Using Apple’s Home Sharing feature, your family can share and transfer content between iTunes and iOS devices in your household including the iPad, iPhone, iPod touch and Apple TV. If your household has multiple iOS devices or just one, using Home Sharing can give you access to your iTunes libraries, allowing you to share music, movies and more between your Mac or PC to your iOS devices. Read on to learn how to set up Home Sharing on iTunes, along with a tutorial on setting up Home Sharing on your iOS device.

Setup Home Sharing

Requirements for Home Sharing

  • Mac or PC using iTunes 10.5 or greater. You can download the latest version of iTunes for free from Apple.
  • iPad, iPhone or iPod touch running iOS 4.3 or greater.
  • Apple TV (2nd or 3d generation)
  • Devices have to be on the same network (wired or wireless)

Setup Home Sharing on iTunes

There are different methods needed to turn on Home Sharing depending upon the version of iTunes you have installed on your computer.

If you are running iTunes 10:

  1. Navigate to Advanced > Turn On Home Sharing

Apple has changes things a bit with iTunes 11.

  1. Navigate to File > Home Sharing > Turn On Home Sharing
  2. Login using your Apple ID and password

You should see a message that says, “Use the same Apple ID when turning on Home Sharing for other computers. They will be available from the libraries button in the top-left corner of the iTunes window.

Setup Home Sharing on Apple TV

Home Sharing Apple TV

From your Apple TV, navigate to ‘Computers’.
If you are using the same Apple ID, you’ll see a message, “Would you like to use (your Apple ID) to turn on Home Sharing on this Apple TV. You can either say Yes or enter a different Apple ID”.

Home Sharing Apple TV

Once you say Yes, your Apple TV will automatically find the iTunes libraries that have Home Sharing turned on using that account. You can always find the list of shared iTunes libraries in the Computers section on your Apple TV.

Setting Up Home Sharing on iPad, iPhone, iPod touch

Once you’ve enabled Home Sharing on iTunes, you’ll need to enable it on your iOS device.

  1. Open Settings > Video or Music
  2. Enter the Apple ID and password for the iTunes library being shared

Setup Home Sharing iPad

Tip: Once you enter your credentials into either Video or Music, the other app will also be enabled for sharing.

How to access shared video, music

The host computer needs to be turned on. From your iOS device, open up the Videos or Music application. Tap on the ‘More’ tab and select ‘Shared’. Select the iTunes library that you set up for sharing.

stream shared video iPad

If you are viewing videos, you’ll see a list available. Select your video and you’ll see associated information including length, dimensions, release date and codecs. Press the play button to being playback on your iPad.

Sharing Music

Music sharing is slightly different, but the same principle. When you select the iTunes library, the Playlist, Songs, Artists, Albums tabs all become active for that particular library. If at any time you would like to switch back to content on your iPad or iPad, repeat the process and select ‘My iPad’.

stream shared music iPad

Throughout this tutorial, I’ve made mention that you’ll be using the Apple ID from the iTunes library to be shared on your iOS device. This doesn’t in any way affect your current iCloud or iTunes Store associations. Those remain tied to your existing Apple ID. This process simply authorizes you to access content from another member of your household.

Home Sharing is a great way to share music, movies and more with members of your household. For those of you with an ever expanding media library, this feature can also prove to be a great way to have access to more of your content beyond the storage capacity of your iPad, iPhone or iPod touch. Home Sharing is free and allows you to share up to five devices including the easiest method of bringing your media to your television with Apple TV.