More than five family devices sharing a single iTunes account
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: Hi, we are a family of four: mum, dad, and two children aged 15 and 17. My youngest daughter is off to Denmark for 12 months and my eldest daughter is off to University. We have now reached our limit of five devices for an iTunes account—my guess is we need about 10. We are all running off the same iTunes account. How can I set my daughters up so they can they can still access all purchases from the family account? They both have a laptop, not Apple, and an iPhone each. My wife and I each have an iPhone and one desktop computer and we will possibly get an iPad shortly.
A: Actually, the limit of five devices per iTunes Store account only applies to authorizations for computers using iTunes. Apple actually allows you to have up to ten devices authorized in total for features such as iTunes Match and re-downloading previous purchases from iTunes in the Cloud, up to five of which can be computers running iTunes. So in other words, you could have anywhere from 10 iOS devices and no computers up to five computers and five iOS devices or any combination in between. You can view the number of devices that have been authorized for these features by going into your iTunes Store account information from within iTunes and choosing the Manage Devices option.
However, this listing here only applies to those devices authorized to automatically download or re-download purchased content using iTunes in the Cloud or use iTunes Match. There’s actually no limit on the number of iOS devices that purchased content can be synced to, as long as that content comes from iTunes running on one of your five authorized computers. Apple does enforce a limit of content from five different accounts on a single device—presumably to prevent people from going around and collecting content from different libraries—however there is no restriction on the number of devices that you can sync content from a single account to.
So in this case you likely don’t have a problem, as it sounds like you’re not using any more than three or four actual computers—each of your daughters’ laptops and the desktop computer(s) for you and your wife. With each of you also using an iPhone, that brings up your total devices count to eight—well within the ten-device limit even for the iTunes in the Cloud and iTunes Match features. However, if you’re only syncing content onto your devices from iTunes, these limits don’t even apply to your iPhones or other iOS devices.
- 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 enables Single Sign-On across all iOS 10 and tvOS 10 devices
- Apple releases fifth beta for tvOS 10.1 to developers
- Apple to start publishing its AI research
- Supreme Court rules against Apple in design patent case
- Study finds half of kids headphones exceed safe volume limits
- More iPhone 6s devices affected by shutdown bug; iOS update coming
- Apple releases sixth beta of iOS 10.2 to developers
- Developers pushing back against abusers of Apple’s App Store refund policy
- Apple lobbies for shared data, more public road access to test autonomous driving systems
- Apple Store app update allows purchases from Apple Watch
- Sen.se GuardPeanut
- iHome iZBT10 Zenergy Bedside Sleep Therapy Speaker
- Twelve South HiRise Duet for Apple Watch and iPhone
- IK Multimedia iLoud Micro Monitor
- JBL Under Armour Sport Wireless Heart Rate Headphones
- Edifier e235 Luna E Speaker System
- Clamcase ClamCase+ for 9.7” iPad Pro
- Scosche BoomBottle H2O+ Waterproof Wireless Speaker
- Thermos Connected Hydration Bottle with Smart Lid
- Beats Solo3 Wireless On-Ear Headphones
- Top Five: The Best Products for Building a Smart Home with HomeKit
- Instant Expert: Secrets & Features of watchOS 3
- Instant Expert: Secrets & Features of tvOS 10
- Instant Expert: Secrets & Features of iOS 10
- Inside the betas: iOS 10 Photos gets Advanced Computer Vision
- Inside the betas: iOS 10 Music app delivers ‘clarity and simplicity’
- Inside the betas: iOS 10 Maps gets a major redesign
- Inside the betas: iOS 10 shakes up the user experience
- Inside the betas: watchOS 3 promises a real speed boost
- Inside the betas: A sneak peek at what’s new in tvOS 10