View Full Version : Deleting songs off hard drive with iTunes

Feb 1, 2006, 06:56 AM
How do I do this? It seems that when I hit Delete on a song in my library it just takes it off iTunes and doesn't move to the trash.

Feb 1, 2006, 07:16 AM
There are some suggestions in this thread (http://forums.macrumors.com/showthread.php?t=177223), including a link on how to reconsolidate your library, if it's a lot of unwanted songs that you have in your library. Else, there's the tried and true method of picking them out by hand in the iTunes music folder...!...that's of course, if you know which ones you don't want and remember those you're 'deleted.'

Feb 1, 2006, 07:22 AM
Oh, so there's not a way to just select a song and trash it? That sucks.
Thanks for the help, though.

Feb 1, 2006, 07:29 AM
When you select a song and hit delete, does it not give you the option of keeping the files in your music library or moving them to the trash?

Feb 1, 2006, 07:31 AM
It does not. It just deletes itself from the library, remains in my Music folder.

Feb 1, 2006, 07:51 AM
Try hitting option-delete instead of just the delete key.

Feb 1, 2006, 08:39 AM
That doesn't seem to do anything. Does it work for you?

Feb 1, 2006, 09:20 AM
I think that only works if you have iTunes manage your music library for you, and put everything into the iTunes folder structure. Otherwise, I think it expects you to keep track of where all the files are and delete them yourself.

Feb 1, 2006, 09:21 AM
Oh, yeah, I think you're right. I'll do that.

Thanks, everyone.

Feb 1, 2006, 01:12 PM
Try apple-delete. i don't believe the "keep organised" options have any effect on this. The only critical factor is that the music MUST be inside the folder specified in Preferences > Advanced > general > music folder location. Anything outside of this won't be trashed, just deleted from the Library.

Feb 1, 2006, 04:24 PM
Command+Delete was the first thing I tried:D .

Feb 1, 2006, 05:48 PM
If you delete a song while standing in the library (not any of the playlists) you will get a question if you want to keep or trash the file. However, if you're standing in a playlist when you try to delete a song you just delete it from that playlist. If you want to get rid of the song you need to option-delete it to get the above mentioned question, and then select to trash the file.

Feb 1, 2006, 06:53 PM
How do I do this? It seems that when I hit Delete on a song in my library it just takes it off iTunes and doesn't move to the trash.

It sounds like you have unselected the itunes preference to have itunes manage your music files.

iTunes can operate in two modes:

iTunes manages the music files by copying the mp3 file into the iTunes Music Library Folder and organizing the files into a directory structure based on the artist, album and track names. In this mode once you drag the mp3 into iTunes you don't need to keep a copy of the file.
iTunes does not manage the music files themselves. Rather, iTunes builds up a list of the music files and where they are stored on the computer. In this mode you must keep the file stored in the folder it existed in when you dragged the file into iTunes.

The mode where iTunes manages the music files is the default mode.

In the iTunes managed mode, dragging a track from iTunes to the trashcan or highlighting a track and pressing delete brings up a dialog where iTunes asks if you also want to delete the music file.

In the unmanaged mode, iTunes only removes the song from the list of songs that iTunes knows about. It is your job to track down where you have saved the file and delete the file.

Feb 1, 2006, 09:48 PM
I highly recommend you let iTunes manage your library unless you have a really compelling reason not to, it makes so many things so much easier.

Feb 11, 2009, 08:41 AM
Okay, here is a way to do it on a mac for people who don't let iTunes manage their Library.

In iTunes, select the files you wish to delete from you hard drive, then right click on "Get Info" (cmd-I). From there, edit an ID3 tag of your choice, let's say "Genre" and set all the tracks you'd like to remove to a genre of your choice, for exemple: "Move to Trash" or whatever you like it to be. Then, search for "Move to Trash" in Spotlight, click on "Show All", sort by Kind so that every music files are together and delete everything.

I do this regulary on my ipod playlist. When I don't like a track, I put only one star to it on my ipod, then after having synchronized with iTunes, I delete the files from the Library and from the Hard drive with the method mentioned above.

Thanks Apple for not providing this functionalities to iTunes (just like the lack of FLAC support) and continuing to put all your efforts to your music store...

Jul 13, 2011, 02:13 PM
Perhaps it was the case in earlier versions of iTunes that allowing the app to organize the tracks meant that deleting them in iTunes removed them from the hard drive, but now it makes no difference. I've always had this option checked and have deleted many tracks by selecting the 'Move to Trash' option in the deletion dialog box, but I've just discovered that tracks I deleted in this way are still in the iTunes music folder.

I've just been experimenting, and all that seems to happen when clicking on 'Move to Trash' is that the track is removed from iTunes but kept in the iTunes music folder, while a duplicate of the track is created specifically to put into the Trash!