Blog Post

Quick Tip: Make iTunes 10 Window Controls Horizontal

iTunes 10 was released yesterday and brought with it a few UI overhauls. The loss of color in the sidebar for one, along with the change of orientation of the window controls at the top of the window. There currently isn’t a way to bring back the colored icons in the sidebar, but there sure is a way to get the window controls back to their former positions.

It’s simple enough, and requires just one line to be entered into Terminal. Quit iTunes, wait for it to close completely, then fire up Terminal, which can be found under Applications ? Utilities. Either type or paste the following code into the Terminal window and hit Return:

defaults write full-window -1

Now when you reopen iTunes, the ‘traffic light’ controls should be back along the top of the window, side-by-side. It does a lot for keeping the look of OS X consistent across applications. Of course, perhaps this is Apple’s way of telling us that in the next version of the Mac operating system, all the windows are going to be laid out like this.

Should you ever want to restore iTunes 10’s default setting, and put the controls back down the side, enter this code into Terminal (again with iTunes closed):

defaults write full-window -0

Now we have a fix for the window controls, all we need is a setting to bring back the color in the sidebar. If you know a way, shout out in the comments!

14 Responses to “Quick Tip: Make iTunes 10 Window Controls Horizontal”

  1. estephan500

    huh… I like helpful tips on fixing things… but is your first instinct, on seeing the new design for itunes, really to hack into the system to undo the changes to the UI? is it really that detestable that you want to stick a bunch of nonstandard settings into your OS just for that?

    • I don’t actually mind the new design. I just posted this in case anyone else wanted to change it back.

      It’s also not a non-standard setting; it’s one of iTunes’ hidden settings, which Apple include but just don’t put into the Preferences window.

  2. FYI… Apple didn’t introduce that UI change for fun. There’s a reason for it. If you have lots of windows open, it’s easier to control the stoplight behind another window without having to vertically stagger the covering windows. With the vertical stoplight, all you need to do is have the covering window a few pixels over to the right — instead of a few pixels down.