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Adjusting iTunes 11 Search Functionality

Tim covered the release of iTunes 11 [1] in an article this past week and while the new software brings many upgrades, it also makes some changes that could cause a negative knee-jerk reaction.

Take the way you search within iTunes, for example.  Back in iTunes 10 we were able to select a playlist or category from the left sidebar.  Then we were able to input our query into the search box on the upper right of the window and search within that playlist.  The search bar is still in the same location, but how it works has definitely changed.  The sidebar is no longer there by default and the new search will look for everything in every place within iTunes – songs, movies, apps, and more.

“So how do I get back the old search functionality?”  Good question!  Here’s how:

First, let’s bring back the sidebar.  Click the icon located on the top left of the program to bring up a menu.  In that menu, click Show Menu Bar.  You can also press Ctrl + B to do the same thing.  The traditional “File, Edit…” menu bar will now show up just below.  

 iTunes 11

Next, you will want to click on View and then select Show Sidebar to display the traditional sidebar we’ve come to know and love in iTunes.

 iTunes 11

Now that we have the sidebar to the left, we can now select various playlists and categories and search through them.  The last thing we need to do is click the magnifying glass next to the search box, then un-check Search Entire Library.  Once you’ve done this, all searches will be limited to the playlist or category you currently have selected in the sidebar!

iTunes 11

There is one final note I should add.  In iTunes 10, any queries in the search box would automatically bring up live results as you typed.  Unfortunately, this feature is not a part of iTunes 11.  To complete any searches, you will have to type your entire query and then hit the Enter key.