Entire music library gets deleted when using MusicBrainz. Picard What am I doing wrong

Hi all.

This is the second time this has happened to me. I stream music online as a hobby, and have a library of 5000 MP3 files, and I am using MusicBrainz to manually tag each track, with the correct tags. Country, Love, Rock etc. It’s time consuming enough dating each track correctly, and tagging them, I’ve made it a habit of saving every so often as I proceed. Today when I clicked save, and went back to my computer, and checked the process, each track in my library Musicbrainz reported as not being found. When I went to the folder in which my music was stored, it had deleted all but one track, and I didn’t ask it to delete anything, and it’s not the first time this has happened. a week or so ago, I had the same issue. What am I doing wrong, that when I click save it sometimes deletes all my music… I have to redo at least 2 days tagging work now. This is time consuming enough without the need to recover files from the recycle bin, and retag. The files are situated on a onedrive account, so it also takes time to load it in to Picard. Having to restore the music, and wait for everything to load, is just a utter waste of time.


Hmm. First thing that comes to my mind: check options, file naming - is the “Move files…” checked?

If not, copy just 1 file to a test folder. Do what you normally do with it, and hit save. Then Ctrl-G (or Help, view log), adjust the verbosity to see what happened. Post the log here if you cannot figure it out yourself.


Hi thank you for your quick response.

Nope move files not checked, and when I did what you asked everything saved and updated as it should, and nothing deleted. This is very strange.

This is an unusual fact to focus on. Picard isn’t ever supposed to delete a file, so maybe something odd is happening in the updating of that file on the sync folder.

A random thought. OneDrive will check timestamps for files changing. Try turning off the OPTIONS \ TAGS \ PRESERVE TIMESTAMPS OF TAGGED FILES \ option and see if it behaves.

Weirdest thing is this is happening at random. How many other devices do you have syncing that folder? Try dropping some files outside of the sync folder and updating them - I assume they never disappear

And why would it delete the WHOLE library? Or are all the files in Picard at the time? I would have expected it only to affect files currently being updated in the GUI.

Can you give any details on your system? What operating system? Where are the files saved (external / internal / network drive, what file system)? How are your Picard settings, do you rename or move files?

As said above Picard does not have an option to delete files, so I’d assume the files where moved somewhere unexpected.

It just happened to me also. I tried to get one of my music collection files updated, as the names are just mentioned as Track 1,2 and so on. I loaded the files into the Music brianz and scanned and then saved. When I verified the folder entire folder is empty.

I tried another folder, where 4 tracks are not identified and rest were identified and I saved. Excepting the unidentified files, rest were deleted.

I am simply flabbergasted to see this happening since I have been using MusicBrianz for the last several months.

Please look into the matter.

I am using Windows 11 platform.

How do you have “Move files” configured? What is the configured target directory and tagger script?


Is it moving to an odd place? I saw a screenshot the other day with a C:\Windows\System32\ path in it…(here)

@vu3ktb maybe have a look in that system folder. Check for any folders made today.

1 Like

One way to figure out where files have been moved to is to directly after saving look at the file in Picard and check the path in the Info dialog or use “Open Containing Folder” in the file’s context menu.

Maybe try with a copy of some file so you can figure out the location. But please also share with us your file naming settings and naming script.

It should not possible to save this configuration with empty destination directory, so this specific wrong path displayed should be limited to the file naming preview.

But yes, my assumption would also be that the files got moved to an unexpected location, maybe some hidden location not easily visible in Windows Explorer.


@vu3ktb Has there been any findings on your side? Could you figure out where the files have been moved to, or could your reproduce the issue again?

If you can reproduce this the best thing would be to

  • open Help > View Error/Debug Log and set the verbosity to debug
  • take a copy of a file and load it into Picard
  • Save this file in the way that makes the file disappear for you

The log now should tell what happened to the file and where it got moved to.

If you can’t figure it out with this and still think there is a bug please share the log with us together with a screenshot of your Options > File Naming settings and the full naming script you use.

Then we can probably figure out the issue and if there is a bug provide a fix. But right now this entire thread will lead to nothing as there is just not enough information.


just found all my music dumped into /users/myuser/music/ not that bad. as mentioned above, check the script/settings for info. your files are there, use “.mp3” search if needed.

1 Like