How to Set Up Family Sharing

family sharing icon

Family Sharing is a way for you and up to five other family members with to share your App Store purchases. You can also share Apple subscriptions – like Music, tv+, Arcade, News+, iCloud, and Fitness+. You can set up Apple Cash, Screen Time and other permissions for a child family member. In this article we will tell you how to set up Family Sharing for your family group.

See also:

How to Start a Family Group

To set up Family Sharing, one adult, the family organizer, will use their iPhone, iPad or Mac to set up the family group. Note: You can only be a member of one family at a time.

Using iPhone or iPad

  1. Go to Settings and tap on your name near the top of your screen.
  2. Tap on Family Sharing then tap Set Up Your Family.
  3. There will be onscreen instructions for settings up your family and inviting members.

Using your Mac

  1. Go to Apple menu  > System Preferences. Click on Family Sharing.
family sharing in system preferences
  1. Confirm your Apple ID. Follow additional onscreen instructions to set up your family group and invite members.

See also: How To Create a Family Calendar

Invite Members to Join your Family

In order to become a member of your family, everyone including children must have an Apple ID. You can create an Apple ID online, without a device if you need to. You can send your family members an invitation which they can accept from their own device, or if they are nearby or you have their Apple ID password handy, you can enter the password on your device to accept the invitation.

Note: If you have multiple Apple IDs, you can invite your other accounts to become family members, and that way you can share your purchases across your accounts.

Invite from your iPhone or iPad

  1. Go to Settings and choose your name near the top of your screen.
  2. Tap on Family Sharing, then tap Add Member.
  3. Enter your family member’s name or email them follow additional onscreen instructions.
  4. Invite your family member in person or send the invitation via Messages.

Invite from your Mac

  1. Go to Apple menu  > System Preferences and click on
  2. Add a family member:
    • macOS Catalina or later – With Family Sharing highlighted in the left sidebar, click on the plus sign under the list of your family members.
    • Mohave or earlier – Click on the plus sign to add a family member.
  3. Follow additional onscreen instructions.

See also: How To Remove, Update Or Change Your Apple Payment Method

Check if they Accepted the Invitation

On your iPhone, iPad or Mac, you can go to the Family Sharing menu and select the person’s name to see the status of their invitation.

  • On iPhone or iPad – Go to Settings > [your name] > Family Sharing.
  • On Mac – Go to Apple menu  > System Preferences. Click on Family Sharing (or iCloud then Manage Family for Mohave or earlier).

How to Accept or Decline an Invitation

You should have gotten an email or text message with the invitation. There is the option to join the family directly from the message. You can also respond to the invitation in your device’s settings.

On iPhone or iPad

Go to Settings > [your name] > Invitations. Follow the onscreen instructions to accept or decline the invitation.

On your Mac

Go to Apple menu  > System Preferences > Family Sharing (or iCloud > Manage Family, for Mohave or earlier). You will see your invitation and can follow the onscreen instructions to accept or decline.

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Dr. Stacey Butler is a tech writer at macReports covering news, how-tos, and user guides. She is a longtime Mac and iPhone user and holds a Ph.D. from the University of Illinois at Champaign-Urbana. Here is her LinkedIn profile.

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