Why Is iTunes Creating Duplicate Playlists?

While iTunes can usually be expected to work as predicted without any issues, some Apple users have noticed that the application is duplicating their playlists. The problem can usually be attributed to a sync malfunction. Users may be modifying their playlists on an iPhone or iPad but when they try to sync the changes to a Mac, it would result in a duplicate playlist. The scope of the introduced changes to the playlist doesn't appear to matter at all. 

How to Deal with Duplicate Playlists on Mac

Sadly, there isn't a more convenient way to remove unwanted duplicates. Users will have to sort through iTunes' playlists manually and delete them individually. At least the process itself is sufficiently simple.

  1. Open iTunes.
  2. Look at the sidebar for duplicates.
  3. Right-click them one by one and select 'Delete from Library.'

How to Get Rid of Duplicate Playlists on iPhone or iPad.

  1. Open the Music app.
  2. Tap on 'Library.'
  3. Now, select 'Playlists.'
  4. Look for a duplicated playlist.
  5. Tap on it and hold. 
  6. From the options that appear, choose 'Delete from Library.'

Turn Off Automatic Sync between Devices

While it could cause other inconveniences, one way to stop these duplicated iTunes playlists from appearing is to disable the automatic sync between devices. 

  1. Connect the iPhone or iPad to your Mac.
  2. Open iTunes.
  3. Click on the iPhone icon.
  4. Now, select 'Summary.'
  5. Choose 'Option.'
  6. Locate the 'Automatically sync when this iPhone is connected' option and uncheck its corresponding box. 
  7. Save the changes by clicking 'Apply.'

Disable the Sync Library on Your Devices

Using Apple Music or iTunes Match to sync your music library across devices could also be a contributing factor for the appearance of duplicate playlists. To disable the feature on your devices, follow the steps.

For iPhone:

  1. Go to the 'Settings' app.
  2. Select 'Music.'
  3. Locate the 'Sync Library' option and toggle it off. 

For Mac:

  1. Open either iTunes or the Music app.
  2. Go to the iTunes or Music menu depending on the chosen app.
  3. Select 'Preferences.'
  4. Open the 'General' tab.
  5. Locate the 'Sync Library' option and uncheck its corresponding box.
  6. Click 'Ok' to save the changes. 

Hopefully, you will now no longer have to deal with any unwanted duplicates of your playlists.