How to Restore the Sidebar in iTunes 11

| How-To

Change sucks! Right? We know that's going through the heads of many people who just downloaded iTunes 11. The reality is that change is often great, but there is one thing we immediately missed in the new version of iTunes, and that's the sidebar. Fortunately, turning it back on is easy peasy.

First, let's look at iTunes 11 without the sidebar:

Songs View in iTunes 11

iTunes 11 in "Songs" View, Sorted by Artist
(Click the image for a larger version)

Note that our test system may show more or different columns than yours, but what you see in this screenshot is our iTunes 11 music library in "Songs" view, sorted by artist. The major difference from prior versions of iTunes is the lack of the sidebar that gave you quick access to all of your content.

Don't worry, it's still available! We just have to turn it on. To do so, go to the View menu and choose "Show Sidebar," as shown in the image below:

Show Sidebar

View -> Show Sidebar

When you do so, you'll get this:

iTunes 11 in "Songs" View, Sorted by Artist with the Sidebar On
(Click the image for a larger view)

Here's what it looks like in "Artists" view:

iTunes 11 in "Artists" View with the Sidebar On
(Click the image for a larger version)

Wait, what's that at the bottom, you ask? That's the status bar. It turns out that's still available, too, and it's just as easy to turn back on. Just go to the View menu again, and choose "Show Status Bar."

Show Status Bar

View -> Show Status Bar

And there you go! Restoring some handy-dandy usability in iTunes 11 with a couple of clicks makes for a good day.

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Thanks!  “Where’s the sidebar?” was my first reaction as well.  Can you do an in-depth article on the new Genius stuff?

Bryan Chaffin

Thanks, palenoue. John Martellaro is working on an in-depth review of iTunes 11 even now.

BTW, do you have a problem with your TMO login? You’re showing up as a Guest. Let me know if I can help via my TMO contact.


Thanks, now I’ll think about upgrade in a few days. I’ll wait to see what else you and others have to say about iTunes 11

Thanks again, Gary


There are other flaws to me that I already hope to see back in upcoming updates;
- bringing back the artwork display in list view!  without tap I feel the list less than usefull for long list.
- its impossible to locate the song currently playing on any view.  previously, a small flipping arrow in the top middle display was allowing you to display the song.


Hey, just got this one, to locate a song, you now have to click on the arrow next to the song name of the top middle iTunes viewer.  You can then select “Go To” Options…

It will take time to addapt.  Like on this tip, display the sidebar change the way to add song to a playlist.  without showing the sidebar, you have to use the top right + button which is no longer displayed if you do have the sidebar.  quite confusing.


Love the new MiniPlayer.

Not sure I like the typeface selected, but it will grow on us I’m sure.


Geez…  I also said to myself, ‘where’s the sidebar,’ then went immediately to the View menu, since that’s the first place to look for missing stuff in most any app (app preferences being the second).


The icons are back in color, Yay!


Over the last few months iTunes Match has changed some of my album artwork.  I’ve been going thru my library updating artwork mostly by using copy/paste in the “Now Playing” window.  The ability to paste artwork has gone (or is very well hidden) in iTunes 11. So if you are a fan of managing your own album artwork beware.


Coverflow replaced by a sloppy magazine rack look. Music titles on radio no longer show in mini player. Mini to full size buttons are onn opposite sides of the screen. That is just plain moronic.
Sorry, am deleting and replacing with version 10 which was not great but a lot better than this travesty. This designer could have worked on Apple maps.


Completely agree with SeaBeast re: the artwork preview pane in the sidebar in list view and that little arrow after changing the sort column. Both features I used constantly and can’t fathom why they were removed.


Thanks for the tutorial, but what I really want to know is how do you get rid of the EXTRA sidebar they’ve added in Artist view—the one to the right of the traditional sidebar.  The new artist bar is completely unnecessary.  I can see the artist’s name on the right in the main screen, so why do I need another sidebar?  I’m going back to iTunes 10.7 if there’s no way to remove it.  It’s annoying, frustrating garbage.  (And this is coming from someone who loves when apps are updated and improved/changed, etc).

Bryan Chaffin

ds, my take on the Artists sidebar is to offer faster navigation/scrolling. The Artist name in the main list includes each song/album making getting to a new artist a scroll-intensive task.

If you use the “Songs” view and sort by Artist, that my be more of what you want.

San Albers

But how do you get the status bar to show up at all? It’s gone.
And when I try to delete a song, it ignores me.


Thank you for saving me from having to find a bridge to jump from…if it weren’t complicated and completely frustrating, it wouldn’t be itunes….

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