Get color icons back in the iTunes 10 sidebar

Sep 3, 2010 - 47 Comments


Along with new iTunes 10 download came a number of interface changes, ranging from a new icon, vertical window control bars, album art displays, and the greyscale conversion of the sidebar icons. If you preferred the colorful sidebar icons of iTunes 9 and prior, you can swap out a rsrc file within iTunes 10 and be done with the plain greys icons once and for all.

Change iTunes 10 sidebar icons to color

Changing the iTunes 10 sidebar icons back to color from grey is pretty easy:

  • Quit iTunes
  • Right-click on the iTunes 10 app icon within your /Applications folder, click on ‘Show Package Contents’
  • Open up the ‘Resources’ folder and location the file ‘iTunes.rsrc’ and save a backup of this somewhere, or rename it to iTunes-backup.rsrc
  • Download the color icons iTunes.rsrc file and drop it into the Resources folder
  • Close the folders and relaunch iTunes 10
  • Enjoy the color icons again!

The color iTunes.rsrc file is courtesy of a MacRumors forum user who modified and hosted the iTunes files on his own site.

If you’re not thrilled with the new interface, you can combine this tip with a few others to replace the iTunes 10 icon back to iTunes 9 and also change iTunes 10 control buttons to horizontal a la iTunes 9. Suddenly your iTunes will look like it did before, but still have all the great features of iTunes 10.


Related articles:

Posted by: Paul Horowitz in iTunes, Tips & Tricks


» Comments RSS Feed

  1. manpan says:

    Doesn’t work properly with iTunes 10.6 as volume slider appears broken. It does give the colors though. Fix please!

  2. Hans says:

    I am running OS X Lion 10.7.2 and iTunes 10.5.1b25, i was able to see the color changes but when i try to go to Preferences, iTunes crashes…

    Is anyone having this problem?


  3. roy says:


  4. roy says:

    how can i get buck to gray

  5. PGB says:

    Excellent job! This and the colour finder icons have made my mac happier! Now just to find the same sort of thing for iPhoto and Mail – both are still dull and grey! Will be enjoying colour in itunes and finder until my other apps may be colourised to match :)

  6. n little says:

    Found this looking for Lion tips for a friend who’s upgraded. I’m glad to have the color back in iTunes on my Snow Leopard machine. Thanks!

  7. Chance says:


    I experienced the same issues. Try the macthemes link posted above or google . Thats the one I used and it seems to be working fine for me. I am also using the current developer beta of iTunes if it matters.

  8. Jeremy says:

    The trick worked for me in iTunes 10.4.1 in Lion however it just messes up the interface. The icons look like they are too big and have been cropped, and the interface in the window header (buttons, volume control etc) are messed up.

  9. […] you can change the sidebar icons to color in Mac OS X Lion too. Update: Apparently we covered a similar tip for iTunes 10 under OS X 10.6 a while back too. stLight.options({ […]

  10. Ben Dover says:

    Get ready to do this for 10.7 Lion aswell. Same dull and greyish colors look there. Finder is greyish and no more color icons. Are they insane at Apple now?
    Grey icons ARE NOT better then colored ones. GET IT, APPLE?

  11. Me says:

    Does anyone know how to get the Command-R keyboard shortcut back? I can’t figure why would Apple change a keyboard shortcut to show the original file that’s common across Apple programs to something non standard. Argh.

  12. Ace says:

    I can confirm that the artwork viewer button disappears. It’s a bug in the file that places the button inline with the track title. I actually downloaded and tried a different hack file from here (the color sidebar only option) and it works great. colored sidebar icons and the artwork viewer button is back.

    • Terry Smelker says:

      Ace, thanks so much for that link! Not only did I get my sidebar colors back, but I got to keep the Album Art viewer button, AND my devices in the sidebar are now color as well! BRAVO!

  13. Terry Smelker says:

    Please Note- some people (like me) are having issues with this procedure: if you replace the iTunes resources file as described above, the button at the bottom left that shows and hides the Album Art viewer disappears, and there’s no alternate command to get the album art viewer to display.

    Hopefully someone can fix this so we can have our colors AND the Album Art button at the same time.

  14. Jerry says:

    Both links to the file are dead. But you can get the same file here

  15. Macobios says:

    Guys, either bring the links back or delete this article. Why you keep it? To confuse people?

  16. mirooahn says:

    Color icon’s link doesn’t work. I turned out 404 not found.

  17. alyacroft says:

    Thanks for the info! But the link is down on my end. Could there be a problem?

  18. drien says:

    I’m the creator of the file…I’m glad people have been enjoying the update. It is true that I didn’t update the ‘large’ icons—it took long enough to do the small ones and I personally don’t use the big size. Sorry that my link went down, I originally anticipated limited interest and had to remove the file from my site after going over my bandwidth limit by 80gb. The one posted above should certainly work.


  19. […] is just one of many iTunes mods we’ve covered recently. You can also get color icons back in the iTunes 10 sidebar, change the iTunes 10 icon back to iTunes 9, or my favorite which is getting horizontal window […]

  20. […] is just one of many iTunes mods we’ve covered recently. You can also get color icons back in the iTunes 10 sidebar, change the iTunes 10 icon back to iTunes 9, or my favorite which is getting horizontal window […]

  21. dondiego87 says:

    Thanks, new download links from the comments worked for me, as did the switch back to color. As for the permissions issue, I can apparently can copy the file out, rename it, move it in, then delete the original. I just can’t rename… :-/

  22. Goonz says:

    Thanks! Works perfect. (You’re out of bandwith tough :))

  23. SublimeSparo says:

    Just to confirm it does work on (10.5.8) with the source text set to small

  24. andre says:

    why did they decide greying out icons was a good idea? it looks terrible.

  25. Armin Soyka says:

    Hey, thanks but your Downloadlink is broken. Here’s a working one.

    • Sabrina says:

      worked for me once I used your link, worked perfect the first time, YAY!!!! I really missed the colored icons, thank you!!

  26. Mattelfesso says:

    kevinopp was right.

    It only works for me if iTunes > Preferences > General has ‘Source Text’ option set to “Small”.

    • mdoorkeeper says:

      Yup that worked. I don’t even know what that preference (Source Text) means, so I’ve always left it alone.

    • mdoorkeeper says:

      Yup that worked. I didn’t even know what that preference (Source Text) meant, so I’ve always left it alone.
      Now how do I get it to work on Source Text “large”? The older I get, the more I appreciate larger fonts.
      But it does work now…thanks.

  27. asddasd says:

    cant unzip this

  28. […] You can get the color icons back. Get color icons back in the iTunes 10 sidebar – OS X Daily […]

  29. dondiego87 says:

    Apparently I don’t have permission to rename iTunes.rsrc. I am logged in as an admin. Any ideas?

    Would also appreciate a mirror of the color icons file. Thanks!

  30. kevinopp says:

    for folks that can’t get it to work—it seems the problem may be that it only works if you have “small” selected for the sidebar Source Text. try that.

    • SteveO says:

      Yep that did it, thanks! Running 10.5.8 and iTunes 10.0.1
      For others the Source Text param is in Preferences of iTunes.

  31. Robert says:

    looks like your post (and prolly others) just wasted that guy’s bandwidth
    can anyone post it somewhere else ?

  32. SublimeSparo says:

    Didn’t work for me (10.5.8) tried multiple times :(

  33. Steve P says:

    Took two tries, but got it to work. Thanks!

  34. Kurt M says:

    THANK YOU!!!!
    worked perfect for me (10.6.4)

  35. mr.riverside says:

    Works perfect. Thanks.
    (OS X 10.6.4)

  36. Ray says:

    Did not work

  37. mdoorkeeper says:

    Just tried it…didn’t work. First I renamed the iTunes.rsrc to iTunes-backup.rsrc and left it in the resources folder. Dropped the alleged color icons file in, launched iTunes, and found the same greyscale sidebar icons as before. So, I then quit iTunes, removed the renamed backup.rsrc from the resources folder entirely. relaunched iTunes…and found the same greyscale sidebar icons as before. Sorry, it doesn’t work for me.

  38. Rob Usdin says:

    If anyone has the procedure to do this for the PC – please post it!

    • Dave says:

      This does work just fine I have done it everytime iTunes updates..for me I cut the existing rsrc file and move it to a folder and name the folder and date it then I move the new rsrc file into the Resource library folder … You do have to authenticate to be able to move or replace this file…close the folder and restart iTunes and viola it works!

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