Apple Family Sharing Explained

Diego Martinez

iOS
Apple Family Sharing

Apple Family Sharing allows up to six family members to share access to various Apple services such as Apple Music, Apple TV+, Apple News+, Apple Arcade, and Apple Card. This includes shared purchases from iTunes, Apple Books, and the App Store, as well as the ability to share an iCloud storage plan and a family photo album. Setting up Family Sharing is simple.

One family member, the organizer, invites others to join, and then the group can collectively access purchased content and subscriptions. Additionally, Family Sharing includes features like location sharing, which allows family members to help find each other’s missing devices, creating a sense of security and connectedness.

Sharing Made Simple with Apple Family Sharing

What is Apple Family Sharing?

Apple Family Sharing is a feature that allows up to six family members to share various Apple services and purchases without sharing accounts. It’s a convenient way to share access to apps, music, movies, TV shows, books, iCloud storage, and more, all while maintaining individual Apple IDs and privacy.

What Can You Share with Family Sharing?

FeatureDescription
iTunes & App StoreShare purchases from the App Store, iTunes Store, and Apple Books.
Apple MusicShare an Apple Music Family Plan subscription.
Apple TV+Share access to Apple TV+ shows and movies.
Apple ArcadeShare access to Apple Arcade games.
iCloud+Share an iCloud+ storage plan with family members.
Apple News+Share access to Apple News+ articles and magazines.
Location SharingEasily locate family members’ devices using the Find My app.
Screen TimeSet limits and monitor screen time for children’s devices.
Ask to BuyRequire approval for purchases made by children.

How to Set Up Family Sharing

  1. Choose a Family Organizer: One adult in the family becomes the organizer and invites others to join.
  2. Invite Family Members: The organizer sends invitations to family members via email or iMessage.
  3. Accept Invitations: Family members accept invitations and join the Family Sharing group.
  4. Choose What to Share: Decide which features and services you want to share with the group.

Benefits of Using Family Sharing

  • Save Money: Share subscriptions and purchases without paying multiple times.
  • Convenience: Easily access shared content across devices.
  • Parental Controls: Manage children’s screen time and spending.
  • Find My: Locate lost or misplaced devices of family members.

Things to Consider

  • Payment Method: The organizer’s payment method is used for all purchases made by the family group.
  • Content Restrictions: Some content, like in-app purchases and some subscriptions, may not be eligible for sharing.
  • Privacy: Each family member maintains their own Apple ID and personal information.

Apple Family Sharing simplifies sharing digital content and services among family members, offering convenience, cost savings, and control for parents. It’s a great way to enjoy Apple’s ecosystem together while maintaining individual privacy.

Key Takeaways

  • Apple Family Sharing allows six people to share services and purchases.
  • One family member initiates the setup and invites the others.
  • The feature enhances connectivity and security among family members.

Getting Started with Apple Family Sharing

Apple Family Sharing offers a way for up to six family members to share App Store purchases, an Apple Music subscription, iCloud storage, and more using their Apple IDs. This service simplifies access to Apple services and content, while also allowing for parental controls and shared payment methods.

Understanding Family Sharing

Family Sharing begins with one person, the organizer, who sets up the group and invites up to five additional members. Each person maintains their own personal account but can access shared data and subscriptions. It’s particularly useful for families, as it provides a way to manage purchases and content use across devices. The Family Sharing feature extends to various Apple services, including Apple Music, Apple TV+, and iCloud storage.

Setting Up Family Sharing

To start using Family Sharing:

  1. On an iPhone, iPad or iPod touch, open the Settings app.
  2. Tap your Apple ID at the top of the list.
  3. Select Set Up Family Sharing.
  4. Choose Get Started and follow the onscreen instructions.

To setup Family Sharing on a Mac:

  1. Click the Apple menu at the top left.
  2. Open System Preferences.
  3. Click Family Sharing.

One must use their Apple ID to sign in. The creator of the Family Sharing group can send invites via email or iMessage.

Managing Family Members

After setting up Family Sharing, the organizer can add family members by sending an invite to their Apple ID. Once accepted, they can share purchases and content. Manage Family within the Family Sharing settings allows organizers to add or remove members, set up accounts for children under 13, and enable parental controls. Payment methods are shared but can be adjusted as needed.

For devices like iPhone, iPad and Mac, the Settings or System Preferences app keeps Family Sharing controls readily accessible. Organizers and parents can manage their children’s accounts, including Ask to Buy requests and content restrictions. These tools help to ensure appropriate content for kids and manage purchases effectively.

Key Features of Family Sharing

Family Sharing is an innovative service by Apple that allows up to six family members to enjoy shared services and controls. It simplifies access to purchases, subscriptions, and content, while granting ways to manage privacy and safety for the family.

Sharing Purchases and Subscriptions

Family Sharing members can share many Apple subscriptions, such as Apple Music, Apple TV+, Apple News+, and Apple Arcade. They can access their own choices of music, movies, TV shows, books, and apps from the App Store. Each person uses their Apple ID, so there’s no need to share passwords or lose track of individual preferences.

Shared Content and Services

With Family Sharing, a shared album lets the family enjoy photos and videos. They can also use a family calendar to keep track of events and appointments. iCloud Storage Plans can be shared among members, which means more space for everyone without having to purchase individual plans.

Parental Controls and Safety

Parents can activate features like Ask to Buy, which gives them the power to approve children’s purchase requests. Parental controls include setting up Screen Time, which allows parents to monitor device usage and schedule downtime for their kids.

Family Access and Privacy

Location sharing is a practical feature for safety and coordination. Family members can share their locations with each other through the Find My app. Enhanced privacy options like iCloud Private Relay and Hide My Email are available for subscribers, helping to keep personal information and communications secure.