How to restore the sidebar and column view in iTunes 12

iTunes 12 default viewiTunes has had a bit of a makeover for version 12, as included in OS X 10.10 Yosemite. Unfortunately, it’s still a jack-of-all-trades beachball-fest on my Mac. Worse, however, is that Apple has added to the woe by dumbing down the interface still further.

The default My Music view just shows album cover art and album tracks only appear when you select an album, which is a terrible way to navigate a large music collection. The old — and much more useful — column view of artists and albums is nowhere to be seen. The useful sidebar list of playlists is also appears to be absent, but a much more familiar layout can be restored with a few clicks.

iTunes 12 Playlists view

Start by clicking Playlists at the top of the items window to restore the sidebar, then select Songs from the drop-down menu at the top-right of the iTunes window — this takes you back to the old column view.

Screenshot 2014-10-17 at 08.33.24

Then go to View > Column Browser > Show Column Browser and everything is back to normal — though you may want to disable the Genre column via View > Column Browser and unticking Genres.

iTunes 12 Column browser

Annoyingly, this all has a habit of undoing itself each time you start iTunes, but it’s easy enough to restore.

iTunes 12 sidebar and column view

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