How To Set up Multiple Accounts on your Apple TV

Everyone Can Take Charge

Multiple accounts on Apple TV
Now entire families have gone digital, everyone has something they want to watch on TV. C/o: ONOKY, Eric Audras. Getty

Unless you live alone, Apple TV is a product the whole family will share. That’s great, but how do you decide which Apple ID you link your system to? Who gets to choose which apps to download to the system? And what do you do if you use Apple TV in an office or meeting room and needs to support additional users? The solution is already here as you can link multiple accounts to an Apple TV.

This means you can set up multiple iTunes and iCloud identities for each family member, though you can only access these one at a time and must log into the appropriate account.

The reason you might want to do this is that it lets you watch movies and TV shows that have been purchased by different members of the family, or even by visitors if you choose to support their Apple ID on your TV.

How to Add Another Account

In Apple’s world, each account has its own Apple ID. To add another Apple ID to your account you must ensure your Apple TV software is up-to-date and open Settings > iTunes Store.

Now follow these steps:

  • In iTunes Store Settings, select Accounts at the top of the screen.
  • You will be taken to the iTunes Store Accounts screen. Here you can define and manage any accounts you have available on your Apple TV.
  • Select ‘Add New Account’ and enter the Apple ID account details of the new account you want your Apple TV to support. (This two-part process requires you to enter your Apple ID first, hit Continue, and then enter the Apple ID password).
  • Repeat this procedure for each account you want to support.

    When the process is complete your Apple TV will be available to each account, once you switch to the appropriate account.

    How to Switch Between Accounts

    You can only use one account at a time. It is quite easy to switch between multiple accounts once you have set your Apple TV up to support them.

    • Open Settings > iTunes Store
    • Click Accounts in iTunes Store Settings (Above)
    • Select the account you want to use.

    What Next?

    The first thing to note when you have multiple accounts enabled is that when you purchase items from the App Store you don’t get the chance to choose which Apple ID to makes that purchase, instead you must ensure you are in the appropriate account before you buy anything.

    It is also a good idea to keep an eye on how much data you have stored on your Apple TV. This is because when you have two or more people using the Apple TV you are likely to see multiple apps, image libraries and movies download the device. That’s not unusual of course – it’s part of why you want to support multiple users in the first place, but it can be a challenge if you are using the lower capacity entry-level model.  

    You may want to 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 highly useful if you want to try new apps, but if you need to manage a limited amount of storage space you will need to switch this off. Automatic Downloads are enabled and disabled in Settings > Apps, where you toggle Automatically Download Apps between off and on.

    If you become short of storage, open Settings and go to General > Manage Storage to review which apps are taking up space on your Apple TV. You can delete those you no longer need by tapping the red Delete icon.

    To Delete an Account

    You may need to delete an account, particularly if you use this feature in meetings or classroom settings. To do so just navigate to Settings > iTunes Store, click Accounts and tap the Trash icon next to the name of the account you wish to lose. This is particularly useful in conference, classroom, and meeting room deployments where temporary access may be required.