Even though I’ve been using iTunes for a long time, I apparently didn’t know one of the software’s most useful features: the fact that iTunes can be minimized and manipulated from the Windows taskbar just like Windows Media Player! So, if you always use iTunes to play music and didn’t know this little trick yet, here’s how to set up iTunes so that it can be controlled from the Windows taskbar.
By control, I mean you can pause and pause a song, skip to the next song, etc. By default, if you minimize iTunes in Windows, it just goes to the taskbar as a rectangle like all Windows programs do If you want it to appear with music controls, you first need to right-click on the taskbar and go to the toolbar and then select iTunes.
Now click the minimize button in the upper right corner of the window. ITunes Window:
You should now see the iTunes controls minimized to the lower-right corner of the Windows taskbar. You can pause the current song, skip to the previous or next song, and adjust the volume.
You can click the little arrow at the bottom right and here you have a few more options, such as Repeat Off, Repeat All, Repeat One and Shuffle.
Note that this is different from the option in iTunes to minimize to the notification area. If you go into iTunes and then go to Preferences and click the Advanced tab, there are two options at the bottom: Show iTunes icon on taskbar and Minimize iTunes window on taskbar. All of these options allow you to control where the main program is also collapsed. For example, instead of minimizing to the taskbar, iTunes will minimize to the system tray as a tiny icon.
You can leave the Show iTunes checkbox checked if you want, but remember to uncheck the Minimize iTunes Window checkbox. It sounds a little counterintuitive, but you want Windows to control the minimization process, not iTunes.
If you leave both checkboxes checked, the little music controls on the taskbar will disappear. If you leave the Show iTunes check box selected, both the icon and music controls appear.
That’s it! You will now be able to manage iTunes through the Windows taskbar. If you have a Mac and want to do something similar to Windows, you need to switch iTunes to a mini player and then switch to a very small mini player. First open iTunes, click Window and then Switch to MiniPlayer.
You can also switch to the Mini Player by simply hovering your mouse over the middle top of iTunes, which has the Apple icon on it. When your mouse moves to this area, a small icon will appear in the upper left corner. Just click on it and it will open up a mini-player.
The Mini Player is just a scaled down version with album art, a few music controls, and a few other options to see which songs are next, and more.
However, this is not the smallest mode iTunes can run on OS X. If you look closely, there is a tiny icon in the upper left corner that looks like two triangles pointing at each other. Go ahead and click on it and you will enter tiny mode, at least that’s what I call it.
Unfortunately, you cannot get a smaller mode than this. Actually, this is not enough; It would be nice if you could drag it to the Apple bar at the top so that you can control it from any virtual desktop or from full screen apps. Instead, it just acts like a floating toolbar that will appear on top of everything on that particular desktop, but won’t appear on other desktops. It’s still better than opening a giant iTunes window on your Mac, but I wish they had a solution comparable to the Windows taskbar.
If you have any questions, do not hesitate to leave comments. Until then, enjoy the music!