Switching to a new iTunes account with existing content
Ask iLounge offers readers the opportunity to get answers to their iPod-, iPhone-, iPad-, iTunes-, or Apple TV-related questions from a member of the iLounge editorial team. We'll answer several questions here each week, and of course, you can always get help with more immediate concerns from the iLounge Discussion Forums. Submit your questions for consideration using our Ask iLounge Submit Form. We reserve the right to edit questions for grammar, spelling, and length.
Q: My sister and I have shared an iTunes Store account up until now, but due to iCloud we would like to switch and use different accounts. If I make a new account, will all my purchases made by the old one disappear from my iTunes?
A: For locally stored content, the answer is basically no. Anything already in your iTunes library or on any of your iOS devices will continue to be available regardless of which iTunes Store account you are signed in with.
Essentially, the account specified in the iTunes & App Stores settings on iOS is simply the default account for new purchases and does not affect access to any existing content already loaded onto your device, whether that be music, videos or even apps.
The same is true of iTunes on your Mac or PC. As long as your computer remains authorized for the other iTunes Store accounts, it does not matter which account you are currently signed in with; content already in your library will remain in place and you can still access it and sync it directly from there to any iOS device connected to your library. Switching to a different iTunes Store account will not de-authorize your existing computer, but should you ever want to move your iTunes library to a new computer you will need to ensure that it is authorized for the original iTunes Store account in order to access your previously purchased items.
The notable exception to this is for Apple’s iTunes in the Cloud and iTunes Match features. If you are using iTunes Match, then switching to a different account will essentially remove your iTunes Match library. For iTunes, this means any music that is not stored locally. For an iOS device this basically means your entire music library, since iTunes Match, when enabled, effectively becomes your library on an iOS device. In this case you would either need to subscribe to iTunes Match under the new account, or simply go back to synchronizing your music directly from iTunes over USB or Wi-Fi.
The ability to re-download previous purchases will also be affected by switching to a new iTunes Store account. In order to discourage people from simply hopping onto their friends’ iTunes Store accounts to download content, Apple has enforced a 90-day restriction on downloading content with a new account. In other words, after the first time you switch to a new iTunes Store account, you will not be able to switch back and re-download any purchased items directly from the iTunes Store for 90 days. This restriction is enforced on a per-device basis and exists in both iTunes and on iOS.
Note, however, that this only affects re-downloading items directly from the store—you can still synchronize anything your computer is authorized for directly from iTunes in much the same way you always could, regardless of which account you’re currently signed into. Further, the re-downloading restriction does not apply to apps—only media content such as music, movies, TV shows and iBooks.
- Will removing a credit card from Safari also remove it from Apple Pay?
- Can I mute Handoff calls coming into my Mac from my iPhone?
- How do I keep my iPhone calls from ringing on my Mac?
- Why doesn’t Traffic show up on my Today Notifications Screen?
- Why doesn’t my iPhone reconnect to Wi-Fi after I turn it on?
- Why can’t I see the iPad-style landscape view on my iPhone 6 Plus?
- Apple partners with SAP for mobile enterprise solutions
- Apple adds Accessibility section to its online store
- LAPD hacked into iPhone 5s for murder investigation
- More details emerge on Apple Music overhaul
- iPhone tops Time’s list of most influential gadgets
- Kohl’s integrates rewards system with Apple Pay
- Apple hires ex-Nest exec to aid in health initiatives
- Apple loses exclusive ‘iPhone’ trademark in China
- Apple to reveal ‘sweeping changes’ to Apple Music interface at WWDC
- Apple releases fourth developer betas for iOS 9.3.2, tvOS 9.2.1
- August Doorbell Cam
- August Smart Lock HomeKit enabled + Smart Keypad
- ecobee3 HomeKit-enabled smart Wi-Fi thermostat
- Zagg Now Cam
- Yantouch EyE Portable Wireless Speaker
- Netatmo Wind Gauge
- Incipio Stashback for iPhone 6/6s
- Schlage Sense Smart Deadbolt with HomeKit support
- ClamCase ClamCase Pro for iPad mini 4
- Brydge BrydgeMini II Keyboard for iPad mini 4
- Filling the Gap: A look at third-party HomeKit apps
- Instant Expert: Secrets & Features of tvOS 9.2
- Instant Expert: Secrets & Features of iOS 9.3
- Opinion: Why Apple needs a dedicated HomeKit app
- Inside the betas: What’s new in iOS 9.3 and tvOS 9.2 (Updated)
- Life with HomeKit: Our experiences with Apple’s home automation system
- Under the Radar: 10 ‘hidden’ details about the new Apple TV
- Instant Expert: Secrets & Features of iOS 9.0
- Under the Radar: A closer look at smaller iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus changes
- A First Look at iOS 9’s Transit in Apple Maps (Updated for watchOS 2)