We have a number of iDevices in the family, and each user has their own Apple ID. Also, each person has their own computer to sync apps and other content.

If I purchase an app for my iPod, Can I share it with my wife and son, each of whom have their own IDs?

If so, how do I share purchased apps, if each person has their own computer or iTunes library?

7 Answers 7


Unfortunately the only way to share apps is to use the same Apple ID for purchases on every device.

You can use different IDs for iCloud, but you need to sign into the App Store with the same ID.

If you're signed in to the App Store with the correct ID you can download previously purchased apps for free, each person haven their own computer and iTunes library doesn't matter.

  • Can you authorise multiple apple ids on each iTunes library and redownload/sync?
    – stuffe
    Oct 21, 2011 at 23:16
  • You can only authorize one ID per iTunes. You can redownload apps on the device, but syncing apps between iTunes and the device isn't going to work (you can still sync everything else).
    – voidStern
    Oct 21, 2011 at 23:33

With Home Sharing and Authorizing computers every person can have their own account and still use apps purchased by other family members.

Home sharing will allow you to stream, browse and copy content, including apps, between machines. You turn on home sharing one each machine under iTunes's Advanced menu. You use the same Apple ID on each machine. It doesn't matter which Apple ID just as long as it's the same one, all this ID is for is to make all of the machines known about the Home share you're setting up. Apple has instructions online: http://support.apple.com/kb/HT3819.

Authorizing each computer lets you use protected contact on that machine, including syncing apps to associated iOS devices. You'll need to authorize each computer with each of the accounts you will be purchasing apps with. For example, my wife and I both need to authorize our son's machine. Again, apple has instructions online: http://support.apple.com/kb/ht1420 .

There is a limit to how many machines you can authorize.

Once you do both these things each person can use Home Sharing to look at the apps on another machine (its listed in the iTune's sidebar), import those apps to their own machine and those apps will sync to their iPod.

The one down side is app updates. You will need to reenter your password on each iPod in order to download an update. Alternatively, the original purchaser can download the update and the others can grab it again using Home Sharing.


You can now use iCloud "Family Sharing" to share content with multiple Apple ID's.


Home Sharing is not the same as de-authorizing a device. Home sharing allows two devices to access media on the same iTunes account, but not the apps. If I understand it correctly Apps can be accessed by only one device - the device authorized for that account. You can "de-authorize" a device and then add a new device to the account to allow access the apps previously on the old device. But apps can be used only by the (one) device authorized on that account.


Nope, can only be shared with one Apple ID. I have tried this already and it didn't work. Hope this helps!


Once you have home sharing set up, you can log out of itunes account ON the Device you wish to have the App on.. Then sign back in on the device, using the account that has purchased the app. Then ON the Device, use the APP Store app and search for the app.. then you will see the icloud symbol, and download it to the device, or "re-purchase" it as the video suggests. (no charge)



Try Home Sharing


  • This is incorrect; Home Sharing requires all devices to be signed into the same Apple ID.
    – Cajunluke
    Aug 20, 2012 at 23:05
  • The ID used to sign into home sharing has nothing to do with the ID used for ownership of apps and media. Authorizing each machine is what allows the other apps to run. Once authorized a machine can play and sync apps and media owned by that account no matter what account is actually signed in.
    – rwr
    Sep 17, 2012 at 4:14
  • Can you please add details to explain how to activate home sharing. Answers should be self-contained. You can use the link as a reference.
    – guwac
    Nov 4, 2012 at 16:48

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