Apple Family Sharing is the easiest way to share subscriptions with your family and introduce parental controls for your kids without merging your accounts. Here’s how to set it up.
When you create a Family Sharing group, you’re able to share your App Store subscriptions, Apple TV, Apple Books and iTunes purchases, your location and even your Apple Card (if you’re in the US) with up to five other family members.
This means there’s no need to waste your cash on multiple iCloud Plus, Apple TV Plus, Apple Music, Apple Fitness Plus, Apple News Plus or Apple Arcade subscriptions, along with plenty of other App Store purchases.
Not only that, but you can set up parental controls to manage your children’s purchases, limit their Screen Time and choose the contacts they’re allowed to communicate with on their devices, making it safer for them to use their phones or tablets.
This guide will cover how to set up Family Sharing on an iPhone, but you can also use this feature on an iPad, iPod Touch, Mac, PC and Apple TV.
What you’ll need:
- An iPhone running iOS 8 or above
The Short Version
- Open your Settings
- Tap on your name
- Choose Family Sharing
- Tap Set Up Your Family
- Invite your family to join
How to set up iOS Family Sharing
Open the Settings app on your iPhone
Whoever sets up the Family Sharing account will be the family organiser.
Tap on your name
This will take you to your account settings.
Select Family Sharing
It might say Learn More next to it if you haven’t used Family Sharing before.
Tap Set Up Your Family
Or tap Learn More to find out more about Apple Family Sharing.
Tap Invite People
You can also choose to create an account for a child at this stage if they don’t already have one.
Invite your family to join the group
You can use iMessage, AirDrop or invite them in person. Then, simply follow the steps onscreen.
To open a Family Sharing group, you’ll need to be running one of the following operating systems on an iPhone, iPad, iPod Touch, Mac, PC or Apple TV:
iOS 8 or above
OS X Yosemite and iTunes 12 or above
iCloud for Windows 4.1 and iTunes 12 or above
tvOS 7.0 or above
No, each family member will still have their own account so their own activity can remain private, including photos, files and documents. Each person will also see their own preferences and recommendations in the apps they’re subscribed to and sharing.