How to Create an Apple ID for a Child

Keep your kids' apps and games off of your account

For years, Apple recommended that children under the age of 18 use their parents' Apple IDs to buy and download music, movies, apps, and books. It meant that the purchases the child made would be tied to their parents' account and couldn't be transferred to their own Apple ID later. That changed when Apple introduced the ability for parents to create Apple IDs for their children. These separate accounts allow kids to download content while parents monitor and control that activity. Set up Apple IDs for kids under 13; older kids can create their own.

Instructions in this article apply to iPhones running iOS 10.3 or later.

Creating an Apple ID for a Child

To set up an Apple ID for someone under 13, follow these steps:

  1. On the iPhone, tap the Settings app, tap your name, then tap Set Up Family Sharing.

    Creating an Apple ID for a child is a key requirement to set up Family Sharing, which allows family members to download each other's purchases for free. If you've gone through the initial setup of Family Sharing, skip to Step 7.

    Set Up Family Sharing option on an iPhone
  2. Tap Get Started if this is your first time setting up Family Sharing.

  3. Tap iTunes & App Store Purchases.

  4. To confirm the lead account, tap Continue.

    Setting up Family Sharing on an iPhone
  5. To confirm the payment method used for Family Sharing, tap Continue.

    You must have a credit card on file (not a debit card) to share purchases. Anyone on the Family Sharing profile will be able to use this payment method. To avoid unexpected charges, turn off in-app purchases on the iPhone.

  6. Tap Not Now to skip inviting family members.

    Confirming payment and skipping inviting family members for Family Sharing
  7. To add a new account, go to your account page, tap Family Sharing, select Add Family Member, then tap Create a Child Account.

    Adding a family member to Family Sharing on an iPhone
  8. Review the conditions of the Apple ID, then tap Next.

  9. Enter the child's birthday, then tap Next.

    Once you add an Apple ID to Family Sharing, you can't remove it until the owner is over 13 years old.

    Entering a birthday for a child's Apple ID
  10. Read and agree to the Parent Privacy Disclosure.

  11. To confirm that you control the credit card that's on file in your Apple ID as a security measure, enter the CVV (3-digit number) on the back of the credit card, then tap Next.

  12. Enter the child's name and create an iCloud email address for them.

  13. To confirm that you want to create the Apple ID using that address, tap Create.

  14. Create a password for your child's Apple ID. Make this something that the child can remember.

    Apple requires Apple ID passwords to meet certain levels of security, so it may take a few tries to get something that meets Apple's requirements and is easy for your child to remember.

  15. Set three security questions to use in case you and your child forget the password.

    Confirming Apple ID and then setting a password and security questions

Enable Ask to Buy and Location Sharing

The basics of the Apple ID are set up, and you're just about done. Before you finish, though, configure a couple of potentially useful features for your child's Apple ID.

The first is Ask to Buy. Use this feature to approve or deny purchases your child wants to make from the iTunes and App Stores. Parents of younger children might want to monitor what their children are consuming. To turn Ask to Buy on, move the slider to on/green. When you've made your choice, tap Next.

Then, choose whether you want to share your child's location (or at least the location of their iPhone) with you. This feature shows you where your child is and makes it easy to send directions and meet up using Messages, Find My Friends, or Find My iPhone. Tap the choice you prefer. 

Go to the main Family Sharing screen to see your child's information listed. Have your child log in to their new Apple ID to make sure it works as expected.