Troubleshooting iOS 4.3 iPad Home Sharing

Have you set up iPad home sharing recently and had any issues with getting it all working correctly?  If so then this article is for you.  I get a lot of emails that people are having issues getting Home Sharing configured so here is a troubleshooting guide you can use.

Troubleshooting iOS 4.3 iPad Home Sharing

The great thing about Home Sharing is that you can use it to share and transfer media between your computer and iPad or iPhone.  Essentially what Home Sharing does for you is that it allows you to use the storage on your home computer as a hub for all your music, movies, and videos and access all that via your iPad or iPhone.  Here is our information on getting iPad Home Sharing set up.

System Requirements

The first place to start when troubleshooting iOS 4.3 iPad Home Sharing is making sure have what you need.  With Home Sharing, you will need the following:

  • iPad or iPhone with iOS 4.3.1 or 4.3.2
  • A Wireless or Ethernet network with all devices on the same network
  • The latest iTunes
  • Enabled Home Sharing on your computers and iPhone or iPad with the SAME iTunes or App Store account and password correctly entered

Local Connectivity

If you have all of the above, then you want to begin your troubleshooting with local connectivity. At the most basic level, Home Sharing requires that you be connected via Ethernet or a Wireless network where everyone is on the same network.  If you have a Wi-Fi network and  all devices are connected to it (make sure you are not connected to another Wireless network in the neighborhood) then you should be fine.

If you have an Ethernet (wired) network then you can check your network settings to make sure all your computers are on the same network by doing the following:

  • Mac OS X: Apple menu > System Preferences > Network
  • Windows XP: Start > Control Panel > Network Connections > [Network Connection Name] > Support
  • Windows Vista: Start > Control Panel > Network and Internet > Network and Sharing Center > View Status > Details
  • Windows 7: Start > Control Panel > Network and Internet > Network and Sharing Center > (Network Connection Name) > Details

You should see that you have IP addresses that are all on the same network.  Most of the time if your network has been working fine, then you will be on the same network already.

Verifying iTunes Settings

As long as you have iTunes 9 or greater then you should be able to verify that the following is set.

  • Home Sharing is set (enabled) on all computers and each one has the same iTunes or App Store password and username
  • Only 5 computers can use Home Sharing at one time. If you cannot add a device, then disable Home Sharing on one of the computers using the Advanced menu in iTunes


This typically will not be an issue, but home firewalls can cause havoc on network sharing services.  You can have firewalls enabled on your computer and on your home router.  If you do, then make sure that it is not blocking communication by allowing TCP port 3689 and UDP port 5353 communicate back and forth.

If you are using Mac OS X 10.5 (or later) then you will not have to edit the port addresses, but you will need to make sure that the Apple built-in firewall (Apple Menu > System Preferences > Security > Firewall ) does not have the following set:

  • Block all incoming sessions
  • Allow only essential services

Having these settings enabled means that Home Sharing will definitely not work.

Verifying Your iTunes Accounts Used

If you want to see and verify which iTunes accounts were used on each device then you can go into the iTunes Advanced menu and look for “Turn Off Home Sharing (“iTunes Account”) which will tell you exactly what account was used.  If you have two separate accounts set up on your computers or iPad then make sure they are all set the same.

These troubleshooting tips for iPad iOS 4.3 Home Sharing should solve the majority of issues.  For the most part it works extremely well but issues have cropped up all over the place since everyone has a different network setup and various firewalls in place, etc.  The best thing to do if you just can’t get it working is to turn it all off and start over going step by step and taking note where it breaks.

If this helped or did not help let us know in the comments below.



  1. gary H says:

    Hi, I am looking to get an ipad 2. But, I have been told that you cannot add attachments to emails?
    Is this correct?
    I would like to use the device for more than just a social tool.
    My wife would use it for her face book time, but, I would like to think it can be used for a business tool also.
    If it cannot attache a simple attachment to an email, it may not be so advantageous to me?
    Can you give me the answer to my question please?
    Gary H

    1. Hi there Gary – thanks for the comment….

      It’s true that within the native Mail app you cannot add an attachment but there are many apps and applications on the iPad that let you send mail – so it’s the equivalent of an attachment. For example, there are PDF apps such as Goodreader that let you send a PDF via mail.

      In fact, most of the apps you get will let you share a document or image, etc. via mail.

      You can definitely use the iPad 2 for business….mostly you will find that you will be using a lot of apps in order to use it for business and it really depends on the types of things you want to do with it…what kinds of things would you want to use it for?

  2. John T. says:

    I have checked thru all of the above but still find it impossible to put my photos – which are stored in iPhoto & Aperture on my External HP due to lack of space on my MBA (first generation). Have looked everywhere for answers but have found none.
    I am sure that my case cannot be unique.

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