iTunes 12: Copy Music Files Between Computers With Home Sharing

Easily copy the music from your Apple iTunes music library between computers by enabling the Home Sharing feature using this tutorial.

Note: This tutorial is geared toward iTunes version 12.

>> Perform these steps on all computers you wish to share music with. <<

  1. Enable the Menu Bar.
  2. Select “File” > “Home Sharing” > “Turn On Home Sharing“.
    iTunes Home Sharing setting
  3. If prompted for a username and password, enter your Apple Store credentials.
  4. Repeat steps 1 through 3 for any other computers you wish to share music between. Ensure all computers are connected to the same network.
  5. Click “Edit” > “Preferences“.
  6. Select the “Sharing” tab.
  7. Check “Share my library on my local network to share your entire library“. Optionally, you could select “Share selected playlists“, then check individual playlists if you wish to limit sharing. You can also require a password for access to the library allow play counts to be updated through sharing usage.
    iTunes Sharing Tab
  8. You will have a home icon located in the upper-left corner of the iTunes window you can use to view music from other computers on the home network. You can then copy any music from a shared library by dragging it left. A sidebar will appear as you drag.
    iTunes Home Sharing icon


  1. Peter Selves says

    I can see the other library, but cant drag it into my own library? Is there any way to do this?

  2. Kimberly Neil says

    Hi All.

    Okay, I was having some of the same of all of the above issues! As easy as Macs can be, sometimes one can get bogged down with the details.

    How to use Homesharing to copy a PLAYLIST from my music library to my daughters iTunes library:

    First, I make a playlist with the same name as my playlist in her music library (in iTunes on her laptop).

    Next, I go back and I click “my library” at the top left in her iTunes on her laptop. Now I can see my library.

    Finally, I click the playlist I want to copy and while still holding on to the playlist, I drag it over to my right. Don’t let go of it! Now, on the left hand side of the screen, I can see the other persons music library. Then I drop it into the playlist that I created in the first step.

    Thank you to everyone above with your tips!

    I hope this helps! Kim :)

  3. John Stevens says

    My son pointed out, as you are browsing the shared music library, select your song or album, and the three dots next to it, gives you a menu. Select import song or album, it copies it over to your iTunes.

  4. Ashley says

    Thanks you Mike! Your solution worked. I have my master library of over 6,000 on an external drive on my PC. I wanted to share the music in a playlist for my kids on their MAC in their iTunes. I turned on home sharing on my PC then on my kids MAC I turned off my daughters “home sharing” that was the trick. When I turned it back on on the MAC I signed in as me! Then when I grabbed the songs in the playlist the kids music library appeared and I could copy the songs! I think a lot of us, me included thought our other machines needed their own home sharing accounts to share music with others. It is. It very intuitive. As a parent I am thinking I turn on home sharing then go to my kids machine and grab some of my music for them with their account. Nope, you log in to home sharing with your account. Thanks again!

  5. Mark says

    Thanks for giving the simple explanation. At least now I know why I cannot find a shared computer. After clicking share library in the sharing tab I do not get the home icon. If this can be solved I will go back & red the posts on why I can’t drag the library over. I am sure that will be next. No, Apple has not made me cynical.

  6. Jonny Edwards says

    I am signed into two PCs with the same i-tunes ID, using i-tunes 12 latest versions on both. Home sharing on both is turned on. I can see the libraries but cannot import anything. The instructions indicate a “show” pop-up at the bottom – so you can, for instance, just show items not in the library – but that is missing and I cannot drag anything.

    Any ideas?

  7. Gregg says

    You gotta be effin kidding me. I can’t share music from my office computer (where all the music lives) to my laptop. That means there will be no Xmas music in our house! Damn you Apple. Oh, and thanks for no disk drive in my laptop so even burning CDs not an option.

  8. hansi says

    mayby dumb, but took a while for me to figure it out. you can see play the other itune, but not copy, drag etc.

  9. Mike says

    SOLVED: I was seeing the same issue as some other users. While in the shared library, I could not drag items to the left of the screen and drop them in my local library. I have found the solutions (at least for me). If you don’t have Home Sharing turned on (under the File menu in iTunes) or if you’re not using the same Apple ID for file sharing on both systems, it doesn’t work. You will be able to see a stream from other Shared iTunes libraries if Home Sharing isn’t set up right, but the ability to drag and drop the files will be disabled. As soon as I fixed that, I was able to copy files as described.

    Hope that helps.

  10. says

    I’m able to do it fine on a Mac and Windows. Not sure what you’re doing. The only thing I can think of is that you haven’t actually started to drag an item to make the left pane appear.

  11. Jay D says

    Your information seems incorrect, at least on a mac. When you choose the home sharing library of another computer, your own playlists and library is no longer available to drag to. You can only drag music from your own library into your playlists and such.

    Also, you post incorrectly that Ctrl B will bring back the classic menu in iTunes. On a mac it does not.

  12. Paul says

    @David, could you show this last step in more detail. Where do you drag the music from the remote computer to? Dragging it to the left puts it onto the desktop in itunes 12

  13. David Michael says

    Did you try to follow your instructions? With iTunes 12, you can no longer drag and drop music between computers. If you select the other library, you only see the other computer’s library, with no way to drag it.

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