Revert iTunes 10 Windows Controls, Remove Ping Pop-up

| How-To

iTunes 10.0 introduces a new orientation of the window control buttons and 10.0.1 introduces a Ping pop-up. If you want to restore iTunes 10 to the previous way of doing things, here’s how to fix it.

First, if you don’t like how iTunes 10 moves the control buttons on the upper left to a vertical position, you can change it with a fix to the iTunes preference file found in /Users/YourAcctName/Library/Preferences. Here’s the new, default orientation in iTunes 10 that annoys some users:

iTunes Control Buttons

iTunes 10 Red, Yellow, Green Control buttons are reoriented

Here’s the procedure:

  1. You don’t need to be an administrator.
  2. Quit iTunes.
  3. Launch the Terminal app in /Applications/Utilities
  4. Enter this command, then press return
  5. defaults write full-window -bool TRUE
  6. Quit the Terminal app.
  7. Relaunch iTunes.

To restore the default orientation, repeat steps 2 to 6 with this command:

defaults write full-window -bool FALSE

Second, if you’re not ready to engage in Apple’s Ping social network and you’d like to suppress the Ping pop-ups (or rather, a drop down) in iTunes 10.0.1, you can do that too. Here’s how the drop down looks, inside the red rectangle.

iTunes Ping pop-up

Ping pop-up

Once again, you’ll follow a similar procedure:

  1. You don’t need to be an administrator.
  2. Quit iTunes.
  3. Launch the Terminal app in /Applications/Utilities
  4. Enter this command, then press return
  5. defaults write hide-ping-dropdown -bool TRUE
  6. Quit the Terminal app.
  7. Relaunch iTunes.

To retore the Ping drop down, repeat the steps above with:

defaults write hide-ping-dropdown -bool FALSE

Note that the command above can be executed from any directory location. The default, when you launch the Terminal app is fine.  The command knows where to find the Preference directory that has the iTunes settings.

If you really want to see how this change takes effect in more detail in the plist file, navigate manually to:


and double-click the file: That will launch a Property List Editor and you can see some of the other settings as well. However, don’t make any changes here unless you’re an expert or you could damage iTunes for good. The idea for beginners is always just to look and learn first.

iTunes preferences in Property List

iTunes Property List (partial)

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Note: Property List Editor is part of the Xcode Developer Tools. It is not installed by default.

John Martellaro

Reader iphonzie is correct. I forgot about that.  And since the file is rather obfuscated in its text version, it doesn’t make any sense to look at it with a text editor. ( I believe a binary version is also maintained.) Anyway, if you don’t have the Property List Editor installed, just skip that final diversion.


To be slightly contrarian here,
I like the new orientation of the control buttons. It’s one of those clever Apple ideas that I’d never thought of before but after using it for 10 minutes I wondered why it was ever the other way. It means less wasted space at the top of the window and you can still click anywhere in the header to drag the window around.


Agree with geoduck. Seems a more practical use of landscape. And I thank you for the terminal fix for Ping which I can’t see using anytime too soon. On second look, has this fix rid me of that pesky iTunes store button? Herculean, if true.


Did anyone notice that the resizing of the new iTunes window is lost when the APP is quit?

How to fix this?


I’m going to agree with geoduck here too.  I still hate the traffic light paradigm of having the close and minimize/maximize buttons so close together, but the vertical orientation sells the metaphor a lot better than the customary horizontal orientation. 

Also I’ve never seen a usability study that concludes this but from my experience a user tends to have better targetability when it comes to choosing from items in a vertical orientation than a horizontal.  If you buy into that, then that means with the iTunes 10 paradigm I have less of a chance to accidentaly click on the red close button when I meant to click on the green or yellow.  Which is the crux of why so many people like myself hated the original traffic light metaphor in the first place. 

So I guess score one for Apple here.  Now if only they would get around to tidying up the rest of the UI that users have been complaining about for years…


The instructions to remove the ping thingie seems to have worked. When I open iTunes no ping next to each track. That was my biggest, so far, problem. Knock on wood.


You might want to note that the Ping drop-down menu isn’t just for Ping—it also contains the “Show in iTunes Store” functions that used to be invoked by clicking little arrows that would appear next to tracks, artists, and albums. I think spelling them out in a menu is much better UI, and more discoverable, than the little arrows were. What’s ironic is that the “Ping” items also appear in the regular contextual menu, when you right-click on a track, but the “Show in iTunes Store” items do not.


How do you get the little arrow (where ping is now) back?  It would usually take you to Itunes when clicked but I have it mapped to search the library by that field.


How do you get the little arrow (where ping is now) back?

Open Terminal and type this in (or copy/paste it) so that it appears on one line.

defaults write show-store-link-arrows 1

Now hit the Return key.

If you later want to remove them (though I don’t see why anyone would) simply type the following in Terminal (again all on one line) and then hit the Return key.

defaults write show-store-link-arrows 0


anybody know how to get the genius sidebar back instead of the Ping sidebar?


John & Ron -

Thx. Worked perfectly.

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