How to Share Your Plex Library With Friends

This guide will take you each step of the way through setting up one or more accounts for your friends to use to access your Plex library (or whichever parts of it you want to share).

Did you know you can share all of the movies, TV shows and music that you have indexed in your Plex Media Server with your friends? It’s quite easy too! Just follow the steps outlined below and your friends will be forever in your debt :)

  1. Sign in to your Plex Media Server and click your ‘user icon’ in the upper-right corner of the Plex interface. Select Users from the drop-down menu.
  2. an arrow pointing to Users in Plex

  3. On the Users screen, select Friends from the navigation column on the left side of the screen.
  4. an arrow pointing to Friends in Plex

  5. Click the INVITE FRIEND button.
  6. the Plex invite friend button

  7. Enter your friends Plex username or email address. If they don’t have a Plex account yet that’s completely fine, they’ll be prompted to create one in the ‘invitation email’ they receive when you invite them to share your library. If your friend doesn’t want to install the Plex Media Server software that’s completely fine too – they’ll be able to access your content using just their web browser.
  8. the share Plex library wizard
    click to enlarge

  9. Now you’ll need to decide exactly what you want your friend to be able to access. If you have more than one Plex Server you’ll need to select the content you want to share from each one – they’re all accessible from the MY SERVERS list (see screenshot below). If you want your friend to be able to access everything, just leave All Libraries checked. If you want to limit access to just TV Shows, Movies, Photos or Music, remove the check mark from All Libraries and select only the ones you want to share.
  10. the library section of the share Plex wizard
    click to enlarge

  11. Now select the Restrictions category from the column on the left. If you want to allow your friend to be able to sync your content as well, place a check in the Allow Sync box, and you can do the same for the Allow Camera Upload and Allow Channels features. Unless you’re certain, it’s probably best to leave the above 3 features disabled – that way your friend will never be able to alter your libraries in any way. To filter content for accessibility even further, you can narrow down content by Ratings or Labels. When you’re ready, click the INVITE button.
  12. invite a friend to share your Plex library
    click to enlarge

  13. Your Users screen will now have a box displaying the status of your invitation.
  14. the invitation screen to Plex

  15. Meanwhile, your friend will receive an email that looks something like the screenshot below:
  16. an email from Plex

  17. Your friend will not have the same ‘permissions’ as you – they won’t be able to change the info for files (names, cover art etc) nor will they be able to delete things. They’ll be able to stream and get basic info about the media, and that’s about it.
  18. an example Plex library

  19. Here’s what they’ll see when they select Get Info on one of your media files. Information like the bitrate for the audio and video, duration of the media, frame rates and things like that. They will not be able to see where on your drive the file is stored.
  20. the media info screen in Plex

  21. That’s it! You can return to the Users section at any time to edit your friends access to your Plex Media Server.
  22. If you want to make sure your friends can find content on in your Plex Library, make sure the cover artwork is configured correct.

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