Looking to share my Itunes Library with my wife on same machine. SO for example, when I log off, and she logs in, I would like to be able to access my library in her ITunes.

I have spent countless hours combing the internet with no success and wondered if this is now even possible. I have read this THIS stack exchange thread about how to share but it seems this method doesnt work. | When I open Itunes on my wifes account with OPTION key and choose the newly created Library from my existing account nothing gets imported.

Another method I tried and failed with is to simply export the the Library from my existing Itunes as XML. The result was that the playlists get loaded fine but all the songs are missing (except for 3 or 4 songs)!

It should be noted that all the Media for the playlists and libraries are in a shared folder that are accessible to my wife's account with read & write permissions turned on.

I also tried setting up Home Sharing, but this does not seem to work on the same machine.

Running Sierra 10.12.6 with Itunes version

At this point i have no clue what to do. Any help is appreciated.


3 Answers 3


The trick to doing this is to have your iTunes library stored in a location that is accessible to both accounts (i.e. both users have read/write access), and to then configure iTunes in both accounts to use the same library.

My recommended approach for doing this is to use an external drive connected to your Mac and then configure iTunes within each of your Mac accounts to use that library.

Follow these steps:

  1. Ensure iTunes is not running
  2. Within Finder, move your iTunes library folder (by default this folder is located within ~/Music/iTunes/) to a location accessible by all user accounts. As mentioned above, my personal preference is to store it on an external drive connected to your Mac.
  3. Hold down the option key and launch iTunes
  4. You should now see the Choose iTunes Library prompt (see below)

enter image description here

  1. Click on the Choose Library... button
  2. Now navigate to the location you moved the library to at Step 2
  3. iTunes should now open up and work as it's always done previously
  4. Quit iTunes
  5. Now log into your wife's account
  6. Hold down the option key and launch iTunes
  7. Repeat Steps 3, 4, 5 and 6

After doing the above you'll be able to access the same iTunes library from either user account.


  1. If you don't already, ensure you have a backup regime in place (e.g. using Time Machine)
  2. If using an external drive (as per my recommended approach) ensure you include this new location with whatever backup software you use (so that it's getting backed up)
  3. There are a number of reasons why I prefer using an external drive for my iTunes library. Some include:
    • It frees up space on your main boot volume
    • It results in faster transfer rates (in the event your internal drive is not an SSD)
    • I like to keep all my digital media on the same drive (i.e. I also use the same drive for my Photos library)
    • It makes your iTunes library (and others if they're on the same drive) easy to physically transfer (in the event you need to)
  • Just wondering if you've had a chance to try these steps? Did this work or are you still having problems?
    – Monomeeth
    Commented May 10, 2018 at 1:01
  • These steps didn't work for me. When I'm selecting the existing iTunes library file in the shared location I get an error saying "the library ... is locked, on a locked disk, or you do not have write permission for this library." I opened up terminal and ran chmod 777 on the file too, but still get that error Commented Apr 24, 2023 at 18:33
  • @thespacecamel At what point are you getting this error? Step 6?
    – Monomeeth
    Commented Apr 26, 2023 at 1:17
  • Yes on step 6 (the second time; from the second account) Commented Apr 27, 2023 at 16:11
  • @thespacecamel Did you quit iTunes from the first account? If so, what happens ifs you log out of the first account altogether and then trey the second?
    – Monomeeth
    Commented Apr 27, 2023 at 21:38

I'm no expert on this, but my first ideas where:

  • you could store the library in a public accesible part of the OSX (/Users/Shared/)

  • but then again: iTunes has incorporated Digital Rights management for buyed music and is probably not built to share music across all Users (could be also a public machine, thus enhancing the sharing of copyrighted material)

  • iTunes was not really designed for multiuser.

So I can't suggest more than trying to follow the accepted answer in the thread you mentioned. As they say there too: There's no ideal solution to perfectly sync two itunes even on the same machine.

An alternative can be: Use iTunes with one user, storing all the music in a publicly accesible folder (don't know if that works), and that the second user uses another program (e.g. vlc) to listen to the music.


you can certainly just share one of the users music folder. Go to System Preferences, Sharing, File Sharing, click add, select your music folder, share to user you want to share with full read and write, then right click the shared folder and click apply to enclosed items. Then with iTunes closed on both accounts, hold option whilst launching iTunes this will display a prompt allowing you to select location of Library file, navigate to the library file you have shared and select. Now you will have the shared music library between users as they are both reading and writing to the same library file, however I have found that playlists will not update across user accounts, you can always export and import these. For good measure I also create a alias (shortcut) to music media that is shared from my account and pop into the wife's music folder so as far as she is concerned is just business a usual no need for her to do anything different to what she was doing to manage her own unshared library. Hoping this help ;)

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