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How to Turn Off iTunes Genius and Genius Sidebar

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Turn off iTunes Genius Sidebar
Turn off iTunes Genius

Last Updated: Jan. 7, 2013

ITunes Genius is a pretty neat addition to iTunes – not only does it create great-sounding playlists for you automatically, but it also helps you discover and buy (from the iTunes Store, of course. Apple didn't create it out of the goodness of their hearts!) new music you'll like based on the music you already own.

Sure, that's great, but the iTunes Genius interface also takes up valuable real estate in your iTunes library, so sometimes you may want to turn off the Genius sidebar. Luckily, it's as easy as a single click. Here's how.

NOTE: If you're using iTunes 11 or higher, you don't have to worry about this: the Genius Sidebar no longer exists in these versions of iTunes.

Hide the iTunes Genius Sidebar

Once you've got iTunes Genius enabled, you'll noticed two small buttons at the bottom right-hand corner of your iTunes window. One, the Genius button, is used to make genius create playlists or suggest music.

The other, which looks like an arrow pointing right, is the one we care about it. If the Genius sidebar is visible, click that button to hide it. When you want the sidebar back, click it and Genius will re-appear.

Turn off iTunes Genius

Newer iTunes Versions
If you've subscribed to iTunes Match, in newer iTunes versions, iTunes Genius and iTunes Match are connected to each other. As a result, you sometimes won't see an option to turn iTunes Genius off. In those cases, you first have to turn iTunes Match off by going to Store -> Turn Off iTunes Match. When you do this, the Turn Off Genius menu will appear. Select that to disable Genius.

Some readers report that when they turn iTunes Match back on they're forced to entirely re-match their iTunes libraries, which is taking hours or days for some people. This hasn't been my experience--in turning iTunes Match and iTunes Genius on and off, re-connecting to iTunes Match takes my 10,000+ song library less than 5 minutes. That said, I'm not aware of a way to turn off Genius without turning Match off, so if you want to do that, be prepared that iTunes Match may take a while.

Older iTunes Versions
If you have an older version of iTunes and haven't subscribed to iTunes Match, you can completely turn off the Genius features, not just hide them. To do that, simply go to the Store menu in iTunes and choose Turn off Genius. If you do that and want to get it back, you'll need to turn Genius on again.

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