iTunes: How to Create Multiple Libraries

For households with a single computer, a single library in iTunes can be a real pain. Each member of the household has their own tastes and they don’t always match up with those of the other members. iTunes allows you to create multiple libraries so that each member can have their own without having to look at other members’ media choices.

1. Make sure that iTunes is closed.

2. For Mac users: Hold down the Option key on the keyboard while clicking the iTunes icon to launch iTunes.

For Windows users: Hold down the Shift key on the keyboard while clicking the iTunes icon to launch iTunes.

3. When the Choose iTunes Library window appears, click the Create Library button.

4. Input a name for the library, such as the person’s name.

5. Use the Where dropdown and select the location that you want the library to be created to.

6. Click the Save button.

7. iTunes will open and you will see the library’s name at the top of the iTunes window.

8. You now have an empty library that can be filled with only the media desired for that person, simply add media to the library as you normally would. Repeat the above steps to create additional libraries.

To access the different libraries:

1. Make sure that iTunes is closed.

2. For Mac users: Hold down the Option key on the keyboard while clicking the iTunes icon to launch iTunes.

For Windows users: Hold down the Shift key on the keyboard while clicking the iTunes icon to launch iTunes.

3. When the Choose iTunes Library window appears, click the Choose Library button.

4. When the Open iTunes Library window, select the desired library and click the Choose button. If you saved the library to a location different from the default, you need to navigate to the desired location.

 

About Rob Rogers

Once a prolific author here on Tech-Recipes, Rob has moved on to greener pastures.
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The Conversation

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  • Giovanni Vaccarino

    Good feature but still not enough. What I would really need is also the possibility to maintain different preferences setting and different library location.

  • Bud05

    I was wondering if there was a way that i could have multiple itunes icons on my dek top? Or atleast an easier way to open the differant libraries than holding down the shift key and doing all that?

  • Vince

    Hey people, I know it might be too late for comments, but I forgive me if I’m wrong. The easiest way for everyone in the household to share one computer with multiple libraries is to create each user account for everyone that needs their own media library with their customized preferences, settings, and playlists. That way, you don’t have to hold down SHIFT/APPLE keys before lauching iTunes, because you might just forget to do it, and that’s a pain. Good luck!

  • Kirsten

    Help! I just created my own iTunes library, but now when I try to access my partner’s original library, I can’t. I’m holding the shift key before and while I click on iTunes, but the “choose iTunes library” option box doesn’t come up; it just opens to my new library.

    I made sure iTunes was closed first. Did the whole control-alt-delete thing to see what was running, and turned off iTunes and closed the folder holding my songs. I keep trying it again and again and still no prompt—and no access to the original library.

    Thanks in advance!