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A Complete Guide To Family Sharing In 2017


If you have ever heard of Family Sharing, you must be aware that it allows you to share all your App Store, iBooks and iTunes purchases in a group of family members. It is possible for you to create some child accounts for your children so that you can be able to keep an eye on what sort of content they’re purchasing. It even lets you approve/disapprove purchase requests made from child accounts. And, if you are always busy with your work, it is possible for you to designate someone in the group as parent/guardian and give them the responsibility to approve/disapprove purchase requests from child members. There is a lot more that family sharing brings to the table and here we have covered everything in detail. Read on to find out.


Setting Up Family Sharing On Your iPhone/iPad

Before allowing yourself to start sharing your purchases made on App Store and iTunes, you need to setup Family Sharing on your device. The head of household or one of the parents can take this initial step and setup this group. The initial setup process allows you to add family members to the group (six members at most), select your payment method, and also setup Child IDs if required. Here is our guide on complete setup process and all necessary information that you might need about Family Sharing in the beginning.

How You Can Setup Family Sharing On Your iPhone/iPad In 2017

Setting Up Parental Controls In Family Sharing

In Family Sharing, you can enable “Ask to Buy” feature that will ensure that whenever younger children initiate a transaction to make a purchase, they have to get your approval first. This way parents/guardians can filter out purchases made by the children and can only give them access to whatever is beneficial for them. These purchases can include movies, apps, music, tv shows, etc. The default settings in Family Sharing label group organizer as parent who can approve any “Ask to Buy requests” made by the children. As mentioned earlier, you can add parents/guardians to the group if you are always too busy with your work to take care of any such requests.

As far as Child IDs are concerned, they are simple Apple IDs that are actually created for younger children specifically. Child IDs can be controlled completely by parents/guardians but when a specific age limit is reached, the child members can use that same account as a regular account in Family Sharing. So, before your children get old enough to handle everything for them, you can easily keep them under check and control the purchases they make in the group. Check out the links given below to find out how you can designate parents/guardians and setup child accounts in your family sharing group.

Adding Your Child To Family Sharing Group


Using Family Sharing And Find My iPhone Together

Family Sharing isn’t just the platform for sharing your App Store and iTunes purchases, rather it allows you to do a lot more than that. Family Sharing can be used in combination with Find My iPhone to keep track of all your devices that are part of Family Sharing group. So, if someone in the family forgets their device somewhere or if it gets stolen, other family members in the group can easily track the lost devices and find them anytime. Here is our complete guide on how you can find your lost device, or one of your family member, using Find My iPhone and Family Sharing together.


Using Reminders And Calendars With Family Sharing

Family members often have to collaborate and coordinate their schedules in their daily routine. There’s a lot that they need to remember and sharing Family calendars turns out to be a handy option to put things in order. After enabling Family Sharing, all the members of the group can have instant access to a Family calendar that is created automatically. You do not really need to set up anything at all and use it like other simple calendars and create events. Just use the calendar in whatever way you like and keep your family on same page.

Taking it a step further, reminders can also be used the same way with Family Sharing. Reminders list is also set up automatically by Family Sharing and all the group members can view reminders and make new ones on this list as well. Reminders can also be used collaboratively in Family Sharing group as well. For Instance, if you’d like someone in the group to buy something on their way back home, a reminder can be created for that and all the members in the group will have that reminder on their respective devices. You don’t really need to go through any kind of setup process for this either, and all the members of the sharing group should be able to use shared Reminders as soon as they become group members.

Go through our how-to guides below to find out how you can use reminders and calendars with Family Sharing.


Sharing Photos Using Photos App With Family Sharing On iPhone/iPad/Mac

As mentioned earlier, Family Sharing allows you to share just about everything on your iPhone/iPad/Mac let alone App Store and iTunes purchases. So, you can also use it with the iCloud Photo Sharing feature in order to share your photos with the family members without any issues whatsoever. It is similar to other shared streams of Photos and allows your family members who are part of the Family Sharing group to view everything you upload immediately. Whenever a new photo is added to the shared stream, everyone else in the group receives a notification. Once Family Sharing is enabled, you don’t need to do anything else for setting up photo sharing. Check our guides below to explore more on the topic.

Determining If Your iOS/Mac Apps Are Compatible With Family Sharing

With Family Sharing, iOS/Mac users can be able to share their App Store and iTunes purchases. And, that’s probably the main purpose of Family Sharing in the first place as well. It also depends on app developers that whether they like to offer support for Family Sharing in their apps or not. So, what this means is that all the apps out there are not eligible to be used with Family Sharing. So, in case, if you are not able to find any specific application or just get a message that you’ll have to buy an app again, there is possibility that your purchased app may not be compatible with Family Sharing. However, you can easily single out apps that are not supported from the ones that can be used with Family sharing. Take a look at our helpful guide below on finding out whether the app you want to download or have already downloaded is compatible with Family Sharing or not.

That’s all about using Family Sharing on your iPhone/iPad or Mac. Family Sharing is a complete universe in itself and is not just about sharing your iTunes or App Store purchases. It allows you to share purchases, reminders and calendars, and even let you track all the devices in the Family Sharing group. So, get acquainted with Family Sharing today and enjoy getting all its benefits.