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How to set up iOS Family Sharing

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 

  1. Open your Settings 
  2. Tap on your name 
  3. Choose Family Sharing 
  4. Tap Set Up Your Family 
  5. Invite your family to join

How to set up iOS Family Sharing

  1. Step

    Open the Settings app on your iPhone

    Whoever sets up the Family Sharing account will be the family organiser. how to set up ios family sharing

  2. Step

    Tap on your name

    This will take you to your account settings. how to set up ios family sharing

  3. Step

    Select Family Sharing

    It might say Learn More next to it if you haven’t used Family Sharing before. how to set up ios family sharing

  4. Step

    Tap Set Up Your Family

    Or tap Learn More to find out more about Apple Family Sharing. how to set up ios family sharing

  5. Step

    Tap Invite People

    You can also choose to create an account for a child at this stage if they don’t already have one. how to set up ios family sharing

  6. Step

    Invite your family to join the group

    You can use iMessage, AirDrop or invite them in person. Then, simply follow the steps onscreen. how to set up ios family sharing


What are the system requirements for Family Sharing

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

Will this merge my family’s accounts?

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.

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