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itunes windows controlWe all know iTunes is a program which inspires extreme feelings of love and hate. Many of us suffer iTunes because there’s just nothing else we feel will do exactly what we need it to – yet. In the meantime, we put up with the inadequacies, quirks and bizarre changes which come with each upgrade. Well, more or less.

Sometimes, the changes iTunes introduce are so disliked by the community at large that people work out how to change it back. In this case, the vertical window controls iTunes introduced are so different to everyday Mac use that most users want to change it back to horizontal in order to make it less annoying. Let’s show you how.

The Vertical Control Button Problem

If you’re running anything above iTunes 10 for Mac, you’ll have seen the vertical windows control buttons for minimize, maximize and close (the red, yellow and green buttons). The vertical format is unlike any other Mac application and is therefore quite annoying for a regular Mac user.

itunes windows control

1. Close iTunes

To begin with, ensure iTunes is closed before you begin the following steps.

itunes vertical buttons


2. Run Terminal

To get these controls back to the normal, horizontal view we’re going to use a simple Terminal command. If you don’t normally use Terminal, you can find it a number of ways:

  • Go to Spotlight and type “Terminal“.
  • Navigate to “Applications“, then “Utilities” and choose the Terminal application.
  • In finder, choose the “Go” menu and pick “Utilities“, then open the Terminal application.

itunes vertical buttons

3. Type A Simple Command

Once you’ve got Terminal open, you’ll need to type in this simple command:

defaults write full-window -int -1

itunes vertical buttons

There’s no need for root access or moving to any specific folder. Just type it in and hit enter.

4. Restart iTunes

When that’s done, you’re essentially finished. Close Terminal and open iTunes to take a look. You’ll now have the control buttons horizontal again as per any regular Mac application. I hope you’re happy with the results of your little hack!

itunes windows control

For The Terminally Shy

Even though the above process is simple, I know there are people out there who just aren’t comfortable using the Terminal to muck about with program settings. If this sounds like you, you might prefer to try a program such as Tinkertool to do this for you. Tinkertool also lets you change settings for a number of other programs.

Bakari has written a great article on the tweaks you can make with Tinkertool Tweak Program Settings & Activate Hidden Features With Tinkertool [Mac] Tweak Program Settings & Activate Hidden Features With Tinkertool [Mac] Read More , so take a look if you’re interested.

More iTunes Reading

Whether you’re an iTunes lover or sufferer, there’s probably room to learn a little more about the program, its hacks and best practices. Maybe you’ll find out something new in one of these articles:

Have you made use of this little hack? Why do you think iTunes deliberately went vertical? Did you think it was annoying? Or do you prefer the vertical layout? Let us know in the comments!

Image Credit: ShutterStock

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  1. Velomac
    April 29, 2011 at 11:00 pm

    If you would like to switch the buttons back to vertical, what is the Terminal command?

    • Angela Alcorn
      April 30, 2011 at 6:11 am

      To revert back to vertical iTunes buttons, use this:

      defaults write full-window -int -0

  2. Nellie
    April 27, 2011 at 4:55 pm

    I did it and had nver used Terminal before. Easy...and I love it!!

  3. Dosboss57
    April 27, 2011 at 1:01 am

    Love really works!!!

  4. Randy
    April 26, 2011 at 10:23 pm