My son, who's now an adult, has been using my iTunes account (I don't use iTunes) that I created for him many years ago and he's accrued a large legal iTunes library.

He will be leaving home in the near future.
The problem is how can I transfer everything he's purchased into his own iTunes account?

He plans on creating his own iTunes account before leaving.
Is it even possible to transfer these thousands of songs from my account to his?

Note : This is all Windows PC based.

8 Answers 8


No, unfortunately, you can not change 'ownership' of the files to another account. You would have the same issue with a married couple that bought all the music on one account, but then got divorced. This happened with my dad and his ex-wife's account, and we contacted Apple to make sure.

The most 'legal' route would be to possibly convert this current account into his new account. As in, change the contact, billing, and email address to use his info. This way, his account just moves with him. If you ever wanted to make an account, you could create a new one.

The closest thing you could possibly do otherwise is when he has his second account set up, turn on Home Sharing on both machines. He could then add this music to his new library, and your account could authorize it.

Another option would be to possibly use iTunes Match. He could copy all of the files he purchased into his library, and turn on iTunes Match. Then delete those files locally, and re-download from iTunes in the Cloud. This would remove DRM on some files, so he could play them, and have them in his library. (This is the path my dad chose).

The legality of either of the last two methods though is questionable, since that's not really the design of the service. Although, this may be more of the 'right' thing to do than illegally download them. I am not a lawyer, so what I say in regards to that is only in observation or feeling, not official.

In the end, with DRM'd files, and many Terms of Use of digital files, the purchaser is the only one who owns the 'rights' to the files. While he may have purchased them on an account you owned, you are actually the owner, etc. iTunes does not let you transfer this ownership, but they do provide services like the two above to help families.


You can't really transfer content from one account to another. But what you can do is to change the Apple ID and all personal information for the one you currently have all purchased songs on.

There is a nice article at ehow.com


Copy the files from your computer to his using an external hard drive. And authorise your account as an audible account on that computer. Any account can be audible on up to 5 computers. Just remember to de-authorise each computer as you update. Your son wouldn't have ownership of the music but it is the quickest way of transferring a large amount of music. He could add this music to his library and play it through any device.


There is one way (if he either has another laptop or is taking the one with your Apple ID). First off, if you're going to be using a different laptop you can create another Apple account on that laptop.

Next log in and then log out. Now log in with your Apple ID and download all of your songs to the laptop (it may take a while since all of the music). The other way, if he will be taking the laptop that already has the Apple ID, you will already have all the music in that computer's library so just simply log out and log in with a new Apple ID you have created and you will have all the music this way still.

I prefer the latter because with the former, sometimes there is a chance it will in a sense get locked but not locked out, just you can download anything with another Apple ID for 90 days but in this case I do not think that will happen. (I have done all this before). Hope this helps.


I just had the same problem, bur when you select al of your music on your mac or pc, and then right-click on one of them. you can select make a version for AAC, if you do that, your mac / pc will copy the songs, but the account will not be linked anymore to the copied version!!!


Once a purchased is made with one AppleID that content can be played only on 5 different devices. If you enable Home Sharing this only allows you to transfer iTunes content easily between users either on the same computer or other computers in the network, but the content has to be authorized to play on any additional computer/device even though you transferred the content via Home Sharing (note the HOME in "Home Sharing" :) So, if your son leaves your home and wants to take the music you purchased for him using your AppleID, he can use Home Sharing to get the music into his library, but we won't be able to play it on any device other than the ones you authorized to play content purchased with your AppleID. It seems to me that "Music Match" is the best way to handle this kind of re-ownership.


This deserves a new answer, just to keep it up to date.

This is now possible using Family Sharing

Family Sharing makes it easy for up to six people in your family to share each other’s iTunes, iBooks, and App Store purchases without sharing accounts. Pay for family purchases with the same credit card and approve kids’ spending right from a parent’s device. And share photos, a family calendar, and more to help keep everyone connected.

You can use Family Sharing on your iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch with iOS 8, your Mac with OS X Yosemite and iTunes 12, or your PC with iCloud for Windows 4.0. To get started, one adult in your household—the family organizer—sets up Family Sharing, invites up to five additional family members, and agrees to pay for any iTunes, iBooks, and App Store purchases they initiate while part of the family group. Once family members join, the features of Family Sharing are set up on everyone’s devices automatically.


Yes, as long as your connected to the same WiFi, you can use iCloud to enable 'Home Sharing'. Your son can create his own, separate iTunes account and once 'Home Sharing' is enabled you will be able to drag and drop all of the songs from one account to the other. I've done it many times with a few different accounts in the family.

  • This was already mentioned in the answer by jmlumpkin. He also discussed this w.r.t. legality.
    – guwac
    Commented Nov 14, 2012 at 14:40

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