How to Turn Off iTunes Genius and Genius Sidebar

Get rid of the automatic suggestions in iTunes

cute human brain organ listening music with headphones relax concept kawaii style pink cartoon character horizontal

gmast3r / Getty Images 

iTunes Genius is a pretty cool addition to iTunes: not only does it create great-sounding playlists for you automatically, but it also helps you discover and buy new music you'll like based on the music you already own and listen to.

The iTunes Genius interface also takes up valuable real estate on the iTunes screen, and if you don't use the feature, you may want to turn off Genius or a related feature called the Genius sidebar. Luckily, turning off one or both of these is as easy as a couple of clicks. Here's how.

How you disable Genius depends on what version of iTunes you're using and whether you use iCloud Music Library.

How to Turn off iTunes Genius In iTunes 12:

The location of the option to turn off iTunes Genius has moved in this version compared to earlier versions of iTunes, but turning off Genius is still a matter of a few clicks.

Click the File menu, navigate to Library, and then click Turn off Genius.

Turning off Genius in iTunes 12

How to Turn Off Genius in Older iTunes Versions:

If you have an older version of iTunes and haven't subscribed to iTunes Match or Apple Music, you can completely turn off the Genius features by going to the Store menu in iTunes and clicking Turn off Genius. If you do that and want to get it back, you'll need to turn Genius on again.

If You Use iCloud Music Library

iTunes Match uses the iCloud Music Library feature and Apple Music to store your music in the cloud and to make sure that all your devices have access to the same music. It's great, but it also changes how you disable Genius if that's what you want to do. As a result, you sometimes won't see an option to turn iTunes Genius off, at least not right away. In those cases, follow these steps:

  1. First, you have to turn off iCloud Music Library. On recent versions of iTunes, do that by going to iTunes > Preferences > unchecking the box next to iCloud Music Library. (On some older versions of iTunes, you can do this in File -> Library or Store -> Turn Off iTunes Match).

    Turning off iCloud Music Library in iTunes 12
  2. With this done, the Turn Off Genius menu will appear (either in File -> Library or Store, depending on your version of iTunes). Select that to disable Genius.

The iTunes Genius Sidebar

When iTunes Genius was first introduced, it brought with it the Genius Sidebar, which was the way that Apple delivered its "if-you-like-that-you'll-like-this" purchase recommendations. If you were looking to discover new music, it was a great addition. If you just wanted to focus on your own music, though, it was annoying — which led to wanting to hide it.

If you're using iTunes 11 or higher, this part of the article doesn't apply to you: the Genius Sidebar no longer exists in these versions of iTunes.

Hiding the iTunes Genius Sidebar in iTunes 10 and Earlier

The Sidebar displays in iTunes 10 and earlier. To hide it, follow these steps:

  1. With iTunes Genius enabled, you'll notice 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 Genius button in iTunes 11
  2. The other button looks like an arrow pointing right.  If the Genius sidebar is visible, click that arrow button to hide it.

    The Hide Sidebar button in iTunes 11
  3. When you want the sidebar back, click the arrow button again, and Genius will re-appear.