Apple’s Family Sharing feature has been available since iOS 8 (2014) but has yet to receive sufficient attention. This undervalued characteristic is one that a growing number of households should take advantage of. The disadvantage is that many people are unaware it exists, and even fewer understand how it works. The ability to share purchases with family members is an excellent feature, made even better when you consider that just one person wants to pay for an app that everyone can use. Let’s take a look at how simple it is to configure Family Sharing on Apple devices.
Commence a Family Group
To begin, you wish to organize a household group. Only one person in the home needs to be organized as the household organizer, and this can be performed using an iOS device (iPhone or iPad) or a Mac. It is critical to note that whoever is setting themselves up does so using a bank card that can be used by anyone.
iPad or iPhone
1. Navigate to “Settings -> [Your Name]” and scroll to the bottom of the page until you see an option for “Family Sharing.”
2. Tap on “Family Sharing,” then tap again on “Add Member.” Follow the remainder of the on-screen instructions to add and invite members of your family.
1. On a Mac, open the Apple menu in the top-left nook and select System Preferences. Locate and click on “Family Sharing” on the prime proper.
2. Locate the “+” button in the display’s bottom center and follow the on-screen directions.
Nota bene, on this display, you can see on the left which subscriptions can be shared with family. This might include Apple TV, Apple Arcade, and Fitness+, among other things. Additionally, you can click on “Purchase Sharing” and ensure that “Share My Purchases” is checked. This enables family members to share app purchases.
Inviting Others to Become a Part of Your Family
Before you can add anyone to Family Sharing, it’s critical to ensure that everyone (including children) has a valid Apple ID; once that’s done, adding them to your Family Sharing plan is a breeze. You might begin by inviting a single family member or by inviting everyone in your circle of loved ones (up to six individuals).
iPad or iPhone
1. Return to “Settings -> Your Name” and click once more on Family Sharing.
2. Tap “Add Member,” type the individual’s name or email address, and then follow the on-screen steps.
3. At this point, iOS will ask you if you want to send a message to your family members or invite them in person. Select the technique that appeals to you and follow the guidelines.
4. To accept the invitation, the invited individual should navigate to “Settings -> Your Name -> Invitations” and follow the on-screen steps. Anyone joining a household account will apparently be asked to validate their account information prior to finalizing their inclusion to the Family Sharing account.
1. Select System Preferences once more from the Apple menu (Apple brand).
2. Select Family Sharing and then the “+” button toward the bottom. Select “Invite People” and the supply method you wish to use. This includes Mail, Messages, Airdrop, and in-person invitations. Alternatively, you might create a linked infant account.
3. The newly invited family member should navigate to “Apple Menu -> System Preferences,” then to “Family Sharing.” Accept an invitation by following the on-screen prompts and validating your account information.
Identifying Common Purchases on the iPhone and iPad
- Apps: Launch the App Store application and tap on your profile image in the upper right corner. Select “Purchased,” then “Family Purchases.” From there, you’ll find a list of available apps to download and use on your iOS machine.
- On an iPhone, launch the iTunes Store application and tap on “More” on the backside. Following that, tap “Purchased” and then “Family Purchases.”
- You can now choose from Music, Movies, or TV shows. On an iPad, open the iTunes Store app, tap “Purchased,” then “My Purchases.” Select a family member from whom to receive an app.
- Books: Begin by launching the Apple Books application and tapping on your profile in the upper right-hand corner. Select the family member from whom you require assistance, and then indicate whether you require a book or an audiobook.
- Apps: On the Mac, open the App Store and click on the profile icon in the upper left corner of the screen. Alternatively, you can click on Store in the menu bar and then on “View My Account.” On the Account screen that appears, click on the name next to “Purchased by” to view the available downloads.
- Apple Music/Apple TV: To begin, launch the Music or TV app (which are now distinct on macOS) and navigate to “Account -> Family Purchases” in the menu bar. If you have a household account set up, you should see a drop-down field that allows you to select a family member with whom to share an app.
- Books: Launch the Books app and navigate to “Store > View My Apple ID” from the primary menu bar. On the left side, look for an option labeled “Purchased,” then click on the drop-down field to select a family member’s identity.