Change The iTunes 11 Search Feature Back To The Older Functionality [OS X Tips]


iTunes 11 Search

iTunes 11 has undergone many different visual tweaks and changes, not all of which may be welcome. One of the big ones is how the Search field works. By default, when you type in your search term, a drop down menu appears under the Search field, listing the songs, albums, or apps that include those search terms. This can be handy for searching the whole of iTunes at once, but you might want to use the older style of search, using the sidebar to filter the search results within the different media types.

Here’s how to revert iTunes 11 to the older style.

First up, be sure to enable the search bar by going to the View menu selecting Show Sidebar. Alternatively, you can hit Option-Command-S on your keyboard to toggle the Sidebar off and on.

Now, type in a search term. Notice how iTunes 11 puts a list of all different media in a drop down menu? Click on the magnifying glass to the left of the Search field, and then click to deselect the Search Entire Library option. This will limit the search to whatever media type is selected in the Sidebar on the left.

Now you will get to decide how to search for things in your iTunes library, depending on how you’ve set up the Search function.


  • jarrodbcecil

    I was trying to figure this out yesterday while making a Christmas playlist. Thanks Rob!

  • John McLachlan

    Excellent tip. What I had missed was the results showing up as I type. And you can turn this back on when needed. Thanks!

  • jimmykup

    Thank you!!! Although it seems that even with the new search feature disabled, iTunes 11 still gives me my results wayyyyy slower than iTunes 10.7. Looks like I’m still uninstalling this thing.

  • Andrew

    FFS, yes that’s awesome but all this does is show Apple that they don’t need to fix their ignorance. I love the community but please show apple that they have to fix stuff fast because it’s repetitively annoying, not because they can rely on the community to do the work for them. Apple Please fix this because it’s needed over necessity and more than annoying.

    We want to love you, but things like this are what’s hurting you.