iPad Tips: How To Use Home Sharing to Share Your Whole iTunes Music Library to the iPad

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If you’re not keen on using up tons of storage space on your iPad with music but still would love to have access to your full iTunes Music Library on the iPad at times, here’s a quick and easy tip to help you achieve that.

All you need to do is use the Home Sharing feature in iTunes. This will only work when your iPad and computer are on the same WiFi network, but should still be very useful if you don’t store much music locally on your iPad.

Here’s how you get it working:

— In iTunes on your computer, click on Advanced on the menu bar, and choose ‘Turn on Home Sharing’. You’ll be prompted to enter your Apple ID and password. Once you enter those details you’ll get a confirmation message letting you know that Home Sharing is on.

— On the iPad, go to Settings > Music.

— As long as your iPad and computer are on the same WiFi network, you’ll see the Home Sharing section down at the bottom of that page. You just need to enter the Apple ID you use for iTunes and your password in the fields provided.


— Go to the Music app on the iPad and tap on the More tab in the bottom nav bar and tap on Shared.

— On the Shared dialog that comes up you’ll see ‘My iPad’ is selected for locally stored music. The second item will be ‘John Smith’s Library’ (with your name of course) that you just shared. Just tap on that entry to have access to the full iTunes music library.


That’s it. Hope this comes in handy.

Patrick Jordan

Founder and Editor in Chief of iPad Insight. Husband, father to a lovely daughter, Commander of the Armies of the North, dog lover (especially Labs), Austinite, former Londoner, IT consultant, huge sports nut, iPad and mobile tech blogger, mobile apps junkie.

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25 thoughts on “iPad Tips: How To Use Home Sharing to Share Your Whole iTunes Music Library to the iPad”

  1. Hi thanks for all your really useful stuff. Loving my new iPad thanks to you. Anyway, on subject of home sharing music….if it is not too silly a question, does my home computer have to be on to do this?



    1. Yes it does. The sharing will stay in place all the time once setup, but for the library to be available the PC needs to be on.

  2. Quick question….is it possible to have access to different iTunes libraries via home sharing if I’m not at home?! ie. access my home computer’s library when I’m at my work’s wifi via my ipad2?!


    1. No. For home sharing to work the PC sharing the library and the iPad need to be on the same local WiFi network.

      You can look at using a remote access app to connect to your PC when away from home and stream music as an option.

  3. I cant see the option share in more tap

    I could configurate my pc with IOS 4.3 but IOS 5 i check all the steps but i can see it

    What’s wrong???


    1. You don’t need home sharing for that. You can use file sharing or other methods to move your ebooks and PDFs to the iPad.

  4. Apple’s “Remote” app may be easier and doesn’t tie up your iPad. Use Remote to connect to your home computer’s itunes library and play music from there.

  5. I found out the solution to the missing “Shared” option on the iOS5 Music App:
    When you go to iTunes, set up your Home Sharing as usual and at the end. DO NOT CLICK the “DONE” button. If you do that correctly, you should see the “SHARED” section on your side bar. Go back on your Music app in the iOS5 device and check if you can see the “SHARED” option. This also works for the remote. Thanks! :)

    1. Thanks … of all the stuff I found on the web & YouTube your tip was the one that got my Home Sharing working.

  6. When I reach the last step, and click on my library, it says unable to share, have checked passwords, upgraded itunes on my computer, my ipad2 stilll doesnt home share? what do i do?

  7. Thanks so much… But how do I download the tracks to my iPad once I’ve activated home sharing. I can drag songs to my computer itunes when two computers are sharing, but I can’t seem to figure out how to do this with the iPad. Appreciate it!

    1. You can’t do that on the iPad. You’re just accessing the shared library – you’re not able to download the tracks unless you choose to sync music with the iPad, which will then take up storage space on the iPad.

  8. I tried all that but my new iPad doesn’t have the *shared *in the *more* button. Please help so I can enjoy the new iPad ….

  9. Yes I get the same thing. “unable to turn on Home Sharing” I have no idea what to do next. I’ve done very thing right so far. The itunes on my home computer says it’s on home share

  10. I’m divorced how can I share books purchased my me in itunes store with my son. Want to let him home share when he’s here on my wifi and be able to continue reading it at school or while on his moms wifi.
    We each have separate iTunes accounts. 3 itunes 1 to share with 2
    if son shares into my Account then he cant access his stuff. alerts updates etc.
    I know we could jailbreak or copy books into a text editor but I already purchased them for close to bookstore price.
    Would love to just add to his reading list even email it to him

    1. i don’t think there is a solution to this. i had the same problem, ended up setting up my son with his own iTunes account (lied about his age) and gave him a stack of gift cards to rebuy all the stuff he already had… painful, but effective

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