How to Make the Most of Apple Family Sharing

How to Make the Most of Apple Family Sharing

If you’ve only just entered the world of Apple, it can be quite confusing at times, especially for our former Android users.

If that is the case, then not to worry as we’ve compiled everything you need to know about how to make the most of Apple’s Family Sharing.

This guide should help those who aren’t quite sure what it is, to those who want to make the most of Apple’s sharing services.

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What is Apple Family Sharing?

A child and grandfather using a phone

It may seem overwhelming when trying to keep up with every member of the family. But the good news is, that’s what the Family Sharing service is all about.

This is just another way for Apple to do what they do best, keep their services simple, accessible and organised. With up to six people per group, this tool will help maintain the organised chaos of the day-to-day activities of family life.

The featured service enables effortless sharing of music, movies, books, tv shows, as well as any other content that has been purchased. There is also a Family Photo Stream that allows you to share photos with each other.

Sharing also enables another excellent feature via Find My iPhone. Say goodbye to the days of asking family and friends to ring your misplaced mobile. Family Sharing can locate your device using another device in the family group.

Other features include:

  • Sharing a family calendar
  • Sharing locations so you know where family members are
  • The Ask To Buy feature, which prevents children under 18 purchasing content without approval.

How it Works

A group of people using their phones

First off, for Family Sharing to work your devices must run anything above iOS 8. Once it has been established that all the devices allow the service, you will need to designate a family member as the family organizer.

This role entails being the single point of payment for any purchases in the group. They will handle any requests for purchases and manage the family group through invitations and designating others as a parent or guardian.

How to Set Up Apple Family Sharing

To set up the Family Share service, you will need to click on settings. Tap on the Apple ID banner with your name on and select Family Sharing. Your iPhone will then take you through the process of setting it up step by step.

During this, you’ll manually add family members to your group by typing in their names. If you have a child under the age of 13, you will have to create an Apple ID for them.

Accepting Family Sharing Invitations

Access your Apple ID banner through the settings app. Towards the bottom of the screen, you’ll notice a section designated to invitations. Once selected, you can then accept the invitation.

Assigning Family Members as a Parent or Guardian

If you would like to assign someone in the group as a parent or guardian you’ll need to go back into Family Sharing via the settings app. Tap on their name and there will be an option to assign them as a parent or guardian.

Creating a Child ID

You can create a specific Apple ID account for a child under the age of 13; this allows access to the feature to ask for permission before purchasing content such as games and films etc.

To do this, all you need to do is access Family Sharing through the settings app and select ‘Add Family Member’. There will be an option to ‘Create a Child Account’ which will take you through the process.

If you have already made an account but it’s not a Child Account and would like to enable the Ask to Buy feature, then you will have to log into the My Apple ID website and change the date of birth.

Leaving the Family Sharing Service

If you want to leave the group, you may be wondering what happens to the purchased content. Well, we’ve got some good news! The content purchased while using the service will remain on your device after leaving.

You will, however, lose access to all other available content shared by other family members, this includes anything that was not purchased using the shared credit card.

Apple Family Sharing Features

People using their phones on a table

We’ve looked at the ins and outs of setting up your Family sharing, but what about the fun stuff? We’re going to cover the available options for you to manage and make the most of your sharing service!

Parental Controls

We’ve mentioned the Ask To Buy feature, which is turned on by default for those of the age or under 13.

However, if you want to give the kids a bit more independence, then you can utilise the service and set up Apple Cash. You’ll be able to view and limit their spending, as well as send and receive money in messages.

You will also have access to Screen Time; from this, you can view reports and adjust settings, giving you a glimpse into how they use their device.

Locations and Lost Devices

With this feature, you’ll be able to share locations and find other devices. You can keep track of activities with ease, whether you’re running late or want to check they got home okay.

If you are in need of a little privacy, you can turn off the Share My Location feature.

Sharing is Caring

Share subscriptions, Apple Music, Apple Arcade and much more! If your family member already has a subscription, the family organiser can invite them to share it via Messages.

iCloud storage can be shared between the family; be sure to pick an amount that will be enough to store the family's photos, music, games, documents and more.

Sharing the iCloud storage does not mean that personal content such as photos and files will be accessible to others in the group; you can still maintain your privacy.


The Apple Family Sharing service may seem like there is no privacy, but we assure you that your personal content such as photos and video will only be viewed by others if you share selected items using the Shared Album feature.

You can also hide apps so they will not appear in the family members’ purchases. Because of this, they will not be able to download the app but it will still appear in your purchase history.

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