How to Stop and Turn Off Family Sharing

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Family Sharing lets family members share their iTunes and App Store purchases enjoy with each other. It's a terrific tool if you've got a household full of iPhone users. Even better, you only have to pay for everything once!

To learn more about setting up and using Family Sharing, check out:

You may not want to use Family Sharing forever, though. In fact, you may decide that you want to turn Family Sharing off completely. The only person who can turn off Family Sharing is the Organizer, the name used for the person who originally set up sharing for your family. If you're not the Organizer, you won't be able to turn the feature off; you'll need to ask the Organizer to do that.

How to Turn Off Family Sharing

If you are the Organizer and want to turn off Family Sharing, follow these steps:

  1. Tap the Settings app 
  2. Tap your name and photo at the top of the screen 
  3. Tap Family Sharing
  4. Tap your name
  5. Tap the Stop Family Sharing button. 

With that, Family Sharing is turned off. No one in your family will be able to share their content until you turn the feature back on (or a new Organizer steps in and sets up a new Family Share).

What Happens to Shared Content?

If your family once used Family Sharing and has now turned off the feature, what happens to the items that your family shared with each other? The answer has two parts, depending on where the content came from originally. 

Anything purchased at the iTunes Store or App Store is protected by Digital Rights Management (DRM). DRM restricts the ways in which you can use and share your content (generally to prevent authorized copying or piracy). This means that anything shared via Family Sharing stops working. That includes content someone else has gotten from you and anything that you got from them.

Even though that content can't be used anymore, it's not deleted. In fact, all of 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've made any in-app purchases in apps that you no longer have access to, you haven't lost those purchases. Simply download or purchase the app again and you can restore those in-app purchases at no additional cost.   

When You Can't Stop Family Sharing

Stopping Family Sharing usually is pretty straight forward. 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 out (besides waiting for that child's thirteenth birthday, that is). This article explains ​how to remove a child under 13 from Family Sharing. Once you've done that, you should be able to turn off Family Sharing.