Look, guys. I know we are all appalled by the idea of free music. Lord knows how long we have fought the good fight for the right to pay artists for their digital music. So when Apple had the gall to give us a free music CD that we really wanted to pay 15 dollars for, people were understandable up-in-arms: the nerve! Oh, the nerve.

DON’T WORRY THOUGH I’M HERE TO SAVE YOUR iTUNES LIBRARY FROM THIS VICIOUS, VILE ACT OF TERRORISM: I will walk you through a twelve-step guide to erasing that music, so that you can buy it instead (personally, I really feel like U2 fell off after How To Dismantle An Atomic Bomb, but to each their own.)

Without further ado — and we are going to have to get started if you are going to rid yourself of the U2 plague in the next four hours — here is your twelve step guide to restoring the universe to its Bono-free state:

1. Turn on your Apple computer if it is not already on. It’s probably on if you are reading this, unless you are reading this on your phone and attempting to erase the music from your computer. I want us all to be on the same page though, so maybe you should restart your computer?

2. Take a deep breath. I know you are frustrated. The very idea of getting a brand new, free album from one of the world’s most successful bands is undoubtedly compromising your hip image. WHAT IF SOMEBODY ACTUALLY SAW IT ON YOUR iTUNES?!?! They would be all, “why in the world do you have that U2 album in your iTunes library bro? I live under a goddamned rock and can’t imagine why it’s just sitting here, with zero plays.” And you would have to be all, “But really, it’s not mine! Tim Cook made me do it! I don’t even know what country U2 is from!” It makes my physically sick thinking about this.

3. Locate your iTunes application. You should be able to find this — typically it is a blue, circular icon with a silver musical note in the center — on your dock, which is typically located at the bottom of your computer screen. Of course, perhaps you are a progressive, super-duper awesome music fan and you want nothing to do with iTunes because you prefer to use Spotify, or some other App I have never heard of, even though we agreed we love paying artists what they deserve for the music they record, in which case iTunes might be somewhere in your Applications folder. I am not going to help you find it, because if you are savvy enough to take it out of your dock, you better be able to dig it back up. Also, if you never, ever use iTunes, this whole erasing music thing probably should not be an issue for you. But I digress.

Here, put your cursor on the iTunes icon:

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4. Click on the iTunes icon. If it happens to be on your dock, a single click will do. In your applications folder? Double click it. Your iTunes Library should then pop up.

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6. Try really hard to act like Alan Jackson isn’t in your library. But it is. Shit.

7. Locate that damn U2 album, lurking somewhere in the depths of your library. Most iTunes libraries are in alphabetical order, listed by artist. If yours is not, there is a very complex way to change how your songs are listed, but I will let you Google how to do that because I don’t want to waste other people’s time (also, I hate to say this, but there is no longer a good chance you will not get this done in just four hours). So scroll down, and locate the “U” section of your library.


8. Get Angry. This would be a good time to become irrationally indignant and infuriated at the clowns that are behind this perfectly unreasonable PR stunt. Scream, cry: get it all out. Oh, and don’t forget to post on Facebook about this. People will hit the “like” button like moths to a flame, trust me.

9. Click on the top song (the bottom song would work too). Steps nine and ten could have been one step, but I need to fulfill my previously promised quota of twelve steps,  so I am making it two steps. Click on the first or last song. In this case, it appears you should click on either “The Troubles,” or “Digital Booklet — Songs Of Innocence.” (The nerve and deep irony of this album being called “Songs of Innocence” btw?! My god, it’s like a Trojan Fucking Horse in your library.) This you are doing in order to highlight all of the songs at once. BE VERY CAREFUL — if you click the wrong spot, A U2 SONG WILL PLAY FROM YOUR COMPUTER. In fact, your computer should be on mute. I should have said that earlier, my apologies. If somebody hears you playing the new U2 song… oh man, I don’t even want to think about it (even though if they recognize it, they totally kind of like U2 as well).

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10. Hold Shift key, select bottom song (or top if you had previously selected bottom). This will highlight all of the songs, like so:

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11. Put that shit in the trash, where it belongs. So you can either: press command + delete, or drag the selected songs into the trash, which is located on the far right of your dock. This is the most beautiful part of the experience: it feels a lot like physically throwing something you hate into the trash.

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12. Hide items in iCloud, because they are super secure there. I honestly did not see this coming when I was walking through this process for you and taking screenshots: your computer kindly offers to back up the music on your iCloud. I don’t know what that is, but I hear iCloud is never, ever hacked and you should feel comfortable putting whatever on there, including songs you would be embarrassed having your friends find out are on your iTunes.

Take another deep breath. Wash your hands. Feel the tension in your neck begin to subside.

Today will be a better day.


PS: As I was writing this, it came to my attention that Apple has made it possible to get rid of this album in one-click (which is actually false-advertising because you have to click that link first). I am encouraged to discover that Apple is finally tackling the big problems us upper and middle class Americans face on a day-to-day basis.