iTunes 11: Viewing (and Clearing!) Your History

| TMO Quick Tip

In the new version of iTunes, we now can view a history of the media we've clicked to preview. This could be handy if you find something you like but don't buy it at the time, especially if your memory is as poor as mine is. I don't remember what I had for breakfast, much less what the name was of a song I listened to three days ago.

Anyhow, if you haven't downloaded iTunes 11 yet, you can do so by going to the Apple Menu on your Mac and choosing Software Update or by visiting Apple's download page. After the program is installed and running, get started with this tip by clicking on the Store icon in the upper-right corner of the iTunes window.

Then you'll see a small three-lined Preview History button in the same location, and you can select that to view your iTunes Store history.

This (potentially incredibly embarrassing) list includes everything you actually click to preview, whether it's a song, a television episode, or a movie. Just searching for something without previewing it won't add it to the list. (Whew.)

You can, of course, remove your history by clicking on the Clear button in the upper-right corner of that drop-down. You can also click the album cover of any song to play its preview again…

…hover over an item and click its price to buy it…

…or click its title to jump to that Store page.

One other thing—if you're using another device that you're signed into with your iCloud account, your history will sync. So you can preview something on your iPhone and then buy it later on your Mac if you want to.

Pretty nifty, huh? And not humiliating at all. Why, I want other people to look at my history and know what crappy music I search for!

(Actual crappy music not pictured.)

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Can this preview feature be turned completely off? I don’t like being logged like this… another good reason for me to keep on buying from (no sales tax).

Melissa Holt

Hi mel!

I note that if you sign out of the iTunes Store (on either an iOS device or on your Mac), it’ll ask you to sign back in before it’ll allow you to view your history. So that’s one way to do it, but I haven’t found a way to turn it off while you’re signed in.


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