How to Set Up Multiple iTunes Users


Apple's iTunes software allows users to create music and media libraries which can by synchronized with Apple devices such as the iPod, iPad and iPhone. When multiple individuals wish to synchronize their Apple devices with a single computer, it is helpful to set up a different iTunes library for each user. This allows each user to keep his music and media separate from other libraries and sync only his media when he connects his iPod or other device to iTunes.

  • Press and hold the "Shift" key on your keyboard. Launch iTunes while holding the key down, releasing it when the iTunes library selection window appears.

  • Click the "Create Library" option to begin setting up an iTunes library for a new user. Give the new library file a name, then save it. ITunes will launch, loading the new library file.

  • Open the "Edit" menu and click the "Preferences" option. The iTunes preferences settings window will open.

  • Click the "Advanced" icon to access the advanced iTunes preferences settings. Uncheck the item labeled "Copy Files to iTunes Media Folder When Adding to Library" and click the "OK" button; this prevents music and media files from being copied to the main iTunes Media folder and keeps the new library separate from others.

  • Open the "File" menu and select the "Add File to Library" or "Add Folder to Library" option to begin adding music or media files to the new iTunes library. Devices connected to the computer and synced with iTunes at this point will only synchronize with the current library.

  • Close iTunes. When launching iTunes again, hold the "Shift" key down to select a different user's library.

Tips & Warnings

  • Separate iTunes user libraries can also be created by making new user accounts on the computer where iTunes is installed. Each user account will have access to its own library when iTunes is launched from within the account.
  • If using a computer running Mac OS X, hold the "Ctrl" key instead of "Shift" to access the library selection window.

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