What to do if Plex can’t match your film or TV show

This guide will show you how to match a film or TV show using the IMDb or TheTVDB, when Plex Media Server refuses to recognize the file.

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Plex Media Server (henceforth Plex) is one of my most frequently used applications. I can’t claim to have seen any application-breaking bugs but now and again there are situations where Plex doesn’t behave like I want to. Such an issue came up when I moved my Plex Media Server (I promise, this is the last time I will use the full name) from my old Proxmox host to Unraid.

Because I wasn’t able to copy any files on to the new system, I had to start from scratch and Plex had to re-scrape all of my films and television shows. While there weren’t all too many, Plex occasionally refused to match a file despite all the necessary information being present. Instead of repeatedly searching for the film without any hits, you might want to use the workaround detailed in this guide.

Match a film using the IMDb ID in Plex

If Plex absolutely refuses to recognize a film, there is a simple solution: Search for the film on IMDb, where you will find just about every single one in existence. From there, copy the IMDB ID, which is part of the URL (in this case it is tt1217209).

Then head back into Plex and fix the match of a film you’ve been having trouble finding. Next, enter the IMDb ID instead of the title in the Plex search field. If you now click on search, only one suggestion will appear, and it will be the one corresponding to the IMDb ID.

Search for the Movie ID on TheTVDB.com
Click on ‘Search Options’ in Plex
Enter the Movie ID instead of the title

Using Radarr to find the IMDb ID

If you use Radarr you can head directly to the correct IMDb page by opening one of your films selecting the option from the external links. Simply right-click on the IMDb option and copy the URL, which will contain the correct ID.

Match a TV show using the TheTVDB.com ID in Plex

For TV shows you can use TheTVDB.com in the same way you can use IMDb for films. On TheTVDB the TV show ID is listed in the info box and isn’t part of the URL. You can once again replace the TV show’s title with this number in Plex and the search result will display what you wanted in the firs place.

Using Sonarr to find the TV show ID

Just as with films in Radarr, you will find a link that will take you straight to the TV show’s entry on TheTVDB.com in Sonarr. Simply click on the link and copy the ID.

About Liam Alexander Colman

I first heard of Unraid through the same medium as many of us did: The Linus Tech Tips channel on YouTube. At the time, I was running TrueNAS (or FreeNAS as it was called back then) on my DIY NAS built using a dual-core Intel Pentium G4400 at its heart. I was convinced, I had chosen the better operating system. After all, it was free and open-source and had a large community behind it. One day, after once again facing the need to buy another three hard drives, I seriously started researching Unraid and its features. I bit the bullet and gave it a go, transferring my data on to external hard drives that I later shucked and added to the Unraid array. Since that day, I have not looked back once, and I am now an enthusiastic and experienced user of Unraid. You can find out more about Unraid Guides right here.

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