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Troubleshooting Home Sharing

Symptoms

Learn what you can do if, after setting up Home Sharing, you cannot access your shared iTunes library over your home network from another computer, Apple TV, or iOS device.

Resolution

1. Set up Home Sharing on all devices

If you need help setting up Home Sharing, use the articles below. Read the articles for the devices or computers you are trying to use with Home Sharing:

2. Verify system requirements

To use Home Sharing, you need the latest version of iTunes open on a computer that is not in sleep mode,* and one or more of the following devices on the same home network:

3. Check your Apple ID

Home Sharing requires all computers, iOS devices, and Apple TVs (2nd generation and 3rd generation) to use the same Apple ID.

To verify your intended Apple ID is enabled on all of your devices:

  1. On Apple TV, navigate to Settings > Computers and look in the bottom-left.
  2. On your iPod touch, iPhone, or iPad, navigate to Settings > Music or Settings > Videos.
  3. On your computer, open iTunes. Open the File menu and select Home Sharing. If the incorrect Apple ID is listed in iTunes, do the following:
    1. Go to File > Home Sharing and choose Turn Off Home Sharing.
    2. Choose File > Home Sharing > Turn On Home Sharing.
    3. When prompted, enter the Apple ID you'd like to use.
    4. Click Turn On Home Sharing, then Done.

A maximum of five computers can use Home Sharing at one time. If this limit has been reached and you want to add a new Home Share, deauthorize one or more computers by choosing Deauthorize Computer from the Store menu in iTunes. For more information about authorization and deauthorization, see About iTunes Store authorization and deauthorization.

4. Check your network connection

Home Sharing requires a home network with an active Internet connection. All the devices you want to use with Home Sharing need to be connected to your home network.

In addition, verify that:
  • All your devices are connected to the same router, if you have multiple routers. Using multiple routers may prevent discovery between these devices.
  • Your devices are not using a Virtual Private Network (VPN), or that they are all on the same VPN. A VPN may isolate the device and cause connectivity disruptions.
  • If you have a router set up with a guest network, make sure all devices are either connected to the guest network and devices on the guest network are allowed to communicate with each other, or switch all devices to the primary network on your router.
  • If your computer is asleep or shutdown, or iTunes is closed, there's no access to the shared iTunes library. Wake up or start the computer and open iTunes to regain access to that library.
  • Your router needs to be up-to-date. If you are using an AirPort or Time Capsule, learn about firmware updates. If you are using a router from another manufacturer, contact the manufacturer to inquire about available updates.

5. Check Firewall settings

If you have a firewall enabled in your router or computer, make sure that the firewall is not blocking communication between your computers. Home Sharing uses TCP port 3689 and UDP port 5353 to communicate with shared iTunes libraries.

In addition, Apple TV and Mac computers will use port 123 to set the time automatically. Incorrect date and time on either the computer or Apple TV can cause errors for Home Sharing and connections in general.

If you are unsure whether your router has a firewall or the required ports open, test additional devices or another network to help isolate the issue. If the devices tested work on another home network, it is your router or network configuration.

For Mac OS X, you don't have to edit the port addresses, but make sure the firewall in Apple () menu > System Preferences > Security > Firewall are not set to:

  • Block all incoming connections
  • Allow only essential services

If you use another security/firewall software on your computer or router, follow this article or contact the manufacturer or check the documentation on how to open TCP ports 123 and 3689 as well as UDP ports 123 and 5353.

For more information on ports used by Apple products, see Well known TCP and UDP ports used by Apple software products.

6. Quit and reopen apps and iTunes

If connectivity issues persist, quit and reopen iTunes on your computer. Then, quit and reopen the apps on your iOS device.

Note that Home Sharing cannot transfer or stream audiobook content purchased from Audible.com. See Audible.com for information on using their content with multiple devices.

7. Restart your network router

Restart your home network router using the method recommended in documentation from the manufacturer. This may include disconnecting the power cord for thirty seconds or more.

Note: During this period, Internet services such as a VoIP-based phone will not work, and any additional routers may need to be reset in sequence.

8. Cannot access my library when my computer is asleep

For Apple TV to access your library while the host computer is asleep, "Wake for network access" must be turned on.

Open System Preferences > Energy Saver and select (enable) the "Wake for network access" option.

In addition, the network that the host computer and the Apple TV (2nd or 3rd generation) is connected to must support Wake on Demand feature. This works by partnering with a service running on your AirPort Base Station or Time Capsule called Bonjour Sleep Proxy.

 

Important: Mention of third-party websites and products is for informational purposes only and constitutes neither an endorsement nor a recommendation. Apple assumes no responsibility with regard to the selection, performance or use of information or products found at third-party websites. Apple provides this only as a convenience to our users. Apple has not tested the information found on these sites and makes no representations regarding its accuracy or reliability. There are risks inherent in the use of any information or products found on the Internet, and Apple assumes no responsibility in this regard. Please understand that a third-party site is independent from Apple and that Apple has no control over the content on that website. Please contact the vendor for additional information.
Important: Information about products not manufactured by Apple is provided for information purposes only and does not constitute Apple’s recommendation or endorsement. Please contact the vendor for additional information.
Last Modified: Mar 24, 2014
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  • Last Modified: Mar 24, 2014
  • Article: TS2972
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