How to Set Up iTunes Genius

Let iTunes put the right songs together

Relaxed man listening to music at home at night
Nico De Pasquale Photography / Getty Images

iTunes has a built-in feature called iTunes Genius that analyzes the music you like, combines that with information from millions of other iTunes users, then suggests new music and creates great-sounding playlists from your current songs. iTunes Genius is easy to use and creates new ways for you to enjoy your music. Here's a step-by-step guide to turning on iTunes Genius.

Instructions in this article apply to iTunes 8 and higher.

How to Set Up iTunes Genius

Genius takes a few clicks to get going. The settings are in the iTunes File menu.

To turn on iTunes Genius:

  1. Go to File, select Library, then choose Turn On Genius.

    Turn On Genius setting in iTunes
  2. On the Genius screen, select Turn on Genius.

    Genius set-up screen in iTunes
  3. If prompted, sign in to your Apple ID (or create one) and agree to the terms and conditions of the service.

  4. iTunes takes a moment to generate the Genius matches using three steps:

    • Gather information about your iTunes library: iTunes scans your library and collects information about your music such as how often songs are played, the star ratings assigned to them, the songs marked as loved, and more.
    • Share that information with Apple: iTunes sends this information to Apple. Apple stores this information in its databases and uses it to create your Genius results.
    • Deliver the Genius results: After running algorithms to determine your music interests, Apple's servers send this data to your iTunes. This data includes music enjoyed by people with similar tastes, suggestions for music you can buy that's similar to what you own, and more.

    This process happens in the background, so you can use the program while it's going. To interrupt, select Stop.

    Button to stop iTunes Genius from turning on
  5. When the initial set up process is done, iTunes displays a screen indicating that Genius is ready. Choose to create new playlists or have Genius suggest new music.