Sharing multiple iTunes libraries on one computer
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: Is it possible to have more than one iTunes account on the same computer? My wife and I each have iPhones, but don’t necessarily want to share all the same apps, music and other content. Your help will be appreciated.
A: Most definitely. There are several ways that you can approach this, but the easiest method is to simply setup separate operating system level user accounts and create those libraries under each account.
iTunes stores its library database in each user’s local “Music” folder and stores its preferences on a per-user basis as well. Therefore, when you log in under a different user account, iTunes will create a new library for that account, with its own iTunes Media folder and settings. In essence, it will be as if you’re running iTunes on two separate computers.
Should you not want to create separate user accounts, you can still work around this by creating separate iTunes libraries in different folders. If you hold down the “SHIFT” key when starting iTunes, you will be prompted to either Choose or Create a new library database; you can use this method to create a new database in a different folder and to then alternate between the two.
Note that when using this method, however, your iTunes preferences are still shared between both libraries. This means settings such as your “iTUnes Media” folder and anything else you adjust in the “Preferences” section in iTunes will be set for both users. This can make things more complicated if you want to adjust your preferences differently and/or keep your music in entirely separate folders. There are third-party utilities such as iLibs for Windows users and iTunes Library Manager for Mac users that can simplify this process for you, including swapping around preference files, but the cleanest way to deal with this is still to simply use separate Windows or Mac user accounts for each of your libraries.
- 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?
- Honeywell debuts Lyric T5 HomeKit-enabled smart thermostat
- Executives talk Apple Music successes and failures
- Apple Q4 earnings call set for October 27
- Sonos speakers available on Apple’s online store today, in Apple Stores next month
- Apple lacks lobbying power in fight with EU
- Apple to offer ‘Spoken Editions’ of written content from top publishers
- Apple working to turn HealthKit into diagnosis tool
- Hackers expose security flaw in iOS 10’s local backups
- Apple releases iOS 10.0.2 to fix headphone controls, iCloud Photo Library
- Report: Apple’s Siri home hub has reached the prototype stage
- 808 Audio XS Sport Rugged Wireless Speaker
- Mass Fidelity Core Bluetooth Speaker
- Thought Out Simplex Tablet iPad Stand
- SmartX Galaxy ZEGA Starter Kit
- Apple iPhone 7 Plus Leather Case
- Apple Watch Series 2
- iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus
- Twelve South HiRise 2 for iPhone + iPad
- Nomad Pod Pro for iPhone and Apple Watch
- Sevenhugs hugOne Sleep Monitoring System
- 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
- Filling the Gap: A look at third-party HomeKit apps