How to Delete Missing Songs in iTunes (You know the songs with the exclamation mark beside them)

How to Delete Missing Songs in iTunes (You know the songs with the exclamation mark beside them)


How to Delete Missing Songs in iTunes (You know the songs with the exclamation mark beside them)

by Andre Gonsalves

by Andre Gonsalves

It’s taking me about 2 hours to finally figure this out. Sheesh! Yes there are many apps you can buy to do this and they range in cost from $30 to $40 and I don’t know about you but that’s too much for me to do such a simple task. I would suggest you don’t bother with them because I’m going to explain exactly how you delete missing songs in your iTunes. In my case, I had over 5000 missings songs because my external hard drive for some reason changed letters from being an H drive to an F drive or something. Anyway, iTunes thought all the songs on the H drive were still there and so made mention of them in all my albums, so my albums had two of each song named, even though if I played an album only song would play because the other was missing.

Anyway, here’s what you do.

(1) Create a playlist

By going to File > New > Playlist. Call this playlist “FOUND” or anything you wish.

(2) Select all your songs

Go to the top most music tab on the left hand side and around the center click “Songs”. You’l see a list of all your songs, click on one of your songs to highlight it. Next click “Edit” and “Select all”. You’ll now have selected all your songs.

(3) Drag all your songs into the new playlist “FOUND”

Pretty self-explanatory.

(4) Go into “FOUND” playlist

Now jump up and down because all your “found” songs are in here and all your missing are not. But wait there’s more to do because we want to get rid of the missing songs on our iTunes.

(5) Create a smart playlist named “MISSING”

Go File > New > Smart Playlist. Now from the drop down menu go “Playlist” “is not” “FOUND”. If you don’t see your playlist in the dropdown menu, rename your playlist “00 FOUND”, it’s because you have to many playlists and for some reason iTunes wont scroll down further.


Press “Okay” and you will now have all your missing songs or songs with exclamation marks beside them.

(6) Delete them all

It may sound easy but here’s the trick to delete them not only from the playlist but also from your iTunes library. Select all the songs by clicking one and clicking “Edit” and “Select all”. Then hold down the shift key and press “Delete”. Bam!

(7) Jump up an down!

The exclamation marks that were in your iTunes library are now gone!

Andre is the head audio engineer at ADG Mastering. When he's not in front of a mixing board with his eyes closed, he's having impromptu dance parties with his son and daughter: ages 4 and 6.


  1. I love you. Thank you for showing me how to get rid of my almost 20,000 missing songs. It took about 1 minute. I just… thank you.

  2. Thank you so much. The only glitch for me was, it wouldn’t let me delete the songs. After trying all kinds of things, I found the solution on a message board: use option + DEL. Worked like a charm. Thanks!

  3. Worked great! Thank you so much, but you have to follow every step very carefully and read these instructions carefully. Now I’m all set!

  4. This worked for all my missing songs except one. I retried the steps from scratch & the last missing song still would not go away. Any suggestions?

  5. If I delete all my missing songs then won’t I lose those songs? I still want them but cannot play them because they cannot be found.

  6. THIS DOES NOT WORK any more , but I found a way. !! You can no longer delete from a Smartlist, but in the Smartlist (Missing) you can “dislike” the lost Songs , and then go to your SONGs ( just under Albums ) and delete them from there.

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