Why Is iTunes Creating Duplicate Playlists?

We all find it exasperating when iTunes recreates an existing playlist. Duplicates make your song lists tend to sound like a repetition loop, and it takes up the internal memory storage. But why does iTunes generate extra copies of your songs when you do not need them?

iTunes creates duplicate playlists because you made alterations to a song after syncing. Your iTunes player retains the song from before-editing and after-editing, resulting in two songs. To delete the repeated songs,  you can restart your phone or wipe off the files from your music library.

The remedies listed above would certainly clear the unnecessary confusion caused by your iTunes player. However, there are other strategies to employ and stop this nagging problem from reoccurring. Please keep reading to learn about them.

Why Is iTunes Creating Duplicate Playlists?

iTunes creates duplicates when you make modifications to a song after syncing. To discover why you have repetitions, here are possible reasons.

  • The issue is particularly sure to happen when the editing is performed on the device instead of the music player.
  • When you change the name of a song, purchase new songs, edit any information on the playlist.
  • When the iTune match app glitches; resulting in duplicate song files.
  • The iCloud sharing retains both edited and unedited files and stores them all on the iTunes player.
  • The music setting is set to auto-synchronize.

To get rid of the repetitive playlist/music, you can restart your phone or delete the files.

Restart Your Iphone

Restarting your phone is the first go-to option most people consider. It works in many situations to delete duplicates, but it only works if it has not been synchronized yet. Below are steps to utilize this strategy.

Step 1: Close the “Music” application on your phone. To close, click on the home button two times, locate the app, and swipe it up.

Step 2: Press the power button and click on the restart option.

Step 3: After the device has repowered , go to your “App Store,” sign out, and then in immediately.

Step 4: Go through the playlists on your iTunes music player to confirm all the duplicates are gone.

Delete File

  • Start the iTunes player on your computer. The computer may be Apple or Windows.
  • Click on the duplicates saved in the music library, “Right Click” and select the “Delete” option. 
  • After deleting, synchronize the new playlist on your iTunes player to your iPhone.

How To Stop iTunes From Duplicating Playlists.

To avoid duplicates, here is a list of things you should do;

Switch Off iCloud Sharing

The iCloud is an online store, it saves all synchronized information, and it is switched on by default. Your playlist is present on your computer, your iPhone, and your iCloud. It is confusing to your iTunes player to know which information is necessary, new or old, so it retains all. The duplicates are formed as it syncs, keeping the computer info, the iPhone information, and the existing iCloud info. To stop this cycle of unnecessary storage, switch off the iCloud sharing option.

Turn Off Automated Sync Music

Turning off this automated synchronization is also useful to avoid duplicates. Below are the steps to follow.

  • Un-tick the “Sync Music” icon on your computer. Allow the new command setting to be applied, so the songs get wiped off the gadget.
  • Check your phone to ascertain if songs did not sync. To check, click on the “Settings” icon, then “General” setting would show up. Click on it to get to the “iPhone Storage” and finally the “Music” icon; wipe off any music file.
  • Connect your iPhone to your computer, click on the “Sync Music” icon and check for duplicates.
  • Edit or alter iTunes player

You have to make your modifications directly in your iTunes player. When you make corrections that aren’t contained in your previous playlist folder, iTunes keeps all. The player retains it so you can refer to the previous versions. If this bothers you, make changes on the player. To get rid of the existing duplicates, delete unwanted songs and sync the playlist.

 To delete the extra playlist from your device, follow the steps;

Step 1: Locate and start the music app on your phone

Step 2: Click on the duplicate you plan to remove and swipe to delete it.

Step 3: Link your Phone to your computer using a cord. Then, synchronize the playlist from the iTunes player to the phone. 

AnyTrans Management Tool

If you observe the above iTune synchronization issue, you would realize that it is rather substantial. To manage and control this issue, use the AnyTrans app. It is useful in monitoring and synchronizing all iOS devices to ensure no duplications or omissions. To use the AnyTrans App, here are the instructions.

Step 1

If you do not already have the app, download it and start the app. Use your cord to connect your phone to the computer. Click on the “Device Manager” icon, and then on the “Music” option.

Step 2

Select the playlist, add and name it and then check “ok” to accept the new settings.

Step 3

Next, open the playlist and add songs to it. To add, press the plus symbol(+), then press “Open.” Wait until all the songs transfer before confirming from the phone.

Use iTunes Match 

The iTune match app assists the music player in inspecting and matching the songs in a playlist library. It may glitch in some situations while it synchronizes, giving rise to extra song copies. To rectify this issue;

  • Click on the iTunes player on your computer. It can either be a Mac or Windows computer.
  • Click on the duplicate playlist, then open the “File” setting>the “Library” option, and locate the “Export playlist.” Please select it and save the file on the computer desktop.
  • Select and delete the playlist from the library.
  • Synchronize your iTunes match and press the power button to reboot your device.
  • Once the device has come on, re-open the iTunes app. Click on File, then the library, and import the previously exported playlist.
  • Sync your iTunes match again.

How Do I Copy My iTunes Playlist From My Computer To My Iphone?

Follow the steps below;

  1. Add the playlist to the iTunes library.
  2. Using a cord, connect the phone to a Mac or Windows computer.
  3. Start the iTunes player on the computer and click the “Trust” option on the phone to proceed. 
  4. On the iTunes page, identify the iPhone option. 
  5. Click on the “file” option and “Add” to import songs into the iTune’s library.
  6. Now the music is in the library, click on “Music”>” Sync Music.”
  7. Select the playlist you want to send you the phone or click on “Entire Music Library.”
  8. Select the “Apply” option; it syncs all you have selected from the player to your phone.

How to copy iTunes playlist from iPhone to computer

If you would love to reverse the steps above, please follow these instructions 

  • As always, you must have the iTunes latest app; download if you don’t have it
  • Connect your phone to your pc using a cord.
  • Wait for the iTunes player to accept the phone, then select the “File” option
  • Select “Device” and the “Transfer-Purchases-from-your-iPhone” option.
  • Observe that the iTunes playlists would automatically sync and appear on your computer iTunes music library.

For an iPhone, you can import songs from one iTunes music library, but the libraries are more for an iPad or iPod. iTunes limits its library to only iTunes-bought songs. Songs from other stores or sources can not be added or played through the iTunes library. When you synchronize your iTunes library songs to your phone; it automatically wipes off existing songs from your media.


We discussed why iTunes duplicates playlists and different strategies to delete and avoid the problem. We further talked about apps like AnyTrans and iTunes match that can help in synchronizing music players. It is safe to mention that understanding why iTunes duplicates your files helps you avoid or solve the problem. You should turn off your auto-sync and iCloud sharing to stop the duplicates from reoccuring.