How to Hide iTunes and App Store Purchases in Family Sharing

Prevent your family from seeing what you bought

iphone family plan

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The Family Sharing feature built into Apple devices makes it easy for any members of a family to freely download music, movies, TV shows, books, and apps that were purchased by other members. It's a terrific way for families to save money and enjoy the same entertainment.

However, there might be purchases that you want just for yourself and not shared with everyone else. For instance, parents might not want the R-rated movies they buy to be available to their 8-year-olds. The same is true for some songs and books. 

Fortunately, each member of the family can hide any of their purchases in Family Sharing without the need to remove the people you're hiding them from.

This article applies to iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch devices running iOS 11 and newer, and Macs running at least macOS 10.13.

How to Hide App Store Purchases in Family Sharing

To hide apps you've purchased from the App Store locate the app from the App Store app and select the Hide option.

  1. Open the App Store app.

  2. Tap the picture thumbnail from the upper-right corner. If you're running an old version of iOS and you don't see the picture, select Updates at the bottom.

  3. Tap Purchased.

  4. Select My Purchases.

  5. Swipe from right to left on any app that you want to hide from Family Sharing, and select Hide.

    App Store, Account, and Purchases screens on iPhone
  6. Tap Done at the top when you're finished.

Hiding apps from the Family Sharing service isn't the same as hiding an app from your device so that people using your phone can't see it or open it. Learn how to lock an iPhone app if that's what you're after. There are also vault apps for hiding photos, videos, and texts.

How to Hide iTunes Store Purchases in Family Sharing

Hiding iTunes Store purchases from other Family Sharing users is fairly similar to hiding App Store purchases. The major difference 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 your device.

These steps pertain to iTunes 12.9. Learn how to update iTunes to the latest version if you need help.

  1. Open iTunes and select Store near the center of the top of the program.

    iTunes song library in Windows
  2. Select Purchased from the right-hand column, mid-way down the page.

    iTunes Store tab in Windows

    If asked, log in with your Apple ID that's associated with Family Sharing.

  3. Select Music, Movies, TV Shows, Books, or Audiobooks from the top right.

  4. Hover the mouse over the items you want hidden from Family Sharing, and select X at the top left.

    iTunes Store movie purchases in Windows
  5. Select Hide.

    Hide button for a movie in iTunes Store for Windows

How to Unhide Purchases in Family Sharing

Hiding apps, movies, books, etc., is useful, but there are some instances where you'll need to unhide those items, like to re-download the purchase.

  1. From iTunes, go to the Account menu and select View My Account.

    iTunes account menu options

    You might be asked to log in with your Apple ID.

  2. Scroll down to the iTunes in the Cloud section and select Manage.

    iTunes in the Cloud manage button
  3. Locate the hidden song, movie, book, app, etc. through the menus at the top right.

  4. Select Unhide to make the purchase available through Family Sharing again.

    Hidden Purchases screen in iTunes for Windows