Apple now lets everyone watch their own TV shows without making things messy

Gone are the days of picking a master Apple ID for the whole house. Now everyone can stream their own music, movies and more.

Dale Smith Former Associate Writer
Dale Smith is a former Associate Writer on the How-To team at CNET.
Dale Smith
2 min read

Apple's TVOS 13 has a new Home screen, which includes Apple Arcade.


Apple released TVOS 13 at the end of September, bringing a host of new features to fourth- and fifth-generation Apple TVs, including a revamped Apple Music, the new Apple Arcade gaming subscription service and the ability to set up multiple profiles for different household members or guests. If your Apple TV, however, hasn't received the new OS, you're not taking advantage of the new features, such as pairing a PlayStation or Xbox controller to Apple's entertainment and gaming system, and being able to play Apple Arcade.

Even though most Apple TV owners have the set-top box set to update automatically, it doesn't always do so immediately following a TVOS release. If you haven't yet received a message on your Apple TV inviting you to update to TVOS 13, you might need to go in and manually upgrade. 

Apple's new  TV app  is meant for individuals, not for families or roommates to share. It lists shows and movies you've been watching (so you can quickly pick them up again), shows you've chosen to follow (so you know when new episodes are released) and movies and shows you've purchased on  iTunes . Same for  Apple Music . Favorites, playlists and even the suggestion feed are all personalized. To better accommodate multiple users, Apple has baked the ability to set up multiple user profiles into TVOS 13.

Here's a step-by-step guide for installing TVOS 13 on your late-model Apple TV as well as instructions on how to set up and switch between multiple user profiles.


Tim Cook announces the new features in TVOS 13 at Apple's Worldwide Developers Conference in June.

James Martin/CNET

How to update to TVOS 13

To check and see if your Apple TV needs a kickstart to upgrade, do the following.

1. Launch Settings from the home screen.

2. Navigate to Settings > System > Software Updates.

3. If an update is available, select Download and Install.

4. While you're there, go ahead and make sure Update Automatically is selected.


Only fourth- and fifth-generation Apple TVs will give you the option to create multiple user profiles in TVOS 13.


How to set up multiple user profiles

Here's how to set up multiple user profiles.

1. Launch Settings.

2. Select Accounts.

3. Select iTunes and App Store.

4. Select Add New Apple ID.

5. Select Enter New.

6. Enter the new Apple ID (usually an email address), and select Continue.

7. Enter the password for the new Apple ID, then select Sign In.


Tim Cook introduces Apple TV Plus at Apple's September iPhone event.

Connie Guglielmo/CNET

How to switch between multiple user profiles

To switch between multiple accounts on your Apple TV, do the following.

1. Press the Home/TV button on your Apple TV remote.

2. Select your user profile from the list at the top of the popup screen.

If, for some reason, that doesn't work, here's a slightly more complicated method.

1. Launch Settings from the home screen.

2. Select Accounts.

3. Select iTunes and App Store

4. Select the account you want to use.

That's it! Now whenever you turn on your Apple TV, select your own profile and you'll get customized recommendations along with access to your own streaming services and playlists. And if you're curious about  Apple Arcade , here's a list of all the games you can play on your Apple TV.

Apple TV app gets a redesign, channels and offline downloads

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