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iOS 9 How-To: Access your iTunes library using Home Sharing

Screen Shot 2015-09-17 at 7.58.53 PM

With the launch of iOS 8.4 earlier this summer, Apple removed support for Home Sharing, prompting the users to voice their dissatisfaction with the company’s decision. Eddy Cue then revealed that Home Sharing support would return with iOS 9, and sure enough, it did. The process for using it is similar to what it has always been, but let’s go through the steps…

When connected to the same Wi-Fi network and using the same Apple ID, Home Sharing allows you to view and play the iTunes Library that’s located on a computer or stored on an external hard drive, on other computers or iOS devices. For Home Sharing to work you also have to have iTunes open on the computer.

Let’s first make sure that Home Sharing is turned on the computer by opening up iTunes. In the menu bar click on File, scroll down until you see Home Sharing and choose “Turn on Home Sharing.”

iTunes 12 Turning on Home Sharing

Now, you must sign in with your Apple ID and password that you want to use for Home Sharing. After doing that, you need to enable Home Sharing on your iOS device. Open up Settings and scroll down until you see Music.

iOS 9 Settings Music

Then you are going to scroll all the way down to the bottom and press “Sign In” under Home Sharing. Enter in the same Apple ID and password that you used on the computer. Doing this automatically signs you in for Home Sharing for Videos.

Now let’s go to your iOS device and listen to Music that is found only on the computer and not the device. Open up Music and make sure My Music is selected highlighted in pink in the lower left hand corner.

iOS 9 Music app

Now you need to tap on “Artists” and bring up that drop-down menu. This is where you can change how the music is displayed on the screen, either by Artists, Albums, Songs, Music Videos, Genres, Composers, or Compilations. This is also where you will get the option for Home Sharing.

iOS 9 Home Sharing in Music

Tapping on Home Sharing will give you two different options: to continue viewing the music on your device, or to select the library that is stored on your computer.

iOS 9 Home Sharing


Choosing the Library option will display the music that is stored on your computer, not on your phone. Here you are able to view it, play it on your device or over Bluetooth speakers and AirPlay speakers.

iOS 9 Home Sharing Music

To switch back to the local library stored on the device, tap on the same pink button and tap on Home Sharing to go back.

With Home Sharing, it is also possible to watch Videos that are stored on your computer on your phone. To do this, first open up the Videos app.

iOS 9 Videos App

Then press on Shared in the lower left hand corner.

iOS 9 Home Sharing Videos

To get back to the videos that are stored locally on the device, press on the Shared option in the lower right hand corner.

The return of Home Sharing with iOS 9 will likely please many people, especially those who were avid users of it before it was removed with iOS 8.4. You can read more about what’s new in iOS 9 here.

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  1. Rich Davis (@RichDavis9) - 8 years ago

    Yeah, that’s one way, when you are home, but when you are far away, just buy iTunes Match for $25 year and it scans you main hard drive on your computer with the catalog of content and matches it uploads what it doesn’t have and then you can stream it to your iDevice or download the song for listening to when you don’t have internet connection. I personally do this an I typically rip CD to iTunes in AIFF format because I want Lossless sound quality and my desktop is running through a decent stereo system, but it streams and downloads on my Device in Lossy (from what I can tell). It works pretty well. I prefer listening on my stereo though my desktop and then use remote on my iPad to play which songs/albums and control the volume.

    • If they had iTunes match for videos then that would work, but Home Sharing is very needed when you want to watch your own digital movie library at home hone your iOS device or more importantly the Apple TV

  2. Fred Ni - 8 years ago

    I still couldn’t download iOS 9. I am able to download a movie with 2GB size in 20 mins but when trying to download iOS9 it says 10 hours remaining. I started the download 10 hours ago and still it says 3 hours remaining. Very frustrating and don’t know what to do. The same via iTunes on my laptop. Internet speed is 30mb

  3. Zeno Colò - 8 years ago

    An article very useful. Thank you very much !

  4. Is it just me or “Transfer purchases” doesn’t work for others neither? ( for apps )
    I have horrible and expensive internet so transfer purchases is very important to me but it doesn’t work for me ( tried it on other computers too )

  5. pirey4 - 8 years ago

    How did you change the order of the icons on the tab bar (“My Music” on the left and “Connect” on the right)? I knew how to do this when there was a “…” (More) icon but that icon is no longer available.

  6. Unless things have improved iTunes Home Sharing has always been buggy for me. It also only works for certain file formats. I prefer to use Plex which can handle pretty much anything you throw at it and stream your media to any of your devices including over mobile data when you’re outside of your home.

  7. macgeeknz - 8 years ago

    I just get an error “You do not have permission to access the requested resource” when I try an access anything from my iPhone 6. All the media shows up but none of it cam be played even though it works perfectly in the Apple TV

  8. I have iOS 9.2 on an iPhone 6s and Siri does not find any of my music in the Home Sharing Library. I would like to be able to tell Siri to play some music from my home sharing library, since I can play it from my iPhone and it shows up on my iPhone when I choose the Home Sharing Library. :/

  9. Funny thing at the part about the “Now you need to tap on “Artists” and bring up that drop-down menu. ”
    This button is only visible when you have at least one song on your iPhone.