How to Fix iTunes Creating Duplicate Playlists Easily

When you sync music, iTunes creates duplicate playlists. It is so annoying. Read this guide to learn how to fix this issue and manage your music playlists in a good way.


By Dylan / Updated on June 6, 2023

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iTunes is the most common-used media manager and program for Apple users. But sometimes, when you try to sync or transfer music from computer to iPhone, you may meet trouble: iTunes creating duplicate playlists. This will be difficult for you to deal with so many duplicated songs. Why this situation will happen? How to stop iTunes from duplicating songs? Just keep reading to find the reasons and solutions to fix the iTunes duplicate playlists issue.

Why Does iTunes Create Duplicate Playlists?

Many users have reported this iTunes problem, therefore we have listed some main reasons why iTunes creating duplicate playlists as below:

1. Modified playlists on the device rather than via iTunes. When you make any changes (including renaming music, buying new music, or changing Song Info) to the playlist on the iOS device it will show duplicate playlists after sync.

2. Made improper settings of your iTunes. You may have checked the options of “Keep iTunes Media folder organized” and “Copy files to iTunes Media folder when adding to library”. Thus, iTunes will repeatedly import a folder that is outside that iTunes Media folder into the library.

3. Synced the same playlists repeatedly. If the playlists you add to iTunes library already have several duplicated songs, iTunes will import all of them. Thus, you will find them duplicated in iTunes library. This is one disadvantage of using iTunes itself to sync songs.

How to Stop iTunes Creating Duplicate Playlists When Syncing

1. Modify Your iTunes Playlists

From the reasons mentioned in the above part, we have known that modifying your playlists through iTunes can avoid iTunes creating duplicate playlists. You can go to iTunes to edit the playlist, delete the old one, and sync, then the duplicate should be gone.

2. Turn Off Automatically Sync in iTunes

The second method about how to stop iTunes from duplicating songs is to turn off automatic sync in iTunes and sync again. Here are the detailed steps of how to turn this option off.

Step 1. Launch iTunes and connect your iOS devices to a computer.

Step 2. Click the iOS device icon on the iTunes toolbar. Scroll down the Summary section.

Step 3. Then disable Automatically sync when this iPhone is connected option and click on Apply to save your setting.

Turn Off Automatically Sync In Itunes

After turning off automatic syncing for Music, all duplicate playlists should be deleted. On this occasion, you can sync music files to your iPhone/iPad/iPod Touch again.

3. Disable Sync Library

Another effective try is disabling Sync Library on your iOS device. Because a sync error may occur if you’re using Apple Music or iTunes Match to sync your library automatically. You’ll have to turn this off on all your devices. You can follow the steps to disable it.

Step 1. On your iPhone, open the Settings app.

Step 2. Scroll to Music and tap it.

Step 3. Toggle off the Sync Library option.

Sync Library

Note: If you don't subscribe to Apple Music or iTunes Match, you won’t see an option to turn on /off Sync Library.

4. Switch Off iCloud Sharing

When using iCloud sharing, it can be difficult to tell whether to sync playlists from the iTunes library or from the iCloud. Then comes the duplicate playlists, you can try to fix the problem that iTunes creating duplicate playlists when syncing by switching off iCloud Music Library on iPhone/iPad.

Step 1. Go to the Settings.

Step 2. Scroll down and choose Music.

Step 3. Disable iCloud Music Library.

Step 4. Confirm it by tapping on Turn off.

Iphone Icloud Music Library

If the problem is fixed, you can open iCloud Music Library again and sync music like before.

Note: If you don't subscribe to Apple Music or iTunes Match, you won’t see an option to turn on /off iCloud Music Library.

5. Use iTunes Alternative to Avoid Playlist Duplication

Although you can try the methods we have provided in this post to stop iTunes creating duplicate playlists, or delete the duplicate playlists manually. It will cost your time and energy. If you’re tired of iTunes syncing problems or just want an easier way to sync music between iPhone/iPad/iPod and computer, we prefer you to use iTunes alternative - FoneTool to transfer your music playlists/ songs.

Here are some features of FoneTool:

◆ Transfer songs between iOS devices, from iOS device to computer.
◆ Preview and select the songs that you want to add to your iPhone or computer.
◆ Copy all the songs, including the purchased and non-purchased ones.
◆ No data erasing during or after the transfer.
◆Fast transfer speed: 1000 songs can be transferred in only 9 minutes and 14 seconds.

Now you can download FoneTool free on your PC and have a wonderful transferring music to iPhone process.

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Step 1. launch the FoneTool, connect to your iPhone and computer via the USB cable.

Step 2. In the below interface, choose Phone Transfer. Go to PC to iPhone and click Start Transfer.

Transfer To Iphone

Step 3. Click arrow icon to choose the playlists you want to transfer to iPhone.

Select Files

Step 4. Choose the songs you want to transfer to iPhone and click Open.

Choose Music

Step 5. Finally, click the Start Transfer button to make it.



That’s all for how to fix iTunes creating duplicate playlists easily. If you still have any questions, please leave a comment and we will help you out soon. What’s more, if you want to transfer music from iPhone to computer, from iPhone to another iPhone without extra duplicate playlists, FoneTool is your good choice to try.

Dylan · Editor
Dylan is an editor of mobile backup software. He likes to share the latest news about iPhone and iOS, write useful tips, and give solutions to help people solve all kinds of issues.