iTunes 10: How to Change the Window Control Buttons Back to Horizontal

Posted September 2, 2010 by Rob Rogers in Apple Mac

For some reason, Apple decided to make iTunes 10 interface vary a bit from the normal GUI. The Close, Minimize and Maximize buttons (the red, yellow, and green circles) run vertically instead of horizontally like the rest of the windows on OS X. Here’s how to fix it so it doesn’t feel abnormal.

1. Close iTunes.

2. Open Terminal.

3. Execute the following terminal command:
defaults write full-window -1

4. Close the Terminal window and open iTunes. Your buttons will be back where they belong.


About Rob Rogers

Once a prolific author here on Tech-Recipes, Rob has moved on to greener pastures.
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The Conversation

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  • Haters gonna hate! 😀 I think it’s a nice design change for that app. The title bar is wasted space for iTunes on a laptop screen.

    If you want to experiment and then change back to the new style, repeat that command with a -0 instead of -1

    • Anonymous

      Is that switch built into the app or the OS? Can you use a analogous command to make other apps use the vertical orientation?

      • I’ve only thought about it, not tried it, but I think this is app a special case, although there may be other apps that could use this. It’s all about the height of the too/button bar area and the need for a title for the window. Looking at my Safari window, without the title area, the remaining address bar and bookmark lines are too short to support vertical buttons, plus the title bar is pretty important there. The bookmark bar could be removed by the user, too, which would make the vertical buttons force the address bar to be in a huge, otherwise empty bar.

        I can see having inconsistency in those button across different apps could be confusing, although 1) they’re color coded so once you know what they do, it’s more a matter of aiming for the yellow one, not the middle one, and B) who uses the yellow and green ones, really? 😛

        • I think there is no way in Hades that having vertical in some apps and horizontal app in some apps is the long term plan.

          I think it’s an experiment to see what people think.

          It seems un-apple to me. For somebody that prides themselves on uniformity, it’s an interesting wrinkle. I am also shocked that iTunes hasn’t been recrafted for 64-bit… but that’s a whole different rant.

          • Weird.. I just don’t think it’s the end of the universe like everyone else appears to. It’s a decent solution to save a few square inches of real estate that’s otherwise completely wasted. I was willing to give people the benefit of the doubt that they were smart enough to transpose three little buttons, but maybe I’m wrong.

            I heard a rumor that they’re waiting for iTunes 23, the version that will first support holograms, for the 64-bit jump. 🙂

          • I don’t think it’s the end of the universe. I just think continuity of the UI is essential. For example, if you removed the title off the top of the Mail app (like it is missing in iTunes), it would benefit from the vertical buttons as well.

          • Oh yeah, it would work for other apps. The mailbox you’re looking at and the number of messages in it isn’t that interesting to me, vs more screen. But I think there are some windows like finder that would be worse off. Ultimately, it comes down to “is it acceptable to have some vertical and some horizontal?” I think it is. I also think a lot of people make snap judgements when something changes and hate before they think. I support OS evolution.. otherwise we’d all still be using win 3.1 or cp/m.. or punchcards! Gaak!