Transfer iTunes Purchases to Another Person With These Simple Steps

How to reassign the details behind an Apple ID to another person

Couple sharing music laying on grass

Tim Robberts / Getty Images

It's relatively easy to share an iTunes music library with your family by using the Home Sharing feature. You can also create an iTunes account that everyone can use or grant access to your Apple ID.

Those methods don't work if you want to transfer digital music ownership outright to someone in your family such as your partner or a child.

Maybe you switched to a streaming music service and no longer plan to use your iTunes account or the music in it. You might think that it's an easy task to transfer digital content to another Apple ID, but it isn't because every song purchased from the iTunes Store is linked to a particular Apple ID, which cannot be changed. Many users feel that this system is unfair, but it's necessary to prevent the distribution of copyrighted content.

Reassigning an iTunes Account

The solution is to change the account details for your Apple ID, effectively assigning it to a different person. The ID doesn't change, but the details behind it do. This enables the new owner to use his or her email address, set up credit information, and authorize computers and devices. You and your family member can make these changes using the iTunes software, but you can also change the necessary details using just your browser. To do this:

  1. Go to the My Apple ID website in a browser.

  2. Enter your Apple ID and password in the appropriate fields.

  3. If you have two-factor authorization enabled, you are asked to enter a six-digit security code sent to another one of your devices.

  4. In each of the fields, remove your personal information and enter the information for the person who will own the ID in the future. The sections that include personal information are Account, Security, Devices, and Payment & Shipping.

After changing the email address, you may be required to verify the change before it takes effect.

The person to whom you reassigned the Apple ID now has complete ownership and control over the iTunes music you purchased in the past — and everything else affiliated with your Apple ID.

Be Cautious

Before you take these steps, realize that everything in your past or present that is tied to that Apple ID is about to leave your control. If you are transferring it to a close family member, that may be OK with you. If you aren't comfortable with that prospect, don't reassign the account.

You won't be able to access this Apple ID in the future.