Catalina: How to properly wipe out entire Music Library?


macrumors 68040
Original poster
Sep 25, 2012
Alberto, Canado
I appreciate if anyone has insight on this, with regard to MacOSX Catalina.... (thanks in advance)

I wanted to "start over" the Music Library on my iMac, since an earlier install of Catalina totally trashed my entire Music Library. It ended up "double-synching" hundreds of duplicate tracks/albums between my iPhone and my iMac. In addition, most of the album art is missing on the iMac's Music app, but I know the artwork still exists because the same (synched) albums do show the album art on my iPhone. Just doesn't show it on the Mac, Catalina 10.15.2. I don't subscribe to Apple Music, so that's one factor not in consideration.

Anyways, I wanted to completely wipe every "user content" on the Mac's Music app. How do I do this correctly? the new MacOSX Catalina Disk Utility now shows me two hard drive "volumes" (one is Data, and the other one is ??). So am I supposed to find both mirror-image of all "Music" Library folders/directories in the two partitions and attempt to wipe them out?

I have a backup of my "core" iTunes albums in my old iPod Touch, which has been spared from the stupid Catalina upgrade/synch disaster, thankfully since the iPod is so old it doesn't support the latest iOS. So the iTouch basically served as a backup/archive/repository of old files and music albums, all of them still intact.

P.S. -- what moron at Apple decided that there should be TWO confusing ways in Catalina to initiate a Music (Mac Music to iPhone Music) synch? One is through the Sidebar of Music app itself. The other is on the sidebar of the Finder Window. Steve Jobs would not have allowed this....


macrumors 6502a
Jul 8, 2013
no need to wipe anything. go to your music folder in your Home directory. Rename is music.old. Create a new folder called Music. Open the, then its Preferences. Click Files. Click Change, then point to the new Music folder under home. That should create a new blank library for you.
Then you can import whatever you want from the Music.old folder by dragging and dropping the files onto Music.
If you are using Cloud Music, you need to disable it on all devices first. Otherwise your old library will continue to haunt you. Once your library is the way you like it on the Mac, you can re-enable Cloud library and it will start to sync to the cloud, then enable on Phone and anywhere else.
Register on MacRumors! This sidebar will go away, and you'll see fewer ads.