How to Clean up your iTunes Music Folder

Published Tuesday, July 21, 2009 11:50 AM

iTunes has an annoying little feature that allows you to remove a song from your library without removing it from the folder. I assume this would be great if you just no longer want it in iTunes. I for some reason will sometime hit keep file due to the fact it’s the default action when you hit enter. I have all my music organized in the iTunes Music folder so trying to find files not in iTunes but in the folders would be impossible since I have about 8,000 songs. So what I end up having is a 40 GBs of music in iTunes but a 50 GB music folder.

I found a handy little script that will allow you find all the files that are no longer in your iTunes and delete them. I found them at a cool website called Doug's Scripts. It’s a site loaded with great iTunes scripts to do all sorts of things. You install the script and then select it from the itunes script menu. From there all you have to do is hit find and it will pop up a list of files in the music folder but not in iTunes. You can then look at the path and decide if you want to delete them or not.


I have to say however this only worked with my currents itunes database. I have several old itunes databases and for whatever reason it only finds recent files that I have deleted out of iTunes and not really old ones that might have been there for years. If you have the same problem as me the only solution is not an easy one, which is to export your library through the File>>Library>>Export Library. You have to then go to your library and select all your files and hit Command + delete and hit leave Files. This will clear all your songs out of your library. Then re-import the whole iTunes library by going to the add to library option. You can then restore your playlists by importing the library file your exported earlier.  You will have to go back and delete all the files you don’t want anymore but at least they will not be taking up space on your hard drive anymore.

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