11 Replies Latest reply: Nov 1, 2013 3:25 PM by Old Toad
tarikfromakron Level 1 (0 points)

Is there a best way to remove duplicate files from iTunes & iPhoto?  Is it better to use a 3rd party software?  Is there one that stands above the rest?


In regard to iTunes, does the location of the song files change with each iTunes upgrade?  Do they change with each upgrade of the operating system?


I know my hard drive can hold tons of files but I don't want tons of files on it that I don't need.


Thanks to anyone with suggestions that might fit these questions.

iMac, Mac OS X (10.7.2)
  • Carolyn Samit Level 10 (102,820 points)

    See if this works for you >  How to spring clean "Open With" duplicates

  • Drew Reece Level 5 (6,155 points)

    Carolyn Samit, how is that relevant?

    The tool you link to is for editing the 'Open with' service, not even close to the original question.



    In iTunes look in the View menu, there is an option to 'Show duplicate items'. You can select a playlist & view the duplicates. If you select a file you want to delete press cmd+alt+delete. iTunes will ask you to confirm if you want to move it to the Trash. You can also drag it to the Trash straight from iTunes if you prefer. If you hit just the delete key iTunes will only remove it from the playlist & it will still exist in the main library.


    iTunes stores files based on the artist name & media kind so it usually moves files when you rename the fields in iTunes. Sometimes new updates will reorganize a little, but it's not something you want to worry about too much. You can select a file & use the File menu > Get Info… to view details on the track. The 'Summary' tab will list the file location if you really want to know that info.


    If you enable the status bar (veiw menu > Show status bar) iTunes will say how many files there are & how much space they take up. It changes based on your current selection, so you can get a summary for playlists etc.


    I'm not sure about iPhoto's duplicates, have a look around in the menus I think it is a more manual process.


    As for better music or photo managers, I'd say iTunes & iPhoto are hard to beat. If you have advanced needs you may need to look elsewhere, but I think they are easy to use & very powerful & don't rely on you having to manage every aspect of your files & folders. These apps look after that & you look at your content.


    If you dislike them you can still export your files & try another app later on.

  • tarikfromakron Level 1 (0 points)



    Just taking a quick look at some of the duplicates that one of my programs found, each song was listed 3 times and they indicated 2 of them being in almost the exact same place and one being in the opposing area.


    For example, 2 would be listed in User Name-->iTunes-->Library-->Music-->

                           1 would show something like User Name-->LIbrary-->Music-->


    So, I guess I just don't understand why there are 3 of them, for example and why there wouldn't be just 1 for each song.  If I chose to put all music in one main location, let's say the first line of the above example, then that would not mess up my iTunes when I go to play a song or will that disturb my Playlists?



  • Drew Reece Level 5 (6,155 points)

    What program are you using to look for duplicates? Are you sure these files are already in iTunes?


    I'm fairly sure you don't need to worry about this. All you do to add files is drop them on the iTunes icon & it arranges them for you. The playlists are linked to the files. If 2 files are exactly the same it asks you about replacing or overwriting. If they are different it will copy both (it may look like a duplicate, but there usually are slight differences. You then use iTunes 'Show duplicate items' to weed out these files.

  • tarikfromakron Level 1 (0 points)

    I was using MAC Keeper.  I'll check out what iTunes duplicates shows.



  • Drew Reece Level 5 (6,155 points)

    tarikfromakron, I'm glad that helped


    Mackeeper has a bad reputation around here…



    Some people think it is totally unnecessary & tries to repeatedly get money out of you by bombarding you with fake warnings.


    You can keep it installed if you want, just be warned it isn't normal to require software like this on Macs.

    Macs don't acquire thousands of files that need deleting like old Windows machines. So long as you take a little care not to download & run every piece of software you find on the Internet the Mac should stay pretty clean & healthy.


    Mackeeper has made my friends Mac run slowly, and not done what it claimed as far as I can see. They also had a habit of using invasive advertising that makes them look unscrupulous too. Lots of popups & even more adverts when you install it!


    I don't trust it & would remove it from any Mac I own. Obviously it's your choice what software you run, just be aware it may be a wolf in sheeps clothing. Be wary of it's 'advice' - especially when it want you to pay them to 'fix' the issues.


    See if you can work through some of the other posts on the subject (don't just take my word for it).

  • tarikfromakron Level 1 (0 points)

    I've had MacKeeper for some time. I use it's AV and System Scan. That's all I really do with it.


    Speed is somewhat the issue, not that my MAC is really moving that slow.  I just want keep it clean of garbage files. I do defragment it weekly.


    I've had an iMAC for some time and it's nothing like the PC, thank God.  It has never run that bad.  But, I did grow up with clean up your unused debri, keep things nice and tidey and as simple as possible and your machine will run well always.


    I maxed out my RAM and upgraded from Snow Leopard to Lion to Mountain Lion to Mavericks.  So, I'm thinking that Mountain Lion & Lion are just wasted space now as well as APP's I never use anymore.  Doesn't keeping all those extra files slow down the system somewhat or am still living with PC ideas?

  • Drew Reece Level 5 (6,155 points)

    You run a weekly defragment? That is insane, you are wasting your time doing that.


    That feature has been built into the Mac operating system for many years…


    The OS does it in the background every time you save a file. It makes sure it is stored in the best manner possible. Files over 20MB are written to continous sections of disk.


    Infact a defragger can reduce performance because it fights against the system's built in optimizations. The OS keeps important system files on the fastest part of the disk - the defragger can completly ruin that. Sorry to sound so blazé, but this is not Windows, treating it with the same system management ideas will waste your time & money.


    ClamXav is a free antivirus scanner that I use to detect any potential threats. It doesn't add a ton of extra tools that really are not needed on a Mac, it just focuses on antivirus/ malware detection. You can run it on demand, or on a schedule or make it read every disk you connect (overkill & anoying).



    I really think Mackeeper could be making you do things that are not needed.



    The old applications don't really use any 'system resources' until you run them (like RAM & processor time), they will be taking up extra disk space, which could be better suited to files you use, so either delete them or move them to an external disk if you want to keep backup copies. Hard disks that spin (old style disks) tend to read & write data slower the more full they are, so leaving them 1/2 full will be quicker than 3/4 full. Removing items you don't need will help keep you in the fastest part.


    I think you could do with some more advice on how to manage you Mac, and because this topic is not related here is what I suggest…


    Read the Mackeeper threads & decide on if you think it is valid software, review the parts you use most often, post a new question along the lines of "What system maintenance should I do on Mavericks" & explain a little about what currently you do (with info on how often & see if everyone does similar things.


    I know people who never run system tools, antivirus or defraggers on their Macs and they are completely fine.

  • Old Toad Level 10 (133,290 points)

    You can use one of these applications to identify and remove duplicate photos from an iPhoto Library:




    Do not use one of the general duplicate file finding apps as they will damage an iPhoto library.



  • MadMacs0 Level 5 (4,700 points)

    tarikfromakron wrote:


    I've had MacKeeper for some time. I use it's AV and System Scan. That's all I really do with it.


    Speed is somewhat the issue, not that my MAC is really moving that slow.  I just want keep it clean of garbage files.

    MacKeeper has recently been improved to be much more effective as a A-V scanner, but is likely the cause of the slow-down you are observing. I have not seen an evaluation of the System Scan capability, but I've never been a fan of any "Cleaner" utilities I've tried.

    upgraded from Snow Leopard to Lion to Mountain Lion to Mavericks.  So, I'm thinking that Mountain Lion & Lion are just wasted space now

    I think you can rest assured that all previous OS X files of any significance have been completely replaced by Mavericks, so that should not be a concern.

  • Old Toad Level 10 (133,290 points)

    There's no reason to defragment an Mac hard drive, ever.  Also read these User Tips regarding MacKeeper and then use its uninstaller to remove it:


    Do not install MacKeeper


    Mackeeper may be the cause of your slowdown