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What iTunes means when it tells you deleted songs cannot be moved to the trash

You have the ability to add music and other audio files to your library in one of two ways: You can use the default method to copy all files to the iTunes Media folder or you can choose to add by reference where the file remains where it is at a station and the library points to it. (This preference is in iTunes> Preferences> Advanced .)

Some people prefer to manage their music and other audio files in their own folder hierarchy or have huge libraries they must keep stored on an external drive. Most allow iTunes to copy files and store them in the iTunes Media folder, commonly found in Home> Music .

However, where this becomes difficult, it is when you want to delete an audio file from iTunes. If you navigate to the iTunes Music folder or, for remotely stored files, to the location and then drop it into the Recycle Bin, your iTunes library is out of date. It can cause errors when trying to search for and play audio in iTunes.

Instead, you should select an item or items in iTunes and select Song> Delete from Library . This is when you want to see a dialog that can scratch your head:

Want to move the selected song to the trash or keep it in the iTunes Media folder?

So in smaller type: [1

9659005] Only files in the iTunes Media folder are moved the trash.

The buttons read cancel, hold file and move to the trash.

  mac911 iTunes Delete dialog IDG

iTunes also offers a dialog

Apple is assured of its games:

  • If one or more files are in the iTunes Media folder, click Move to trash, both removes the entry from your iTunes library. and move the items to the system tray.

  • If one or more files are referred by iTunes, just remove from the Move to Trash entry from iTunes. The file remains in place.

The difference between Cancel and Hold file is that Cancel stops everything, while Keep File does not touch a file if it is in the iTunes Media folder, but removes the entry from iTunes.

If you have the iCloud Music Library enabled and the file has been uploaded to iCloud, iTunes displays another message that warns you to delete the audio file or files from each connected device.

This Mac 911 article is in response to a question from Macworld reader David.

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