How to Hide iTunes and App Store Purchases in Family Sharing

iphone family plan
image credit Jiangang Wang/Moment Mobile/Getty Images

The Family Sharing feature built into Apple devices makes it easy for any members of a family to download the music, movies, TV shows, books, and apps that every other member of the family has bought — for free! It's a terrific way for families to save money and enjoy the same entertainment.

But there are some purchases that you may not want to be available to everyone in the family. For instance, parents might not want the R-rated movies they buy to be available for their 8-year-olds to watch. The same is true for some songs and books. Luckily, Family Sharing lets each member of the family to hide any of their purchases from the rest of the family. This article shows how to hide your purchases in Family Sharing.

This article applies to iPhones, iPads, and iPod touches running iOS 11 and iOS 12, and to Macs running macOS 10.13 and 10.14.

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How to Hide App Store Purchases in Family Sharing

A set of screenshots showing how to hide purchased apps from Family Sharing

To hide apps you've purchased at the App Store from your family members, do the following:

  1. Ensure that Family Sharing is set up.
  2. Tap the App Store app on your iPhone to open it.
  3. Tap your photo in the top right corner (on older versions of iOS, tap the Updates menu in the bottom right corner).
  4. Tap Purchased.
  5. Tap My Purchases.
  6. You'll see a list of all the apps you've download from the App Store. To hide an app, swipe from right to left across the app until the Hide button appears
  7. Tap the Hide button. This will hide the app from other Family Sharing users.

Skip to section 4 of this article to learn how to unhide App Store purchases.

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How to Hide iTunes Store Purchases in Family Sharing

A screenshot showing how to hide iTunes purchases from Family Sharing

Hiding iTunes Store purchases from other Family Sharing users is fairly similar to hiding App Store purchases. The major difference, though, is that iTunes Store purchases can only be hidden using the iTunes program on a Mac or Windows computer. You can't use the iTunes Store app on the iPhone to hide purchases.

To hide iTunes purchases like music, movies, and TV from Family Sharing, follow these steps:

  1. Open iTunes on your computer.
  2. Click the Store menu near the top center of the window.
  3. At the homepage of the Store, click the Purchased link in the right-hand column.
  4. You may be asked to log into your account. If you are, do so.
  5. This will show you a listing of everything you've purchased from the iTunes Store. You can view Music, Movies, TV Shows, or Audiobooks, as well as items that are in your library and those that are only in your iCloud Music Library. Select the item you want to hide.
  6. When the item you want to hide is displayed on the screen, hover your mouse over it. An X icon will appear at the top left of the item
  7. Click the X icon and the item is hidden.
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Hiding Apple Books Purchases from Family Sharing

A screenshot showing how to hide Apple Books purchases from Family Sharing

Parents may want to prevent their kids from accessing some of the parents' books using Family Sharing. In order to do that, you need to hide your Apple Books (formerly iBooks) purchases using the Apple Books app. To do that:

  1. Launch the Apple Books program on your computer. The Apple Books app on iOS doesn't support hiding purchases.
  2. Click Store menu at the top.
  3. Click Store Home.
  4. In the right-hand column, click the Purchased link
  5. This takes you to a listing of all the books you've purchased from the Apple Books Store
  6. Hover your mouse over the book you want to hide. An X icon appears in the top left corner.
  7. Click the X icon and the book is hidden.
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How to Unhide Purchases in Family Sharing

A screenshot showing how to unhide iTunes purchases in Family Sharing

Hiding purchases can be useful, but there are some instances in which you'll need to unhide those items (if you need to re-download the purchase, for instance, you have to unhide it before you can re-download). In that case, follow these steps:

  1. Open the iTunes program on your computer.
  2. Click the Account menu at the top of the screen.
  3. Click View My Account.
  4. Log in to your Apple ID/iTunes account, if asked to do so.
  5. Scroll down to the iTunes in the Cloud section and click on the Manage link next to Hidden Purchases.
  6. On this screen, you can view all your hidden purchases by type — Music, Movies, TV Shows, Apps, and Audiobooks. Select the type you want.
  7. When you've done this, you'll see all of your hidden purchases of that type. Beneath each one is a button labeled Unhide. Click that to unhide the item.

To unhide Apple Books purchases, use the Apple Books program on a Mac and follow the same steps, or use the Apple Books iOS app and tap your photo and then Manage Hidden Purchases.