iT: Removing "!" / dead links in iTunes library

Last Modified: Feb 22, 2011 6:15 PM
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If you move, edit, delete or otherwise change a file listed in the iTunes Library with a tool other than iTunes; you may end up with a "!" in front of the song name. iTunes does not keep track of file changes made outside of iTunes.

If you have many lost links in your Library, and just want to get rid of them quickly - try this:

* select the Library icon in iTunes
* select all songs in the track listing
* Get Info
* change BPM to 99 (assuming you don't use that field for anything else)
* wait for that to finish - it will take a while
* after it's done, sort the display by BPM (ctrl-j & click BPM if it's not a column on your display, then click the BPM column header)

All the "!" files, which will not accept the BPM change, are now grouped together for easy deletion! Take the BPM 99 out afterwards in case you need to do this again in the future.


EDIT: Apple provides a script that can clear dead tracks for Windows users. The original information is located in the free-to-download iTunes Developer kit. You do not need to be a developer to use the sample cleanup script included in this download.

The script itself may also be available here. This link is not always available, while the Apple link above should live for quite some time.

Macintosh users can find a similar script at

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