iTunes 12.4: Editing the Sidebar

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Hey, remember how iTunes used to have a sidebar? And remember how we all liked it so much better than recent versions? Yes, we did. Dissenting opinions aren’t allowed here.

Well, it seems that Apple’s been listening, as they just released iTunes 12.4, which adds the sidebar back and lets you edit it to your liking. Heck, I’m inclined to believe most anything is better than those icons we had before.

Sorry, Apple. I don’t mean to insult your interface decisions.

Anyway, first of all, if you don’t see anything I’m talking about in the screenshots below after you’ve updated iTunes to the latest version, you can click on the “View” menu at the top of your screen and choose “Show Sidebar.”

Afterward, check out the new look! Pretty, huh?

Instead of the icons, you’ll get a drop-down near the top-left of iTunes’ window, from which you’ll select the type of media you want to view.

To change the stuff you’re looking at, you can pick a different option from there. 

If you only need a few of those media types to show up, pick “Edit Menu” from that list as I’ve done above, and then turn off the media you don’t ever use. For example, I don’t have anything in this library that’s not music, a movie, or a TV show, so I’m toggling everything else off.

Now the source menu will be much cleaner! 

This is something we could do with previous versions of iTunes, but hey, it’s cool, so I thought I’d mention it. With iTunes 12.4, though, you can also switch up what’s showing on the new sidebar. To do that, hover over where it says “Library” and click the “Edit” button that’ll appear.

Then select or deselect as your heart desires. Of course, these options will change depending on what media type you’re configuring. 

When you’re finished, click “Done” in the upper-right corner, and things’ll be all cleaned up and ready to go! And maybe you’ll find iTunes a bit more user-friendly after this update.


No promises, though.

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Lee Dronick

I recently got used to those icons, and can see their usefullness, but i did miss the sidebar. Anyway, thanks for tip.


Melissa, thanks for the tips. I generally wait a few weeks for the dust to clear and any problems to be ironed out before updating, but I’m saving a copy of your column till then.

Melissa Holt

Thanks for the comments, you guys! And for reading my stuff—that’s always much appreciated. grin


Eolake Stobblehouse 1

It’s funny how it takes Apple a few years to notice widespread dissatisfaction. The last couple of versions of iTunes have made me almost beat my head against the wall whenever I tried to do anything in it.

In software I think Apple has failed too much in recent years (Podcast and Music on iPad are two more example of terrible interfaces), and I really hope this trend turns.


Sound nice and it would have been even nicer if that option had been active but it is not. Perhaps it isn’t so in the Norwegian version? Or is it anything else I need to know?


Now if we could get rid of the “x” in the top left of the miniplayer!  It looks so Microsoft.


I am upset they brought the sidebar back, it feels so “in the way” now!
First thing I did was hide it again, but then I found I couldn’t get to my Home Videos without it! That’s where all my “Movies” are.
Everything is now TWO clicks away instead of just one. It’s THIS redesign that I feel was wrong-headed.

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