How to enable and manage iCloud Family Sharing on iOS and OS X

Posted:
in iCloud edited December 2014
Prior to iOS 8, Apple required iTunes customers to purchase content on a per-account basis, but a new Family Sharing feature lets users living in the same household share apps, music, iBooks and more.




Previously, some families would resort to registering a single iTunes Store login on multiple devices, but the solution was hardly ideal. With automatic downloads turned on, for example, purchasing an app or song on one device would unnecessarily push content to every iPhone and iPad associated with that account.

To solve this problem, Apple enabled Family Sharing. This feature allows users to associate multiple iCloud accounts to a single payment method for app, music and iBook purchases. Purchases made by any member are available to download for the entire family.

Family Sharing also gives parents better control over their child's spending habits. Accounts designated as secondary request permission to purchase a game or other app, which can be approved or denied by the primary account holder.

To get started with Family Sharing, navigate to Settings on your iOS device and scroll down to the iCloud menu. Under your name and image (if available) will be a new family section. Tap this to manage your family members.




Any current members already on your account will appear here. To add another adult shared account, tap Add Family Member.




Enter the person's iCloud email address here and tap next. This will send an invitation to the recipient's email. They will need to accept this invite to be added to your account.




To add a child's account, from the main Family Sharing screen, tap the small text at the bottom that says Create an Apple ID for a child.




Once a child's account is added you can enable the "Ask to Buy" feature that will notify you when your child is requesting to purchase an app or buy an in-app Purchase.




In order to create a child's Apple ID, you are required to have a credit card associated with your iTunes and App Store account. If you currently have a debit card attached, the iOS device will prompt you to change this.

Once you've added family members to your account, shared purchases can be seen in the App and iTunes Stores. Go to the App Store on your iOS device and tap on Updates. Then tap on the Purchased section at the top.




Once inside the purchases section, you'll be able to browse the purchases of any family member on your account and download any apps or music (in the iTunes Store app) they may have bought.







Family Sharing can also be managed on a Mac running OS X Yosemite with your iCloud associated. Open System Preferences on your Mac and tap on iCloud.




Click on Manage Family in the left column under your image.




Here you will see a list of all family members on your account. Users can remove or add family members using the + and - buttons at the bottom. Click the plus (+) icon to add a new member.




Enter the family member's email address or choose to create a new account for a child.




Once verifying your credit or debit card, the new member will be added to your Family Sharing.


«1

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 35
    Family sharing is great and makes a lot of sense. The real rubbish is that if you have kids, and they already have an Apple id, you can't convert these ids to child Apple ids. So, either you have to create new ids for them, which doesn't make any sense, or you have to add them as adults to family sharing %u2013 which also doesn't make any sense. So, kids with existing Apple ids can't really be added to family sharing. I only hope Apple will soon solve this seemingly easy to solve problem.
  • Reply 2 of 35
    Its a great Concept But all Family members have to be in the same country. They need to work on multiple country support. For ex pats this is a hassle.
  • Reply 3 of 35
    oberpongo wrote: »
    Its a great Concept But all Family members have to be in the same country. They need to work on multiple country support. For ex pats this is a hassle.

    That's what comes from betraying your fatherland.
  • Reply 4 of 35
    macapfel wrote: »
    Family sharing is great and makes a lot of sense. The real rubbish is that if you have kids, and they already have an Apple id, you can't convert these ids to child Apple ids. So, either you have to create new ids for them, which doesn't make any sense, or you have to add them as adults to family sharing %u2013 which also doesn't make any sense. So, kids with existing Apple ids can't really be added to family sharing. I only hope Apple will soon solve this seemingly easy to solve problem.

    I don't know anyone with goats smart enough to operate Apple devices.
  • Reply 5 of 35
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Benjamin Frost View Post





    I don't know anyone with goats smart enough to operate Apple devices.



    Are you drunk or is your auto correct not working? Who is talking about goats?

  • Reply 6 of 35
    elijahgelijahg Posts: 1,966member
    It seems stupid to me that you can't have a separate payment card for each person in the family sharing account, i.e if I add my girlfriend to Family Sharing, any purchases made by her are billed to me. I want to share apps etc but pay for them separately. Is that so difficult?
  • Reply 7 of 35
    genovellegenovelle Posts: 1,087member
    elijahg wrote: »
    It seems stupid to me that you can't have a separate payment card for each person in the family sharing account, i.e if I add my girlfriend to Family Sharing, any purchases made by her are billed to me. I want to share apps etc but pay for them separately. Is that so difficult?
    I think that's how they make sure we aren't just sharing with anyone outside the family. Otherwise what would stop you from just sharing with anyone you just happen to know.
  • Reply 8 of 35
    dewmedewme Posts: 3,399member
    [QUOTE] I want to share apps etc but pay for them separately. Is that so difficult?[/QUOTE]

    Seriously? This would amount to any group of people agreeing to share purchases with no central metering mechanism. So you, your girlfriend, and everyone on your soccer team decide to become a sharing family and app developers take it up the #** on their income? Why would Apple want to screw app developers over like this? I think what they've done is a reasonable compromise.
  • Reply 9 of 35
    MacProMacPro Posts: 19,215member
    macapfel wrote: »

    Are you drunk or is your auto correct not working? Who is talking about goats?

    The young of goats are called kids. Lame joke all the same.
  • Reply 10 of 35
    and yet all i want to do is merge purchases made on 2 separate iTunes accounts into 1 account. Maybe this will work, will give it a go
  • Reply 11 of 35
    Does Family Sharing work with the App Store for Mac, or just the App Store for iOS? My wife just got her own Macbook and I was hoping to share my apps with her.
  • Reply 12 of 35
    Can anyone answer this question - how do ITunes gift cards work? Do all gift cards just get merged into the family sharing account or can each person's giftcards be applied to individual accounts within the family share?
  • Reply 13 of 35



    Yes, it also works for the App Store for Mac.

  • Reply 14 of 35
    macapfel wrote: »

    Are you drunk or is your auto correct not working? Who is talking about goats?

    The young of goats are called kids. Lame joke all the same.

    You kid me not.
  • Reply 15 of 35
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by ChrisBKLYN View Post



    Can anyone answer this question - how do ITunes gift cards work? Do all gift cards just get merged into the family sharing account or can each person's giftcards be applied to individual accounts within the family share?



    I can answer this partially. And issue a complaint.

     

    As we know family members are slaved to the payment method on the master account (that's me). I often buy iTunes cards discounted and keep a balance in my iTunes account. I bought two $100 cards discounted by 25% on Black Friday.

     

    However, when family members buy anything, instead of being paid from my iTunes balance, the payment is made from my credit card on file.

     

    This, is stupid, Apple. Fix this.

  • Reply 16 of 35
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by AppleZilla View Post

     



    I can answer this partially. And issue a complaint.

     

    As we know family members are slaved to the payment method on the master account (that's me). I often buy iTunes cards discounted and keep a balance in my iTunes account. I bought two $100 cards discounted by 25% on Black Friday.

     

    However, when family members buy anything, instead of being paid from my iTunes balance, the payment is made from my credit card on file.

     

    This, is stupid, Apple. Fix this.




    Then how would you gift a card to a family member and have them get the benefit of the gift? 

  • Reply 17 of 35
    Originally Posted by MacApfel View Post

    I only hope Apple will soon solve this seemingly easy to solve problem.

     

    Their response will probably be “don’t lie about the age of your children in a potentially litigable situation”.

  • Reply 18 of 35
    mike1mike1 Posts: 2,559member

    Why do I need a credit card associated with my account to do this? It should be able to run off my gift card balance for all family members. If there is no money left on the gift card, then decline the purchase. Shouldn't be that hard.

  • Reply 19 of 35
    Is there a reason why only a credit card can be used and not a debit card? I've been using my debit card with my iTunes account for years, and when I tried to add my daughter to my account I couldn't do it. does anyone know if there is some specific reason why I can use my debit card, but have to change it to a credit card when adding a family member?
  • Reply 20 of 35
    apple ][apple ][ Posts: 9,233member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Tenchi211 View Post



    Is there a reason why only a credit card can be used and not a debit card? I've been using my debit card with my iTunes account for years, and when I tried to add my daughter to my account I couldn't do it. does anyone know if there is some specific reason why I can use my debit card, but have to change it to a credit card when adding a family member?

     

    I don't know the specific reason, other than it's Apple's rule.

     

    The solution is simple. Just use a credit card.

     

    If you don't have one, then just get one. You can get a nice bonus now too, if you get one.

     

    Go get a Chase freedom card and they'll give you $200, once you spend $500. It's free money.

Sign In or Register to comment.