How to Turn Off iTunes Genius and Genius Sidebar

Get rid of the automatic suggestions in iTunes

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iTunes Genius is a cool addition to iTunes. Genius creates great-sounding playlists automatically, and it helps you discover and buy new music you'll like based on the music you own and listen to. However, the iTunes Genius interface takes up space 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. Here's how to turn off one or both of these features.

Instructions in this article apply to iTunes 12, iTunes 11, and iTunes 10 and earlier. How you disable Genius depends on the version of iTunes 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.

Go to the File menu, select Library, then choose Turn off Genius.

Turning off Genius in iTunes 12

How to Turn Off Genius in Older iTunes Versions:

To turn off the Genius features if you have an older version of iTunes and aren't subscribed to iTunes Match or Apple Music, go to the Store menu in iTunes and click Turn off Genius. If you do that and want to get it back, 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 your devices have access to the same music. It's great, but it also changes how you disable Genius. As a result, you may not see an option to turn iTunes Genius off. In those cases, follow these steps:

  1. Turn off iCloud Music Library. On recent versions of iTunes, go to iTunes > Preferences, then clear the iCloud Music Library check box. On older versions of iTunes, select File > Library or Store > Turn Off iTunes Match.

    Turning off iCloud Music Library in iTunes 12
  2. The Turn Off Genius menu appears in either File > Library or Store, depending on the version of iTunes. Select Turn Off Genius to disable Genius.

Hide the iTunes Genius Sidebar in iTunes 10 and Earlier

When iTunes Genius was first introduced, it included the Genius Sidebar, which was how Apple delivered its "if-you-like-that-you'll-like-this" purchase recommendations. If you wanted to discover new music, it was a great addition.

These directions apply to iTunes 10 and earlier. The Genius Sidebar no longer exists in iTunes 11 and higher.

To hide the Genius Sidebar:

  1. With iTunes Genius enabled, two buttons appear in the lower-right corner of the iTunes window. The Genius button is used to make Genius create playlists or suggest music.

    The Genius button in iTunes 11
  2. The other button is an arrow pointing right. If the Genius Sidebar is visible, click the Arrow to hide the sidebar.

    The Hide Sidebar button in iTunes 11
  3. To display the sidebar, click the Arrow button again, and the Genius Sidebar will re-appear.