How to Remove a Child From Family Sharing

Change the membership of your iOS group

Child grimacing in front of parents

Fabrice LEROUGE / ONOKY / Getty Images

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Family Sharing is an iOS feature that lets families share their iTunes and App Store purchases without having to pay for them multiple times. It's convenient, useful, and pretty easy to set up and use. Pretty easy except when it comes to one thing: removing children from Family Sharing.

In one scenario, Apple has made it very difficult—and in one case almost, but not quite, impossible—to end Family Sharing for some kids.

These instructions apply to devices running iOS 10.2 and later.

How to Remove Kids 13 and Older From Family Sharing on iOS

You can easily remove kids who are 13 years and older who are included in your Family Sharing group. Here's what to do:

You must be the organizer of the Family Sharing group to make changes to memberships.

  1. Open the Settings app on any iOS device signed in to your Apple ID.

    The iPad Settings app
  2. Tap your name at the top of the screen.

    Apple ID in Settings on an iPad
  3. Tap Family Sharing.

    The Apple ID screen in iPad settings with the Family Sharing heading highlighted
  4. Select the name of the person you want to remove from Family Sharing.

    A member of a Family Sharing group on an iPad
  5. Tap Remove.

How to Remove a Kid 13 and Older from Family Sharing on Mac

You can also remove family members on your Mac or laptop. Here's how:

  1. Open System Preferences on your Mac under the Apple menu.

    A Mac desktop with System Preferences highlighted
  2. Click iCloud.

    System Preferences on a Mac with iCloud highlighted
  3. Click Manage Family.

    iCloud settings on a Mac with the Manage Family button highlighted
  4. Select the name of the person you want to remove from Family Sharing.

    Manage Family settings screen on a Mac with a family member's name highlighted
  5. Click Remove.

Removing Kids 13 and Under From Family Sharing

Apple doesn't allow you to remove a child under the age of 13 from your Family Sharing (in the U.S., at least. The age is different in other countries). Once you've added a child that young to your Family Sharing group, they're there to stay until they turn 13.

If you've started Family Sharing and added a child under 13, you can't remove them on your own. You have a few ways you can potentially get out of this situation:

  1. Disband the family. You can disband the entire Family Sharing group and start again. When you create the new group, just don't add the child under 13. Unfortunately, if you and the child are the only people on your Family Sharing list, you need to transfer them before you can stop Family Sharing.
  2. Transfer the child to another family. Once you've added a child under 13 to Family Sharing, you can't delete them, but you can transfer them to another Family Sharing group. To do that, the Organizer of another Family Sharing group simply needs to invite the child to join their group. In this case, the child's Family Sharing account won't be truly deleted, but it won't be your responsibility any longer.  
  3. Call Apple. If transferring a child to another Family Sharing group isn't an option, you should call Apple. While the company doesn't give you a way to remove a child from Family Sharing, it has other tools that can help. Call 1-800-MY-APPLE and talk to someone who can provide support for iCloud.

When you call Apple, make sure you have all of the relevant information handy. The customer service representative will need the email address for the account of the child you want to remove. You'll also need a device handy so that you can access your own Apple ID. Apple Support will walk you through the process of removing the child, though the official removal can take up to 7 days. 

After the Child Is Removed From Family Sharing

Once the child is removed from your Family Sharing group, they won't be able to access the content they downloaded to their device from other Family Sharing members. Any content the child shared to the family group that they're no longer part of becomes inaccessible to other people in the same way.