Set up Family Sharing for IPhone and ITunes

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Setting up Family Sharing in IOS 8.0 Or Later

set up family sharing, step 1

Apple introduced its Family Sharing feature with iOS 8.0 and it's still available with iOS 10. It addresses a long-standing issue in the world of the iPhone and iTunes: letting entire families share content bought or downloaded by just one of them. Anyone who is part of the group can download music, movies, TV shows, apps and books purchased by another family member when Family Sharing is set up. It saves money and lets entire families enjoy the same entertainment. Each member can only belong to one family at a time. 

First, each family member needs:

  • An iPhone, iPod touch or iPad 
  • IOS 8.0 or higher
  • An Apple ID/iTunes account

Follow these steps to set up Family Sharing. A parent should set up Family Sharing. The person who initially sets it up will be the "Family Organizer" and have the most control over how Family Sharing works. 

  • Go to Settings > iCloud.  In iCloud, tap Set Up Family Sharing.
  • You'll be asked if you want to be the Family Organizer. Confirm that you do and that you're signed in with your own Apple ID.
  • Now simply follow the onscreen instructions. 
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Family Sharing Payment Method and Location Sharing

set up family sharing, step 2

After you've initiated the Family Sharing setup, you must take a few more steps. 

  • Go to the Share Purchases screen and make sure the Apple ID you're logged in with is the one whose purchases you want to share. If so, tap Continue. If not, tap the link at the bottom of the screen to change this setting. 
  • Confirm that the credit or debit card you have on file is the one that you want to use for shared purchases. You can do this on the payment screen. This card will be used not only for your own purchases, but for every purchase made by everyone in your Family Sharing group. All purchases must be made using the same credit or debit card. If children under 18 try to make purchases, you'll be asked to approve them
  • You can choose to enable a feature that will allow your family members to see where you are (or at least where your phone is) whenever it's online using Messages, Find My Friends, or Find My iPhone. Tap Share Your Location if you want to do this, or Not Now. Then you'll move on to the next step.
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Invite Others to Family Sharing

set up family sharing, step 3

Now you can invite other family members to join the group. 

  • Go to Settings > iCloud > Family > Add Family Member. 
  • Type in each family member's name or email address. The person must be listed in your Contacts or Phone app
  • Follow the onscreen instructions. 

Family members can accept your invitation in one of two ways. 

  • Ask your family member to enter his Apple ID password. Choose this option if the person is nearby and can use your iPhone or computer. 
  • Send an invitation. If you choose this option, your family member will receive an invitation on his own device asking him to join the group.

You can check to see if your family member has accepted your invitation.

  • Go to Settings > iCloud > Family on your iOS device. Select the person's name to view his status. 
  • When he's entered his password or accepted your invitation, he'll be asked to confirm which Apple ID he wants to use. His Apple ID will appear on the screen. He can either change the account or tap Next to continue.
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Share Location and Sign in for Family Sharing

set up family sharing, step 5

After each new member of your Family Sharing group has accepted his invitation and signed into his account, he, too, must decide whether he wants to share his location. This can be very useful — it's valuable to know where your family is, both for safety and for purposes of meeting up — but it can also feel intrusive. Each member of the group can decide individually how to answer this question.

  • Each family member should tap Share Location or Not Now, then tap Next.

Now you'll be asked as Organizer to log into your iCloud account to complete the addition of the new person to the group. You'll return to the main Family Sharing screen on your iOS device where you can either add more Family Members or move on and do something else.

Learn more about Family Sharing: