Re-enabling the Sidebar in iTunes 11 | iLounge Tips

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Re-enabling the Sidebar in iTunes 11


iTunes 11 introduces a significantly new user interface design, with the long-standing left sidebar essentially replaced by a set of drop-down menus.  If you’re more comfortable with the classic sidebar, however, the good news is that you can very easily turn it back on simply by going to the View menu and choosing the Show Sidebar option. This returns you to a somewhat more traditional iTunes interface, along with the added bonus that the colourful pre-iTunes 10 icons have returned. Note that the UI in this mode is actually a hybrid of the standard iTunes sidebar with the newer iTunes 11 layouts in the main panel, so you won’t get everything back from the classic interface, but it should definitely be a big help for experienced users having difficulty finding their way around the new version.  Note that the status bar can also be toggled back on from the View menu if you’re wondering what’s happened to the totals previously found at the bottom of each screen.

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I gave it four days. I had a bunch of movies and songs to import so it gave me a lot of time to get to know the new layout.

Hate it. Turned on the side bar again and it feels slightly better. I’m definitely an Apple fan girl but I loathe iTunes.

Posted by Kristin in Toronto on December 6, 2012 at 5:49 PM (CST)


The biggest flop part of them removing the side bar is not so much that sidebar itself is gone, it’s that they wound up going with a “un-Apple” UI that is no longer nearly as efficient.

Want to initiate a sync with your device? Well, there’s a button near the top right that will open up a tab with a button on the bottom right to do it, then you can un-intuitively click “done” to return to your library. So much for just right-clicking the device to sync.

Want to see how many new podcasts you have? Well, first select the Podcast category from the drop down menu near the top left, now select the “unplayed” tab near the middle.

Want to see what is downloading? Click another button at the very top right.

Want to go the store? Click a button not quite at the top right.

Everything used to be right there in the same place, and everything not there was in one of the file menu options right above the sidebar. Now things are all over the place, take more actions on your part to navigate to, and the file menu is hidden by default…

They could have easily used the top bar to replace the side bar but, for some reason, chose to do this instead.

Posted by Code Monkey in Toronto on December 10, 2012 at 4:42 PM (CST)


the new interface is totally unusable for me: i am unable to download songs to my ipod, which is the whole reason for itunes imho.  Jobs died and so did apple.  All good things must come to an end. :(

Posted by dj33 in Toronto on December 23, 2012 at 8:39 PM (CST)


I can’t find the traditional sidebar to drag purchased or cd music tomy iPod.

Posted by Doug in Toronto on March 6, 2013 at 8:18 AM (CST)


iTunes is a piece of software that was sent up to us straiught from Hell. I hate this thing.

Posted by Edilson in Toronto on April 20, 2013 at 11:38 AM (CDT)


Author missed to mention the first step, which is applicable to the iTunes I just downloaded:

Top/left click on the icon/drop down menu:

Show Menu Bar (ctrl+b)-> when menu bar appears click View -> Show Sidebar (ctrl+s)


Posted by Likkojisedi in Toronto on April 20, 2013 at 5:53 PM (CDT)


Thank You!!!!! You are AWESOME!!!! I did it, me! Wow! It works finally after staying up all night hitting every site out there I think. Anywho thanks bunches!!!

Posted by Tammy French in Toronto on August 10, 2013 at 12:06 PM (CDT)


oh thank goodness, it ruined my day!

Posted by Donne in Toronto on October 11, 2013 at 5:07 AM (CDT)


THANK YOU!  11 has been driving me mad.  User unfriendly app of the year.  Any year.  Whoever wrote this program should be fired.

Posted by Jack Purvis in Toronto on December 26, 2013 at 10:49 PM (CST)


thanks man.

Posted by wayne sanford in Toronto on February 21, 2014 at 1:47 PM (CST)

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