How to Set up Multiple Accounts on Your Apple TV

Everyone can take charge

Unless you live alone, Apple TV is a product the whole family shares. That's great, but how do you decide which Apple ID to link to your system? You don't have to make that call because anyone who has an Apple ID can have a user account on your Apple TV if you allow it.

Information in this article applies to Apple TV 4K and Apple TV HD (previously Apple TV 4th generation) running tvOS 13 or later.

With multiple accounts, each of the users gets recommendations based on their usage, access to their purchased apps in the App Store, rented or purchased movies, games in Apple Arcade, and Up Next list in Apple Music (if they subscribe to Apple Music).

Access isn't limited to family members. If you use Apple TV in an office setting and need to support additional users occasionally, you can add them for an event and delete them afterward.

Setting up multiple Apple TV accounts means you watch movies and TV shows that different members of the family buy.

How to Add an Apple TV User Account

In Apple’s world, each account has its own Apple ID. You can add multiple Apple accounts to your Apple TV.

If you use the Home app on a connected device in your home, any user you add to the Home app is added to the Apple TV automatically.

If you don't have the Home app set up in your home or you use your Apple TV in an office or conference setting, you add Apple TV user accounts on the Apple TV using the Siri Remote. Here's how:

  1. Turn on the Apple TV and go to the main menu screen. Click the Settings icon using the Siri Remote than came with your Apple TV.

    Apple TV home screen
  2. Select Users and Accounts. It's here that you can define and manage any accounts you have available on your Apple TV.

    Apple TV Settings
  3. Choose Add New User in the Users section. 

    Apple TV Users and Accounts settings
  4. Select Enter New.

    New account entry screen
  5. Enter the Apple ID email address of the new account you want your Apple TV to support and click Continue.

    New Apple ID Sign In screen on Apple TV
  6. Then enter the Apple ID password (or have the owner of the Apple ID do it, for privacy) for the new account email address. Choose Sign In.

    Password screen for new user on Apple TV

The Apple ID must have purchasing permissions for Apple services, which are typically set up when the ID is first acquired. Any movie or show rentals or purchases or app purchases charge to the payment information affiliated with the active Apple ID.

When the process is complete, the owner of the new Apple TV user account can enter the account credentials and use the Apple TV.

How to Switch Between User Accounts

The Apple TV recognizes only one account at a time, but it's easy to switch between multiple accounts after you set up your Apple TV to support them.

  1. Bring up Control Center on the Apple TV by pressing and holding the Home button on your Siri Remote. The Home button resembles a TV screen.

  2. In Control Center on the left side of the screen, click the user account you want to switch to.

    Control Center on Apple TV

What Next?

When you have multiple accounts enabled on your Apple TV, any purchases are charged to the active account. You don't get to choose which Apple ID makes the purchase. Instead, you or the other users must switch to the correct account before buying anything.

It's also a good idea to keep an eye on how much data you have stored on your Apple TV. The Apple TV 4K comes in two sizes: 32 GB and 64 GB. When you have two or more people using an Apple TV, you are likely to see multiple apps, image libraries, and movies download to the device. That's not unusual, of course — it's part of why you want to support multiple users in the first place — but multiple users are more likely to fill up the Apple TV storage faster than a single user.

To save space, disable automatic downloads for the accounts you've just added to Apple TV. The feature automatically downloads the tvOS equivalent of any app you purchase on any of your iOS devices to your Apple TV. This is useful if you want to try new apps, but if you need to manage a limited amount of storage space, switch this off.

Automatic downloads are enabled and disabled through Settings > Apps, where you toggle Automatically Install Apps off and on.

If you're short on storage space, open Settings and go to General > Manage Storage to review which apps are taking up space on your Apple TV. You can delete the ones you no longer use by tapping the trash can next to the app.

Deleting Accounts

You may want to remove an account stored on your Apple TV, particularly if you use it in a conference, classroom, or meeting room deployment where temporary access may be needed.

Open Settings > Users and Accounts > Current User and select the user account you want to remove. Click [User account name] > Remove User from Apple TV.