How to Turn Off Family Sharing for iTunes

Family using devices

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Family Sharing allows family members to share their iTunes and App Store purchases with each other. While it's a terrific tool for families with several iOS devices, you might prefer to disable Family Sharing.

Only the Family Sharing organizer — the name used for the person who originally set up sharing for your family — can turn the feature off. However, even if you're not the organizer, you can still disable Family Sharing for yourself by leaving the group.

How to Turn Off Family Sharing

If you're the organizer, follow these steps in your device's Settings app to turn off Family Sharing for everyone:

  1. Open the Settings app.

  2. Select your name at the top of the screen and then choose Family Sharing.

    If you're using iOS 10.2 or older, go to iCloud > Family instead.

  3. Tap your name again, and then select Stop Family Sharing.

    iPhone settings, Apple ID, and Stop Family Sharing screens
  4. Confirm by tapping Stop Sharing.

You can also disband a family group from your Mac:

  1. Select the Apple menu and choose System Preferences.

  2. Choose iCloud and then Manage Family.

    You'll need to log in with your Apple ID if you aren't already. If you don't know your login details, reset your Apple ID password.

  3. Select your name and then hit the remove button in the bottom left corner.

With Family Sharing disabled, no one in your family can share their content until you turn the feature back on (or a new organizer steps in and sets up a new share).

How to Leave Your Family Group

Another way to disable Family Sharing for yourself is to leave the family group. You can do this on your iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, or Mac.

To leave the family group from your iOS device, repeat steps 1-3 from the iOS directions above, but choose Leave Family instead of the option to stop sharing altogether.

The same can be done from your Mac. Just repeat the steps above to remove yourself from the Family Sharing group.

What Happens When You Disable Family Sharing

If you deactivate Family Sharing, you may wonder what happens to the items that your family shared with each other. The answer depends on where the content came from originally. If you were part of a family Apple Music subscription or a shared iCloud storage plan, you'll lose access to those.

TV shows, movies, books, and certain other purchases through the iTunes Store are protected by Digital Rights Management (DRM). DRM restricts the ways in which you can use and share your content (generally to prevent unauthorized copying or piracy). These items will stop working when the Family Sharing group is disbanded. This covers content someone else got from you and anything that you received from them.

However, although that content can't be used, it's not deleted. In fact, all the content you got from sharing is listed on your device. You just need to re-purchase it using your individual Apple ID if you want to use it again. If not, you can have it deleted from your device.

If you've made any in-app purchases that you no longer have access to, you haven't lost those purchases. Simply download the app again and you can restore those in-app purchases at no additional cost.

Can't Stop Family Sharing?

Stopping Family Sharing usually is pretty straightforward. However, there's one scenario in which you can't simply turn it off: if you have a child under 13 as part of your Family Sharing group. Apple doesn't allow you to remove a child that young from a Family Sharing group the same way you'd remove other users

If you're stuck in this situation, there is a way to remove the child from Family Sharing (besides waiting for that child's thirteenth birthday, that is). Once you've done that, you should be able to turn off Family Sharing.