Get Front Row for Mac OS X 10.7 Lion

Jul 21, 2011 - 36 Comments

Front Row for Mac OS X 10.7 Lion

You might have heard that Mac OS X Lion ditches Front Row, the easily accessible media player that was activated by hitting Command+Escape on a keyboard or by pressing play on an Apple Remote. If you like Front Row and are disappointed in Lion leaving it behind, you can easily get it working again just by copying a couple files over from the prior OS version.

Manually Enabling Front Row for OS X Lion

This will require access to a Mac OS X 10.6 installation. The following Front Row files from OS X 10.6 Snow Leopard must be moved into the exact same locations in Mac OS X 10.7 Lion:

If you have Snow Leopard installed and laying around, you can preserve and move these files yourself quickly with Finder or by using cp, just be sure to place them in the exact same locations. This is very easy if you have a dual 10.6 and 10.7 boot config going, but if not don’t worry there’s a simple alternative.

Get Front Row Working in Mac OS X Lion with an Installer

Alternatively to moving the files yourself, you can use use a free package installer that contains the 10.6 Front Row files and places them automatically into the appropriate locations in Lion. This is easier.

Download the free package installer by MacHatter.

The MacHatter package does all the work for you and has been confirmed to work. If you click on “Custom Install” you can double check that the Front Row files exist:

Front Row Enabler for Mac OS X Lion

(For those wondering, Command+Escape does nothing in Mac OS X Lion)

The little package installer app was found by 9to5mac, who goes on to speculate that the ease of enabling Front Row for OS X Lion could indicate that Apple will simply release the application as an optional paid download from the Mac App Store. I like that idea, and I hope it pans out, or else what is the point of Apple selling their Mac remote controls?

If you’re looking for a free alternative to Front Row, don’t miss our guide on using Plex to create a Mac media center, it’s powerful, easy to use, and works on any Mac.


Related articles:

Posted by: William Pearson in Mac OS, Tips & Tricks


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  1. […] don’t work that well, Chrome can still get stuck, and you may run into issues if you added Front Row to Lion yourself, but you can always choose another keyboard shortcut if Front Row starts launching […]

  2. Tim says:

    installed the package installer on OX 10.8 and now my Mac will not boot. Very disappointing!

  3. Petr_S says:

    How I get it for OS X 10.8.1 Mountain Lion ?

  4. rosecityman says:

    Copied the files from my Gdrive but when trying to launch Front Row nothing happens. What do you mean by the permissions changed and they need to be set to Root or how to “BatchMod it”?

  5. Front Row Lover says:


    Later versions of iTunes, I think past 10.3 or .4 changed how iTunes interacted with Front Row.

    You have to downgrade but there may be fix, you have to do the work online searching to find it.

  6. Conguito says:

    I installed the package and it works (at least, I can see the trailers). I have not tested yet the Music.


    Mac OS X Lion 10.7.4 (11E53)
    iTunes 10.6.1

  7. Adrian says:

    Installed the package, but for some reason FrontRow can’t seem to see anything in my iTunes. Not sure if I missed a step or did it wrong, but FrontRow without iTunes access is useless to me —
    Anyone know how to fix this? Or remove it if I can’t get it working?

  8. Brent Smithline says:

    Well time to let Apple know how you feel about the loss of Front Row in OS X Lion. Visit…

    …nad give Apple your feedback.

  9. […] kilde: Se også:Apple App Store til Mac er her!Opsæt en Spotify konto i Danmark!Find nummeret til Taxa med TaxiFind app!iPhone: Lav din egen Daft Punk fest!Mac: VLC autostart DVDImponerende tegneprogram til MacSmiley ikoner på din iPhoneKør Windows virtuelt på din Mac […]

  10. daftpunker says:

    hi iv used the installer works but it cant find my music or videos any ideas

    • Chris says:

      Under ‘Users’ in MacHD access your iTunes folder. Make an Alias of your ‘Movies’. ‘Drag the Movies alias’ into your general ‘Movies’ folder.

      • Tam says:

        Tried making alias of iTunes folder and dragging to movies. It recognises that the files are there, but says it can not play the file format. It’s great to see that people have front row up and running again, great job! Next step, get the tunes going and done!

  11. Chaschl says:

    I installed Front Row using the installer but I get the message that I need to install files in to iTunes to view in Front Row. How do I get Front Row to see my media files in iTunes?

    The installer is fantastic, by the way!

  12. Spyboy says:

    “I like that idea, and I hope it pans out, or else what is the point of Apple selling their Mac remote controls?” Well, there is still users who are using Tiger,Leopard and SL… :)

  13. […] – Get Front Row for Mac OS X 10.7 Lion: klick – How to Make a Bootable Install Disk of Mac OS X Lion: […]

  14. […] Row is dead. There is a way to get it back, but Apple obviously seems to be steering us in the Apple TV direction and I personally have no […]

  15. […] No more “Front Row” unless you install it separately […]

  16. Louis says:

    This worked for me, but it won’t play any of my podcasts

  17. Budai says:

    Sorry not perian:DD Plex

  18. Budai says:

    Does not matter that took Apple, Perian is much better because it is show the weather to!
    But I do not understand why need two chat program? IChat+Facetime? Skype is much better becouse works on every platform! also, why is the ugly chess still part of the system? thay are much better games in app store for free!!!???

    The problem is not to weed out the system, the problem is
    why not availeble in the App Store? as an extra if someone miss this apps…

    (Sorry about my English)

  19. Aurelius says:

    It is not working well. I am unable to access all the functions. I can’t seem to revert this action… Now I have a useless Front Row every time press the “menu” button on my Apple remote.

  20. Munas says:

    Front Row is one of most useless apps on Mac OS X. Personally me, I have never used it…. and in Lion will never miss it.

  21. Mike in Letcombe says:

    Thank you; works brilliantly. I now have Front Row back (and, yes, I did need to make an ‘Alias’ folder from iTunes to the Movie folder, but that only takes 10 seconds…)

  22. JBG says:

    I did as you wrote, and it didn’t work, so I tried to figure out why. Playing around with it, I came up with the following solution”

    Go to System>Library>Core Services and right-click (or control-click using the keyboard) on Front Select Show Package Contents. Then open the contents folder…
    From there, I can’t remember. I think I opened the MacOS folder and double-clicked on the file in there. It launched Front Row and then everything worked. I think after this, you may need to “bless” the app that way.

    If anyone else had problems with this, I hope this gets you most of the way there.

    • JBG says:

      OK, forget what I said there….
      The problem I had is that after I copied the launchagent to a flash drive from the other computer and from the flash drive to my computer, the permissions changed to me as the owner. It needs to be set to Root. I BatchMod-ed it, and it works. Great tip though, guys! I’m so happy to have Front Row again!!!!

  23. ids says:

    how do i install quartz composer? can’t seem find it in installer, and where is the “developer folder”?
    any help much appreciated. tq

  24. […] as I will not be able to look at movie trailers quite so easily as I used to. Among others, William Pearson on OS X Daily has details of how to reinstall this, although you will need a computer running OS X, 10.6 first. […]

  25. Zoli says:

    The “Plex” much better, its shows the weather to and works with a remote control to!

    • Me says:

      Wow really it shows the weather. With that and the 50 other devices I own. I am sure to always now its 72 and sunny in southern california.

  26. Zoli says:

    “With the recent update to iTunes 10.4, Apple has changed how the library is read/written (iTunesAccess.framework). As such, your iTunes Library content will not play in Front Row.

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