Find missing tracks in iTunes

Written by Derek Wilson on November 25th, 2011

Sometimes something that should be so simple ends up being rather tricky. Such was the case recently when I decided to clean up my iTunes library and delete any missing tracks from my library (you know, those bothersome ones with the exclamation mark on the left that practically laugh in your face. “Ha”, they say “You may have deleted me but you’ll never find my brothers”. I just want to punch them all in the face. But, I digress.).

Unfortunately it’s not the most straight forwards problem to solve, there is no built in “Display missing tracks” menu item. So we need to get crafty. Here’s the solution I used.

  1. Create a new playlist (Ctrl+N) called “Not-Missing”.
  2. Drag your entire library into the playlist. (Ctrl+A to select all then click and drag). [Note: Do not right-click > ‘Add to playlist’, that will not work]
  3. Create a new Smart playlist (Ctrl+Alt+N) called “Missing”.
  4. Match the following Rules:
    • [Playlist] [is not] [Not-Missing]
    • [Media Kind] [is] [Music]
    • No Limit to results
    • Live Updating is selected

Now check out that playlist called “Missing”. It should have all the missing tracks. You’ll have to delete the tracks from your library by holding Shift then pressing delete (just pressing delete will only delete it from the playlist).

This works because you can’t drag missing tracks to a regular playlist, then we use a smart-playlist that filters the not-missing tracks from your library.

As always, give me a shout in the comments if you’ve got questions.