Plex DVR keeps recording episodes I already have



Hello all,

I’m trying to finally figure out a DVR issue I’ve been experiencing a while now, both on PMS for Windows and PMS for Synology NASes. Basically, Plex DVR ofen (maybe always, I’m not sure) records episodes that I already have in my Library. I have 8 shows scheduled to be recorded, but the show this seems to happen the most frequently on is Bizarre Foods with Andrew Zimmern. Maybe it’s because it just happens to be the show that airs the most frequently.

Anyway, take today for example. s03e02 was just recording, but I already have it in my library:

This causes a few issuus:

  1. afterward the processor is pegged from comskip and transcoding.

  2. Sometimes/often (not sure of the percentage) the old version of the episode isn’t deleted, leading to many duplicates which I have to manually clean up.

  3. could potentially lead to unnecessary recording conflicts. I don’t think it has been a problem so far though.

I’ve gone through my DVR settings and tried to restrict recordings as much as possible.

  • record: all episodes (unable to change)
  • airings: new and repeat airings (I want to record re-runs, just not if I already have them recorded)
  • Resolution: HD only
  • Replace lower resolution items: off
  • Allow partial airings: off
  • Limit to channel: any
  • Limit to airing time: any
  • remove commercials: on
  • Keep: all episodes
  • delete episodes after watching: never

Is one of these settings causing this to happen? As far as I can tell they shouldn’t, but maybe I’m misunderstanding what they do.

Thanks for any help!


I’m having a similar issue with That 70’s Show. All the episodes in my library have come exclusively from Plex DVR. Recently I noticed that most of the series has been recorded, but it’s still recording episodes that are already in my library.
This is rather annoying as it now causes conflicts with other shows that I want to record, but I don’t want to remove the schedule as there are still some episodes I don’t have yet.
This seems more like a missing setting. ie there should be a check somewhere to tell it to not record an episode if it already exists.


I am seeing something similar where I setup recordings of TV shows that are reruns but I only want 3 of and to no longer record any more until i’ve watched some of the 3. What it does instead is just continue to record upcoming episodes so you have the latest 3.

I would love to see the options where I could

-Set a max number of episodes to record then stop.
-Know that if I already have it don’t record it. (and note it’s already present in library)


I am having the same issue where repeat episodes record even though I already have them recorded. It will put the word “copy” in the episode name. I am using Ubuntu Linux for my Plex server.


yep, exactly. I keep having to manually delete the duplicates.


I have the same issue. I use to log to my server every few weeks to run a shell command to delete any files that have (copy in the name. It is not complicated to do but it is annoying and these duplicated episodes schedule to be recorded create potential conflict with other recordings. And there is no way to forcing recording priority to the lowest.

Plex needs to address this or to add an option to skip episodes the are already in the library.


And there is no way to forcing recording priority to the lowest.

Actually you can do that by dragging the recordings in order of priority on the Recording Schedule page. It’s the column on the right.


I know but new recording goes at the bottom of the list. So, every time I add a new recording, I would have to go on the list to move it above series that could potentially record duplicate episode at the same time of that new recording.


Anybody from plex can comment on this?


I’m having the same issues. (Running Plex on unraid) I have to go in every couple of days and delete 5+ duplicate episodes. Lot of wasted resources just to delete the files.
I wonder if it has something to do with the way the show is listed in the guide?


same issue here … please add the options like the following:

  • Record All (record all no matter what)
  • Record New and Missing (record all new episodes and missing ones from repeats)
  • Record New (only record episodes that have never aired before)


It sounds like Plex is not seeing your already recorded episodes. The Record option for New Airings Only does just that, any airing flagged as New in the EPG is recorded, the Record New and Repeat records both Airings marked as new in the EPG as well as other Airings that do not exist in the recording library already. I use the second option on all recordings and never see duplicate shows being recorded. Perhaps look at your setup mainly what is done to recordings after they complete. Are you moving the recording from one library where it was recorded to a different library. When I first started with DVR I setup a DVR library that all recordings were recorded to, during post processing I moved the recordings out of a folder in the DVR library to a location in my TV Shows library. Using that comfiguration every episode of every show irregardless of whether I already had it in my TV Shows library was recorded again because it did not exist in my DVR library. Outside of issues such as above does Plex have full control over the storage location for recordings. The only times I have seen issues like this were on NAS or Linux boxes and I was never able to pin down exactly why the duplicate recordings were occurring.


it isn’t my setup since most shows work fine, just as you describe your shows. the one anomaly i’ve noticed is that on a couple of the problematic shows, the year keeps getting switched (i guess because the metadata from TVDB gets switched?), which means plex creates an entirely separate show directory. At the very least I’ve seen this happen for No Reservations, Bizarre Foods, and Chopped. For example:

i’ve tried consolidating them from one to the other a few times, but no matter which one i pick, both years get recreated eventually. for now i’ve just stopped recording these problem shows as i have enough of a backlog.


I am having this same issue and wish that Plex would offer some kind of functionality like @yogo suggests (record all, which is what it seems to do now when you select “New and Repeats”, Record New and Missing, which is what I want it to do, skipping stuff it’s already recorded, and Record New, which seems to work fine).

I am recording Law and Order Special Victims Unit for my wife in the aim to have the complete series. Well, it’s on multiple channels in my lineup so we got close to the whole series very quickly…but this show is being broadcast practically 24/7 on one channel or another so Plex is recording L&O SVU constantly, even episodes which have already been successfully recorded and cataloged. It’s really bogging down our system :frowning:


So what does Plex show in your log file? I use New and Repeat for every show I record. Plex never records an episode I already have in my Library. Are you moving files from a recording library to some other library in your system? If so, you will always have the same episodes recorded again because Plex only looks in the recording Library to see if the episode exists.


Running Plex server on linux, and I’ve just resorted to removing the copies via cron. It is VERY annoying that a lot of times its blocking other shows from recording. I’ve also noticed that if a show is on 2 channels (Standard and HD) that it records both, with 1 getting (copy 1) in the episode name, also VERY annoying.

My cron looks like this: /etc/cron.d/clean-plex-dupes

# Remove Plex duplicate episodes
0 1 * * * root find /path/to/plex/recordings -type f -name *\(copy* -delete

This will run @ 1am everyday and remove duplicate episode recordings.


I am having this problem all the time. The thing is that I get episodes from various sources, vet dvr recordings to make sure they aren’t too messed up, converted to my favored format, etc. If I already have the episode it means I want to keep it and don’t want it replaced.

In short it’s deleting files that I want to keep and replacing them with recordings that may have interference or comskip left in a bunch of ads or cut out segments of the show.

I’m thinking I’m going to have to lock all the vids I’ve vetted so Plex can’t delete them until this is resolved, if it is resolved in my lifetime, and hope Plex doesn’t respond horribly to doing that.