Should my family have separate iTunes accounts? Can we keep our purchases?- Reader Q & A

An anonymous reader asked: “My kid has an iPhone and her iTunes account uses my email address and credit card. I never noticed until I attempted to create an account for my new iPad. Should we share accounts, or separate? Can I transfer our previous purchases to the new account?”

A: This is a common situation in families. As for what you should do, it depends greatly on the situation and there are few things you need to consider when deciding.

Firstly you need to consider what you would be losing by ditching that account. Apps, books, and music don’t transfer over between accounts, so everything you bought will be stuck on that old account.

two men fighting- itunes accounts can cause some big family fights
itunes accounts can cause some big family fights

Secondly, you need to consider what your needs are. Do you plan on using Apple’s email service? Do you plan on using iCloud to sync your calendars and photos? There are so many great options for each of these services out there that you really don’t need iCloud. Unless either of you is using Apple’s email service ( or calendar sync, which it doesn’t sound like you are, there is really no detriment to sharing accounts.

If you don’t want to lose your investment into media on the account, and you don’t really plan on using Apple’s email (not the app itself- you can still use that) then keep the account. If it’s a new account with very little spent, there is literally no detriment to starting a new account for yourself and you should. It’s all based on your needs, but I hope this helps.

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Michael Sitver

Michael Sitver is a technology insider who has been blogging about technology since 2011. Along the way, he's interviewed founders of innovative startups, and executives from fortune 500 companies, and he's tried dozens or hundreds of gadgets. Michael has also contributed to works featured in Newsday, The San Francisco Chronicle, and the associated press. Michael also occasionally consults, and writes for Seeking Alpha and Yahoo News.

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