Bring Back Older “Filter-Style” Search in iTunes 11

| TMO Quick Tip

iTunes 11 brought with it a pretty hefty overhaul of the interface many of us have grown accustomed to. One of the more significant changes is how one searches an iTunes library. In the latest version, typing a search query reveals a truncated list of results below the search field from which to choose. However, many preferred the way it worked previously, filtering all items in the selected media category (e.g. music, movies, etc). Thankfully there's still a way to do this, and you can even retain the old way of doing it if you want.

iTunes' Current Search Interface

To temporarily search the old way, being by selecting the media category from which you'd like to search (such as Music). Then start typing your search query. To actually filter within the main window, press the return key (or enter on Windows). The search popover will disappear and the list of items in the main window will be filtered by your query. You can continue typing your query to further filter the results until you've found exactly what you're looking for.

"Search Entire Library" Unchecked

If you'd rather "permanently" switch back to the old way of doing searches, there's a way to do that as well. Click the magnifying glass in the search field and uncheck "Search Entire Library." Now whichever media section you're viewing will be filtered upon just as it was in previous versions. Enjoy!

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This tip was massively useful! Thanks very much!

John Dingler, artist

Thanks for the tip.

But a bit of snark here,...why is Apple wanting me to update my current iTunes 11.1.3 with the same iTunes 11.1.3 even after I already fell for the unneeded update once before? Could it be that my falling for repeating an identical update once already erroneously told its obsessive, Tourettes Syndrome-like reminder algorithms that I want to update it again and again so its wanting to please me?


Thanks. This was actually a total deal-breaker for me, and one of the things that was keeping me from upgrading to Mavericks.

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