Cleaning up after iTunes Consolidation


Q: I’ve read and employed your tips from “Transferring Your iTunes Library.” Works great. Thanks. I recently added a bunch of copies of CDs, consolidated, and they transferred to the external drive, but the files appeared to be still resident on my hard drive. I’d like to get rid those new GBs to free up the limited space on my MacBook Air hard drive (80GB). How do I do that?

Cleaning up after iTunes Consolidation

– Pete

A: The problem here is that the “Consolidate” function actually merely copies tracks to your new location—it never moves anything. This is essentially a case of iTunes erring on the side of caution; if things go wrong then all of your original audio files are still in their original locations.

The solution is fairly simple, however: As long as you have your iTunes Media folder path set to the external hard drive, the Consolidate operation should copy everything to that new location. This means that any files that are left lying around on your internal hard drive have either already been copied or weren’t listed in your iTunes library in the first place. This basically means that after a consolidation any media files still in your “iTunes Media” folder on your internal hard drive can simply be deleted manually through the Finder.

For an extra level of confidence you can spot-check a few tracks simply by viewing their properties; select a track and choose File, Get Info and check the “Summary” tab to see where iTunes is storing that particular file.

Cleaning up after iTunes Consolidation

The “Where” line at the bottom of the “Summary” tab will show the full path that iTunes is using for that particular track.


Photo of author

Jesse Hollington

Jesse Hollington was a Senior Editor at iLounge. He's written about Apple technology for nearly a decade and had been covering the industry since the early days of iLounge. In his role at iLounge, he provided daily news coverage, wrote and edited features and reviews, and was responsible for the overall quality of the site's content.