Learn how to easily stream music, videos, and movies from your Mac library to your iPhone or iPad using the Home Sharing feature.
I have several old songs and music videos on my Mac that are ineligible to upload/sync to my Apple Music library. As a consequence, these are not available inside the Music app on my iPhone or iPad. I can transfer them to my phone using Finder, but I do not listen to those tracks every day, and having the entire collection will immediately fill my iPhone’s local storage. Therefore, whenever I want to access these media on my iOS device, I use the handy Home Sharing feature.
Home Sharing allows you to stream content from up to five computers (Mac or PC) when your computer and phone are on the same Wi-Fi. The setup is easy, and this tutorial guides you through everything you need to do to get started
How to stream your Mac’s media library on iPhone or iPad using Home Sharing
Step 1: The essentials
- Make sure your iPhone, iPad, and Mac are using the same Apple ID.
- Make sure your Mac and iPhone/iPad are connected to the same Wi-Fi network.
Step 2: Turn on Media Sharing on your Mac
- Open System Settings on your Mac and go to General > Sharing.
- Turn on the switch for Media Sharing.
- After enabling Media Sharing, you will see a popup saying, ‘Enter the Apple ID used to create your Home Share.’ Type your Apple ID and password, and click Turn On Home Sharing.
- If you don’t see the popup in Step 3, hit the info icon ⓘ next to Media Sharing and make sure Home Sharing is checked. If the Home Sharing option isn’t checked, click inside its box and then click Turn On Home Sharing, enter your Apple ID password, and hit Turn On Home Sharing again. After that, hit OK > Done.
Step 3: Authorize your Mac
- Open the Music or TV app on your Mac.
- From the top menu bar, click Account > Authorizations > Authorize This Computer.
- Enter your Apple ID password and hit Authorize.
Note: You can authorize up to five computers (Mac or PC) with your Apple ID. If you have exceeded that number, learn how to deauthorize a computer in order to make room for another one.
Step 4: Keep your Mac powered on
Make sure your Mac is powered on, and you’re logged in to your user account. You can also leave the Music or TV app open.
Note: I quit the Music and TV app on my Mac while accessing its media on my iPhone, and it continued to work. Still, it’s better to keep both of those apps open on your Mac. Worth noting is that Home Sharing also worked when my Mac was locked (but not in sleep).
Step 5: Turn on Home Sharing on your iPhone or iPad
- Open the Settings app and tap Music.
- Scroll to the bottom, tap Sign In under the Home Sharing heading, and Sign In using your Apple ID. Wait for a few seconds on this screen until you see your Apple ID under Home Sharing.
- Go back to the main Settings app screen, tap TV, and Sign In.
Step 6: Access Mac’s media library on iPhone or iPad
- Open the Music or TV app on your iPhone or iPad. We are using the Music app.
- Tap Library at the bottom.
- You should see the Home Sharing option here. If not, tap Edit > check Home Sharing > Done.
- Select your Mac’s name. If you have Home Sharing set up on two or more computers, they will all appear here.
You’re now accessing your Mac’s media library on your iPhone. Go inside Artists, Albums, Songs, Music Videos, etc., and tap a song or video to play it.
Have a second Mac?
In addition to accessing your Mac’s media library on your iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch, you can also access, play, and even import the files on your other Mac. Simply open the Music app on your second Mac, click Library, and choose your first Mac under the Home Sharing heading.
You can also give other computers (belonging to you or anyone else) on the same Wi-Fi or Ethernet network access to your Mac’s music and videos using Public Sharing.
To do that, click the info icon ⓘ next to Media Sharing in your first Mac’s System Settings > General > Sharing, and check ‘Share media with guests.’ You can also click Options and set a password or choose to share only selected items. Other computers on the same Wi-Fi network will now be able to access your media.
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