How can I remove missing tracks (with exclamation point icons)? | iLounge Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

How can I remove missing tracks (with exclamation point icons)?

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By Jeremy Horwitz

Editor-in-Chief, iLounge
Published: Monday, August 22, 2005
News Category: iTunes General

if you’re on a Windows PC, remove the missing files with either (1) manual labor, simply deleting missing tracks as you come across them, or (2) brute force, causing loss of playlists, playcounts, and ratings. In neither case can the missing files be automatically mapped to a “close? file. Choice (2) involves emptying your library completely and re-populating it with only the tracks that still exist.

The advantage to this is that you won’t be doing a manual search-and-destroy on missing files, but a significant disadvantage is that you will lose your music library’s playcounts, playlists, and song ratings. First, select all tracks in your library and go to Edit—> Select All.  Then hit “Delete? on your keyboard. iTunes will prompt to ask you if you’d like to “Keep Files? or “Move to Recycle Bin.? Choose Keep Files. Next, go to iTunes’ “File? menu and choose “Add Folder to Library.? Pick your iTunes Music Folder, which is likely the “My Documents\My Music\iTunes\iTunes Music? folder.

In a slight twist on choice (2), you could restore your music library from your iPod using the tutorial here.

Neither of these options are favorable, but there is one refuge - if you’re on a Mac. iTunes Applescript guru Doug Adams has written an AppleScript that is a life-saver in this situation. Available here, this AppleScript will go through your entire music library and delete tracks for whichever files are missing.

Next: How do I copy iTunes AAC files to a non-iTunes mobile phone?

Previous: Why won’t all of my music files transfer into iTunes?

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