible approach. Also, it is the easiest way to deal with the identical audio files in Windows 10 & 11 PC. 

Frequently Asked Questions

Q1. How do I remove duplicate MP3 files for free?

Ans. A genuine answer to the question is “Nothing is free in this world.” Even if some tools offer techniques to find and delete duplicate MP3 files but for a limited session only. On the other hand, some cater free services but on stake on your confidential information. 

Q2. What is the fastest way to find duplicate files in Windows 10?

Ans. The swift approach to finding duplicate files in Windows 11/10 is using the SysTools duplicate finder and remover tool.

Q3. How do I mass delete duplicate songs in Apple music?

Ans. To bulk remove duplicate music files in Apple Music can be done through the following steps:

  • Open Apple Music.
  • Create a Smart Playlist: “File” –> “New” –> “Smart Playlist.”
  • Set criteria for duplicates like “Name” and “Album.”
  • Adjust rules for matching names and albums.
  • Confirm duplicates in the Smart Playlist.
  • Manually delete duplicate songs.

Q4. Why are my songs duplicated in Apple Music?

Ans. There are several reasons for this replication, let’s see some of them through the following:

  1. Syncing Issues: Duplicates due to device-server syncing problems.
  2. Library Corruption: Corrupted files lead to song duplications.
  3. iTunes Match: Info mismatches cause identicals in iTunes Match.
  4. Multiple Libraries: Duplicates from similar songs in different libraries/playlists.
  5. Cloud Sync Errors: Issues in iCloud syncing result in song replications.
  6. Metadata Inconsistencies: Varying metadata leads to MP3 duplications.
  7. Manual Importing: Poorly organized imports cause similar audios.
  8. Software Glitches: Apple Music/iTunes bugs contribute to the copying of original files.
  9. Incomplete Deletion: Failing to fully remove a song gives rise to clones.