A Guide to iPad Home Sharing

Use your iPad to stream music and movies

Family relaxing with technology in living room

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You don't have to load all of your music or movies onto your iPad to enjoy them at home. iTunes lets you stream music and movies between devices using Home Sharing. You can access your digital movie collection without taking up a lot of space on your iPad by streaming the video to your device.

Once you have Home Sharing enabled, you can easily stream your entire music or movie collection to your iPad. You can also use Home Sharing to import music from your desktop PC to your laptop.

And when you combine Home Sharing with Apple's Digital AV Adapter, you can stream a movie from your PC to your HDTV. The feature can give you some of the same benefits of Apple TV without having to purchase another device.

How to Set Up Home Sharing in iTunes

The first step to sharing music between iTunes and the iPad is turning on iTunes Home Sharing.            

  1. Launch iTunes on your PC or Mac.

  2. Click File at the top-left of the iTunes window. Hover your mouse over Home Sharing, and then click Turn on Home Sharing in the submenu.

    Turn on Home Sharing in iTunes
  3. Sign in to your Apple ID.

    Home Sharing iPad to iTunes
  4. It may take a moment to turn on Home Sharing.

    The feature is only available when iTunes is open on your computer.

  5. iTunes has some other settings that might make Home Sharing more convenient. Access them by clicking Preferences under the iTunes menu.

    Home Sharing on iTunes
  6. Under the General tab, you can change the name of your music library. The name you choose is the one you'll look for on your iPad.

    iTunes Home Sharing
  7. Your iTunes library should be ready for Home Sharing now.

Once you've turned on Home Sharing, any other computers with iTunes Home Sharing turned on will show up in the left-side menu in iTunes. They will appear right under your connected devices.

Only computers and devices connected to your home network can use Home Sharing.

How to Set Up Home Sharing on the iPad

Once you have iPad Home Sharing set up, you can share music, movies, podcasts, and audiobooks. This means you can get access to your entire music and movie collection without taking up space on your iPad.

  1. Open your iPad's settings.

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  2. Tap ​Music.

    Stream iTunes to iPad
  3. Under the Home Sharing section, you'll see the email associated with the Apple ID set for Home Sharing. If it isn't the same one you used on iTunes, tap it to sign in to the correct one.

    Stream iTunes to iPad
  4. Along with using the same Apple ID, you'll also need to have your iPad and your computer connected to your Wi-Fi network to use iTunes Home Sharing.

Sharing Music on the iPad

Now that you can share your music and movies between iTunes and your iPad, you might want to know how to find it on your iPad. Once you have everything working, you can listen to the music collection on your PC the same way you listen to music installed on your iPad.

  1. Launch the Music app.

    Stream iTunes to iPad
  2. Tap Library.

    Stream iTunes to iPad
  3. Tap the Library heading in the upper-left corner.

    Stream iTunes to iPad
  4. Choose Home Sharing from the drop-down list.

    Strream iTunes to iPad
  5. The name of your iTunes library will appear on the list. Tap it to access the music from your PC.

    Stream iTunes to iPad
  6. If you made playlists in iTunes, they'll also appear in the Music app on your iPad.

Sharing Movies on the iPad

Home Sharing also adds a menu to the Apple TV app that lets you access the Movies stored to iTunes. Here's where to find it.

Movies you've bought using the Apple ID on your iPad are already in your Apple TV library.

  1. Open the Apple TV app.

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  2. Tap the Library tab at the bottom of the screen.

    Stream iTunes to iPad
  3. Tap Home Sharing on the left side, and then select your iTunes library from the list.

    Stream iTunes to iPad
  4. Because the Apple TV app already contains movies you've bought on your account, using Home Sharing with movies works best if you're using a friend or family member's Apple ID.