Share Your App Store Purchases with Family: A Complete Tutorial

Dean Morgan
By Dean Morgan
29 Min Read
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Sharing purchases with family is now commonplace in the digital era. Technology makes it simple to share apps, music, movies, and more with loved ones. This article looks at how to share purchases across Apple devices – iPhone, iPad, and Mac.

Apple devices offer features to share purchases with family members. Family Sharing allows access to purchases for up to 6 family members without needing individual purchases. To set up, open Settings and select “Family Sharing.” Invite family members via iMessage or email. Once accepted, they can access shared purchases.

Family Sharing also provides parental controls to restrict content and set screen time limits for younger family members. Everyone in the family can enjoy a safe, age-appropriate digital environment.

Sharing was not always like this – initially it was released in 2014 with iOS 8, and users had difficulties setting up Family Sharing and syncing purchased items. Updates and improvements were made, such as Ask to Buy, where children under 18 need permission from designated adults before making any purchase.

Welcome to the dysfunctional world of Family Sharing on Apple devices! Share your devices, share your regrets.

Setting up Family Sharing on Apple devices

Setting up Family Sharing on Apple devices can be done easily, allowing you to share purchases and other content with your family members. Here is a step-by-step guide to help you set it up:

  1. Open the Settings app on your device.
  2. Tap on your Apple ID banner at the top of the screen.
  3. Choose “Family Sharing” from the menu.
  4. Tap “Set Up Your Family” and follow the prompts to invite family members.
  5. Select the features you want to share, such as purchases, Apple Music, and iCloud storage.
  6. Once everything is set up, your family members will receive invitations to join and can start enjoying the shared content.

It’s worth noting that Family Sharing also allows you to manage your family members’ devices through Screen Time settings and locate their devices with Find My.

Don’t miss out on the benefits of Family Sharing. Set it up today and enjoy sharing purchases and content with your loved ones effortlessly.

Sharing is caring, unless we’re talking about your secret stash of adult coloring books, then sharing is strictly off-limits.

Enabling Family Sharing on iPhone

  1. Open the Settings app on your iPhone.
  2. Tap your Apple ID at the top.
  3. Select “Set Up Family Sharing“.
  4. Follow the prompts for unique benefits. These include iCloud storage, location tracking, and managing screen time limits.
  5. Explore these hidden gems for a more personalized experience.

Remember to choose features carefully for a seamless experience. If you wish to share your iPad with family and have control, then Family Sharing is essential.

Enabling Family Sharing on iPad

To enable Family Sharing on your iPad, it’s easy!

  1. Go to Settings, tap on your Apple ID, select “Set Up Family Sharing“.

You’re done! You can now share apps, content, and iCloud storage with family members.

Plus, parents can monitor and control their children’s activities through parental controls.

A few tips to make the most of this feature:

  1. Share Purchases: Get everyone in the family to share their purchases. This way, you save money and have access to lots of apps and media.
  2. Set Up Ask to Buy: If you have kids in the family, enable the “Ask to Buy” feature. That way, they need approval before buying anything from the App Store or iTunes Store. It helps parents keep tabs on their children’s spending habits.

Now that you know how to use Family Sharing, it’s time to make the most of it and enjoy all its benefits!

Enabling Family Sharing on Mac

  1. Open the Apple menu and select System Preferences.
  2. Click on “Family Sharing”, then hit the “Set Up Family” button.
  3. You can choose to share App Store purchases or Apple Music subscriptions – or both!
  4. To add family members, enter their Apple IDs or make new ones if need be. They’ll receive an invite to join your family group.
  5. Remember, one person only has to purchase something for everyone to share it.
  6. Parents can also create Apple IDs for their kids under 13 and control their screen time.
  7. Did you know that Family Sharing was introduced in 2014? It’s now a must-have for Apple users worldwide.
  8. Setting up Family Sharing would be more fun if it was like adding toppings to a pizza!

Adding family members to the Family Sharing group

Adding Family Members to the Group for Sharing Purchases

To add family members to the Family Sharing group on your iPhone, iPad, or Mac, follow these steps:

  1. Open the Settings app on your device.
  2. Tap on your name at the top of the screen.
  3. Select “Family Sharing” from the menu.
  4. Tap on “Add Family Member”.
  5. Enter the person’s Apple ID or email address associated with their Apple ID.
  6. Follow the prompts to send an invitation to join the Family Sharing group.

By following these steps, you can easily add family members to the group and start sharing purchases, subscriptions, and other content with them. It’s a convenient way to manage and enjoy shared digital resources within your family.

Once the family member receives the invitation, they can accept it and join the group. They will have access to the shared purchases and subscriptions, as well as other family features like sharing iCloud storage and location sharing.

Interestingly, the concept of Family Sharing and the ability to add family members to a shared group was introduced by Apple with the release of iOS 8. It aimed to enhance the experience of Apple device owners by allowing them to share their purchases and subscriptions with their family members, ultimately creating a more connected and efficient ecosystem.

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Sharing the joys of impulse buying with your loved ones has never been easier, thanks to Apple’s feature that lets you invite family members on iPhone – just be prepared for the inevitable blame game when your sister buys another pair of designer shoes.

Inviting family members on iPhone

  1. Open the Settings app on your iPhone.
  2. Scroll down and tap on your Apple ID at the top of the screen.
  3. Select “Family Sharing” from the list of options.
  4. Tap on “Add Family Member” and enter their Apple ID or create a new one for them.

Send an invitation. Your family member will receive a notification. To accept, follow the instructions in the notification.

Family Sharing offers many features. You can set up parental controls for children, share photos, and track locations with Find My iPhone.

Invite your loved ones to join your Family Sharing group on iPhone. Apple introduced this feature with iOS 8 in 2014. It’s a popular way to share content and manage digital lives together.

Inviting family members on iPad

  1. Open the Settings app on your iPad.
  2. Scroll down and tap on your Apple ID.
  3. Tap “Family Sharing” from the menu.
  4. Select “Add Family Member.”
  5. Enter their Apple ID or email address.
  6. Follow the prompts to finish the invitation.

You can easily invite family to join your Family Sharing group. Enjoy shared purchases and subscriptions. It is convenient and carries an interesting history. Since its launch, it has revolutionized how families manage digital content and expenses. Bringing loved ones closer together in our digital age.

Building a digital family on your Mac is simpler than navigating your actual family tree.

Inviting family members on Mac

Invite family to your Mac! Here’s how:

  1. From the Apple menu, open System Preferences.
  2. Click on Family Sharing.
  3. Select Add Family Member and enter their Apple ID. Follow the prompts.

Family Sharing is a great way to stay connected. Share purchases and subscriptions, and keep tabs on family members with Find My.

Take Sarah, for example. A busy working mom, she invited her kids to join her sharing group and added them with their Apple IDs. Now she can approve or decline app purchases for her children without having to constantly monitor them. It has made managing her family’s digital life a lot easier!

Sharing is caring – unless it’s your sibling’s embarrassing online shopping history. Then it’s just plain funny!

Sharing purchases with family members

Sharing purchases with your family members is now easier than ever on your Apple devices. Here are the key points to keep in mind when it comes to this feature:

  • Apple Family Sharing allows up to six family members to share apps, music, movies, and other purchases made on the App Store, iTunes Store, and Apple Books.
  • You can also share subscriptions such as Apple Music, Apple News+, and Apple Arcade.
  • Family members can make their own purchases and use their own Apple IDs while still benefiting from shared content.
  • Parents can set up Ask to Buy, which allows them to approve or decline their children’s purchases before they are completed.
  • Shared purchases are automatically downloaded to all family members’ devices, making it easy to enjoy content without having to purchase it individually.

It’s worth noting that this feature supports not only purchases but also other family-oriented features like sharing a family calendar, photos, and iCloud storage plans. With Apple’s Family Sharing, you can conveniently manage your family’s purchases and enjoy a seamless digital experience together.

And now, a little history tidbit: Apple introduced Family Sharing with the release of iOS 8 in 2014. Since then, it has become an essential feature for families using Apple devices, promoting a sense of togetherness and convenience.

Sharing App Store purchases: Because sharing is caring, and nothing says I love you like sharing that 99 cent game you regret buying.

Sharing App Store purchases

  1. Set up Family Sharing.
  2. Open Settings and select your name.
  3. Tap on ‘Family Sharing’ and add family members.
  4. You’re ready to share App Store purchases!
  5. In the ‘Family Sharing’ settings, choose which types of purchases to share.
  6. Decide if you want to include/exclude apps, music, movies, or books.
  7. In-app purchases and subscriptions aren’t automatically shared.
  8. Make sure to buy those directly from the App Store for everyone in your family group to access.
  9. Once set up, your family members can access shared content on their devices.
  10. Go to the App Store or media app and find the items under ‘Purchased’ or ‘Family Purchases’.

Did you know? Even if someone else makes a purchase in a shared app or game, it won’t cost anything for other family members. So, if your little cousin wants extra lives in a game, they can buy them without extra charges.

John and Jane shared their tech savvy. They used Family Sharing to enjoy reading without separate purchases. Not only did it save money, but it also allowed them to share thoughts on the same books.

Finally, family bonding over iTunes Store purchases? No extra charge for arguing over that embarrassing guilty pleasure song.

Sharing iTunes Store purchases

Family Sharing lets you invite up to six family members to share your iTunes Store purchases. These purchases can be accessed and downloaded across all devices, including iPhones, iPads, Macs, and Apple TVs.

Plus, there are parental controls in place. You can approve or decline each purchase made by those under 18. That way, you can ensure your family enjoys the iTunes Store safely.

Additionally, you can share all sorts of content, from apps and games to TV shows and books. So, everyone in your family can find something they like.

Plus, if you want to keep some items private, you can hide them from the shared settings. This way, you have complete control over what’s visible.

So, use Family Sharing to bring the whole family together through entertainment! You can even buy books for the whole family, giving your kids a chance to explore fictional worlds.

Sharing iBooks purchases

Did you know Family Sharing has been around since iOS 8? It’s awesome! It allows up to six family members to access a wide range of books, without buying them each. Plus, you can gift books directly from the iBooks Store to your loved ones.

And if you enable iCloud for iBooks, your whole family can read the same books across multiple devices. Sharing iBooks purchases helps foster a love for reading within families, as well as encouraging discussions and bonding over shared literary experiences.

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Share your Apple Music subscription with your family too – it’s cheaper than a live band!

Sharing Apple Music subscription

Set up Family Sharing to get everyone in one group.

Follow these steps:

  1. Open the Apple Music app and tap ‘For You’.
  2. Tap the profile icon at the top-right corner.
  3. Scroll down and select ‘View Apple ID’.
  4. Authenticate with Face ID or Touch ID if needed.
  5. Under Subscriptions, tap ‘Manage’ and toggle on the switch for ‘Share with Family’.

Each family member will get personalized recommendations, playlists, and downloads – tailored to their own taste.

Survey says: 68 million people worldwide use Apple Music’s paid streaming service.

Having trouble sharing purchases? Love and App Store passwords are both tricky to share.

Managing Family Sharing settings

Managing Family Sharing settings allows users to control and customize their sharing preferences within the familial network. Each member can access shared purchases, subscriptions, and even set up parental controls for younger members.

  • Customizing Sharing Preferences: Users have the ability to choose which purchases, subscriptions, and media they want to share with family members. This level of control allows for a personalized sharing experience within the family.
  • Setting Up Parental Controls: Managing Family Sharing settings also includes the option to set up parental controls for younger family members. This feature enables parents to restrict content, limit online purchases, and manage screen time for their children.
  • Managing Payment Methods: In addition to sharing purchases, family members can also manage their payment methods within the Family Sharing settings. This allows for easy tracking and management of billing information.

These settings provide a seamless and secure way for family members to share purchases and subscriptions while maintaining individual preferences and privacy.

By implementing Family Sharing settings, Apple ensures a convenient and efficient sharing experience for its users.

Want to avoid any family feuds over shared purchases? Just remember, controlling shared purchases and payments on your iPhone, iPad, and Mac is like being the referee at a black Friday sale.

Controlling shared purchases and payments

Here’s a table to provide an overview of managing shared purchases and payments:

Controlling Shared Purchases and Payments
Who Can Make Purchases?
– Organizer
– Adults
– Kids
Payment Method Options
– Credit/Debit Cards
– Store Credit (iTunes/Apple Music)
– PayPal

Remember, the organizer has the final say when it comes to approving or declining requests from other family members.

Tips for better managing shared purchases and payments:

  1. Set Spending Limits: Establish limits for each family member to prevent overspending.
  2. Require Approval: Let the organizer review and approve any purchase requests before charges are incurred.
  3. Monitor Purchase History: Check the history to spot any potential issues.
  4. Educate on Responsible Spending: Encourage conversations about budgeting and smart decisions.

By applying these tips, families can control shared purchases and payments while teaching financial responsibility. Plus, set app restrictions to experience the misery of not playing Candy Crush at bedtime!

Managing screen time and app restrictions

These days, taking charge of screen time and app restrictions is essential for families. Here’s what to keep in mind:

  • Set limits: Balance screen time with other activities by limiting time spent on devices.
  • Choose wisely: With so many apps available, pick age-appropriate, educational ones.
  • Stay alert: Monitor app usage and screen time to make sure everything is in check.
  • Communicate: Encourage open conversations about tech use, so everyone feels heard.

There’s more to it than that – parental control features can provide extra customization and tailored restrictions. To illustrate the importance of managing screen time, here’s a story. My friend recently noticed her son spending too much time on games. So she set limits and rewarded him for completing tasks before playing. Eventually, he got back into outdoor activities and was more engaged with the family. This shows how effective management of screen time can be for children’s wellbeing.

It’s essential to find a balance between tech and other aspects of life. By implementing strategies and managing screen time and app restrictions, families can create a healthy environment where everyone can thrive both on- and off-screen. Become a family detective by locating devices, because finding your teen’s phone is an ongoing quest!

Locating family members’ devices

  1. Open the Settings app on your device.
  2. Tap your Apple ID name at the top.
  3. Scroll down and select “Family Sharing.”
  4. Go to “Find My” under Shared Features.
  5. Choose the family member to locate from the list.
  6. Then, tap on “Locate [family member’s name].”

For more privacy and consent, it’s better to discuss location sharing with your family members and obtain permission before using the feature often.

Troubleshooting tips for Family Sharing: If your kids are sharing passwords like they do colds, use some tips to solve the problem.

Troubleshooting common issues with Family Sharing

Family Sharing is a feature on iPhone, iPad, and Mac that allows users to share purchases with family members. If you encounter any issues while using Family Sharing, here are some troubleshooting steps to resolve them:

  1. Ensure all family members have iCloud set up and are using the same Apple ID for purchases.
  2. Check if Family Sharing is properly set up by going to Settings, tapping on your name, and selecting Family Sharing. Here, you can verify the Sharing status.
  3. If certain purchases or apps are not appearing for all family members, check the Share My Purchases option under Family Sharing settings to ensure it is enabled.
  4. If there are problems with purchase sharing, try signing out and back into the App Store or iTunes with the same Apple ID used for Family Sharing.
  5. In case you encounter any issues with inviting family members or joining a family group, make sure everyone is using the latest software version on their devices.

Additional details to consider are the importance of having a stable internet connection throughout the troubleshooting process. By following these troubleshooting steps with a professional and informative tone, you can effectively resolve any common issues that may arise with Family Sharing.

Here are some suggestions to resolve common issues with Family Sharing:

  1. Restart your devices: Sometimes, a simple restart can resolve minor glitches and connectivity issues. Restarting your iPhone, iPad, or Mac can refresh the system and improve Family Sharing functionality.
  2. Update iOS or macOS: Ensure that all devices involved in Family Sharing are running the latest software version. Updates often include bug fixes and improvements to enhance the overall performance of Family Sharing.
  3. Contact Apple Support: If the troubleshooting steps mentioned above don’t resolve the issue, reach out to Apple Support for further assistance. They have the knowledge and expertise to guide you through more advanced solutions specific to your situation.
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Adding family members was so frustrating on my iPhone, I felt like I needed a family therapist just to get through the process.

Unable to add family member

Are you having trouble adding someone to your Family Sharing plan? Don’t worry, we have a 5-step guide for you!

  1. Check Eligibility: The person must have an Apple ID, be over 13 (or the minimum age in your country), and not be in another family group.
  2. Verify Settings: Go to “Settings” on each device, select your name, and see if “Set Up Family Sharing” is displayed. Confirm they have permission.
  3. Update Software: Ensure all devices, yours and theirs, have the latest iOS or macOS. Old software can cause problems.
  4. Confirm iCloud Storage: Make sure there’s enough space on your iCloud account for a new family member. Upgrade storage if needed.
  5. Troubleshoot Network Connection: All devices must have a good connection. Try switching between Wi-Fi and cellular data.

If you have more problems, reach out to Apple Support or visit their online community forums.

Enjoy the benefits of Family Sharing! Make memories and share experiences with your loved ones. Don’t let invisible spending habits and dirty socks get in the way!

Purchases not showing up in Family Sharing


  1. Verify purchase settings. Ensure Family Sharing is enabled in the App Store or iTunes settings.
  2. Update devices. Get the latest iOS or macOS. Mixing versions could create compatibility problems.
  3. Check payment info. If a shared payment method, like a credit card, was used, make sure it’s up-to-date.
  4. Restart devices. A reboot might fix any bugs stopping purchases from showing in Family Sharing.
  5. Contact Apple Support. They have more advanced solutions to diagnose and fix any issues.
  6. Also, family members must enable purchase visibility in their settings. Remind them to do this.

Finally, troubleshooting can involve checking settings, updating software, verifying payments, restarting devices, and contacting Apple Support. Following these steps should let you enjoy seamless sharing.

Remember, where privacy and shared content are concerned, there’s no secret recipe!

Privacy concerns and managing shared content

When it comes to privacy and shared content, there are few key points to keep in mind:

  • Set clear boundaries and agree on what’s ok to share within your Family Sharing group.
  • Make use of the privacy settings available to protect sensitive info.

And here’s a tip sheet to help:

Tip/Feature Description
Share Photos Easily share pics with your Family Sharing group using the designated photos feature.
Control App Purchases Restrict app purchases made by family members to keep spending within limits.
Screen Time Management Manage screen time for kids by setting limits on device usage and scheduling downtime.
Location Sharing Share locations with family for added safety and convenience.

Remember, each member has control over their own privacy settings. This means they can choose what info to share. To make the most of Family Sharing and address privacy concerns, talk openly about expectations and boundaries. Review and adjust settings as needed for a safe and secure environment.

Family Sharing offers great tools for managing shared content. Utilize the privacy features to find a balance between sharing and personal boundaries. So start exploring today!

Conclusion: Take on the challenge of Family Sharing—it’ll make you question your life choices but it’s worth it!


Step into the world of shared buys for Apple gadgets. This hassle-free feature lets you and your family access the same apps, music, films and more. Apple makes it smooth to manage and control what is shared with iCloud Family Sharing.

Share subscriptions like Apple Music and Apple Arcade with ease. When it comes to managing shared purchases, Apple provides strong controls. You can set up purchase approval settings and supervise who accesses what content.

For those under 18, there is Ask to Buy. This guarantees that guardians can monitor every purchase made by their children.

Tip: Get a family subscription plan for services like Apple Music or iCloud storage. This helps everyone benefit without costing too much.

Apple has made it easier than ever to create a digital platform where everyone can get the best of tech. Begin sharing and take advantage of the convenience!

Frequently Asked Questions

How can I share purchases with my family on iPhone, iPad, and Mac?

To share purchases with your family on Apple devices, you need to set up Family Sharing. Open Settings, tap your name, select 'Set Up Family Sharing', and follow the on-screen instructions.

What can I share with my family using Family Sharing?

With Family Sharing, you can share purchases from the App Store, iTunes Store, Apple Books, and Apple Music. You can also share iCloud storage, as well as keep track of each other's location using Find My.

Can I control what my family members can share using Family Sharing?

Yes, as the family organizer, you have the ability to set up parental controls and determine what content can be shared among family members. Simply open Settings, tap on your name, select 'Family Sharing', and manage the settings.

Can family members make purchases using my credit card?

By default, family members will use their own payment methods for personal purchases. However, as the family organizer, you can enable the 'Ask to Buy' feature for children under 18, which requires your approval before their purchases are finalized.

Is sharing purchases through Family Sharing available worldwide?

Yes, Family Sharing is available in over 100 countries. However, the availability of certain features may vary depending on your country or region.

Can I remove someone from Family Sharing?

As the family organizer, you have the authority to remove members from your Family Sharing group. Simply go to Settings, tap your name, select 'Family Sharing', choose the family member you want to remove, and tap 'Remove [Name]'. They will no longer have access to shared purchases and services.
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