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Home / Tips and Tricks / Apple's Family Sharing feature saves money. Here's how to set it

Apple's Family Sharing feature saves money. Here's how to set it



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Family Sharing is an Apple feature that not enough people use.


Jason Cipriani / CNET

Imagine if I told you that there was a feature built into your iPhone iPad and Mac that would save you money by letting you share app purchases, Apple Music- subscriptions and iCloud Storage? There is that. It's called Family Sharing and that means you don't have to give up your Apple ID password with family members, which is both inconvenient and insecure.

With Family Sharing, you can still see what app other family members have paid for and then download these apps for yourself without having to pay. There are other benefits of family sharing as well, such as a group calendar, reminder list, and even the ability to track a lost unit.

Family Sharing is not complicated to create, and it only takes a few minutes for each member of the group. Before you create a group, make sure you decide who will be the family organizer ̵

1; they are responsible for setting up the group and sending out invitations.





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Family Sharing Requirements and Limitations

  • All family members must have an iOS device running iOS 8 or later, or a Mac running OS X Yosemite or later.
  • You will all need an Apple ID and iCloud account.
  • Family sharing groups are limited to six members.
  • If purchase sharing is enabled, the family organization's payment method will be used to pay for all purchases.
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You don't have to keep paying for apps.


Sarah Tew / CNET

What is shared between members?

With family sharing enabled, you have the opportunity to share (or not share) the following:

In addition, a reminder list and calendar for your family group are automatically created. There is also a "Family" album created and shared between the group in the Photos app.

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The family organizer will need to set up and send invitations to family sharing.


Apple, Inc.

Starting a family group

Once you have decided who in your family will be the organizer of your group, that person must set up family sharing and send invitations.

On an iPhone, iPod Touch ($ 170 on Amazon) or iPad ($ 400 on HSN) open the app Settings tap your name and then Set Family Sharing .

Open System Settings > iCloud on a Mac and click the Set Up Family button.

Your unit guides you through the rest of the process and asks you to choose what you want to share with family members. Once you've enabled everything you want to share, you can start sending invitations to family members.

After you join a family group

You can opt out or most of the shared categories, save for Apple Music and iCloud storage. These two categories are submitted to the family organizer for control.

On an iOS device, go to Settings > touch your name> Family Sharing and look through the list of shared features. Click on a category to see how the controls you have available to you and then make adjustments as needed.

When you download an app that has already been purchased by a family member, you see an instant message that you will not be charged for the app – but only after you press the Buy Now button, which can be confusing.

A better way to see what purchased apps you can download without being charged again is to browse for a family member's purchase history by opening the App Store by touching your profile icon followed by Purchased and then select the family member's name and browse the list of apps they have purchased.

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You don't have to share your place or buy history with your family, but it's probably right to do so.


Screenshots by Jason Cipriani / CNET

What happens when you leave a family group?

You can leave or be removed from a family member group at any time. When you are no longer a member of that group, you lose access to apps, removals, music, books and services purchased by another family member. For example, if you installed an app purchased by someone else in the group, the app will remain installed on your device, but you will not be able to use it until you pay for it yourself.

Your purchase history ends up being shared with the family group, as well as your location, and the shared reminders, calendar, and photos will stop working. You can join another family group or start your own immediately after leaving a group.

After setting up family sharing, be sure to check out our latest tips and tricks for iOS 13 . We even have a compilation of hidden features in iOS and iPadOS 13 that is the key to getting more out of your phone or tablet.


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