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?
- CBS CEO Moonves notes Apple talks have stopped
- Apple will source iPhone 7 ‘A10’ CPU solely from TSMC
- Federal bill aims to take regulatory power for phone encryption out of state hands
- Job post shows Apple emphasizing new complications, faces for Apple Watch
- New comments hint at forthcoming streaming TV service from Apple
- Apple Music available on Sonos starting today
- Screen protector installation now available at Apple Stores
- Russia mulling tax increase on App Store purchases, other Apple services
- Lawyers threaten to sue Apple over ‘Error 53’ codes disabling iPhones
- Apple releases iOS 9.3 beta 3, tvOS 9.2 beta 3, watchOS 2.2 beta 3 to developers
- Vicks SmartTemp Wireless Smartphone Thermometer
- Gumdrop Cases DropTech Case for iPad Pro
- Edifier MP700 Rave Portable Bluetooth Speaker
- Just Mobile HoverDock for Apple Watch + HoverDock for iPhone
- VRS Design Dandy Layered Case for iPad Pro
- Just Mobile TENC for iPad Pro
- Native Union DOCK Lightning
- Native Union DOCK for Apple Watch
- Hitcase Pro+ Action Pack and Snap for iPhone 6/6s
- Urban Armor Gear Trooper for iPhone 6/6s
- 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)
- Instant Expert: Secrets & Features of iTunes 12.2
- Instant Expert: Secrets & Features of iOS 8.4 + Apple Music
- CE Week 2015: IK Multimedia, Monowear’s Apple Watch bands + More
- Live From CE Week 2015: Brand New iPad, iPhone + Mac Accessories!