Having issues with iTunes Match and duplicate songs? Here's how to fix it!

iTunes Match showing duplicate songs? Here's how to fix it!

Using iTunes Match on your iPhone or iPad and keep finding duplicate songs in your albums? Turns out you aren't alone. Sometime during the days of iOS 6, a lot of iTunes Match subscribers started reporting the same problem. Unfortunately Apple hasn't yet provided a permanent fix. However, there is a workaround that seems to solve the mysterious duplicate song problem. So how does it work?

How to get rid of duplicate songs in the Music app of your iPhone or iPad

  1. Launch the Settings app on your iPhone or iPad.
  2. Tap on iTunes & App Store.
  3. Turn iTunes Match Off.
  4. Tap on Settings in the upper left hand corner to return to the previous screen.
  5. Tap on General — you'll have to scroll back up towards the top again.
  6. Tap on Usage.
  7. Wait for the Storage section to load. Depending on how much media you have stored, it could take a few minutes.
  8. Tap Music under the Storage section.
  9. Tap the Edit button in the upper right hand corner.
  10. Tap the Delete button next to the All Music.
  11. Tap Delete on more time to confirm.

You can now go back into Settings > iTunes & App Store and turn iTunes Match back on.

Check and see if your music is still duplicated. Instead of duplicate songs you should now see cloud icons that will allow you to physically download music from iTunes in the Cloud to your iPhone or iPad. We recommend not connecting with iTunes to sync music if you don't have to since that seems to be what is causing the problem with duplicate songs.

If you've been experiencing duplicate songs on your iPhone and iPad and you use iTunes Match, give the steps above a try and let us know in the comments whether or not it worked for you!

Have something to say about this story? Leave a comment! Need help with something else? Ask in our forums!

Allyson Kazmucha

Senior editor for iMore. I can take apart an iPhone in less than 6 minutes. I also like coffee and Harry Potter more than anyone really should.

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Reader comments

iTunes Match showing duplicate songs? Here's how to fix it!


I love iTunes match, but I hate when things like this happen, because its a grind to download. When your dealing with 30gb of songs its not friendly at all :(

I can't figure out why my iPhone 5s says I have songs on my device after I stream them from the cloud HELP!!! :(

Sent from the iMore App

I believe they are cached and not physically on your device. As you require the space they use, they will be automatically deleted. That is my understanding anyway.

Too bad Music doesn't show up in Usage on iOS 8. :/ hopefully Apple updates iTM so it will truly stream not just download to my phone for "quick playing". (Deep sigh)

Sent from the iMore App

Let me get this straight, I have to pay $25/year for the privilege of spending untold hours downloading from the cloud the ~1500 songs I carry on my iPhone?

No, thank you.

Enlighten me. The article says to erase all my music from my phone and that I can't sync with iTunes. So tell me how I'm supposed to get my music on the phone without spending hours downloading it from the cloud?

Um, iTunes Match. That's what it's for. Stream it or download it on device. Because you know, it's all matched in the cloud?

Sent from the iMore App

Don't think flipping a switch one time takes hours. And not everyone has this issue. For the most part iTunes Match just works.

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Google Play Music all the way. I really like my iPads and iPhones, but at least it works and the free version is great.

Thanks Ally, with all the glitches iTunes has. It could keep you busy illustrating all the fixes for years to come.

I find it interesting that so many people can make a living assisting other people fix Apple glitches. But Apple can't fix them.

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Won't this delete all the songs I have on my iPhone? You didn't say one way or the other. Right now I have 7.3GB, and that's kind of a lot for me to re-download (from my cloud) in order to get rid of duplicates...
Also, do you know if my playcount will stick, or will that reset?

I used to delete the duplicates in iTunes library for my iPhone 5 one by one. It took me much time to do that. So I googled for programs to mass remove duplicate songs in iTunes. Finally I found a program called MUSIC CLEANUP. It allowed me to quickly find and remove all the duplicate songs at once. Really amazing!

I was seeing a similar issue on my iPhone 6 running iOS 8.1.2, except it was just albums I had purchased through the iTunes Store that were duplicated (and only some of them at that). I turned off iTunes Match and deleted all the songs on my device, but when I went back into the Music app, the songs were still duplicated.

I ended up having to sign out of iTunes completely (Settings > iTunes & App Store > Apple ID > Sign Out) and sign back in. Once I did that, the duplicates were gone.