iCloud Family Sharing – Part 2

Last week, I introduced Family Sharing, a service of iCloud. To recap, Family Sharing allows you (the “Organizer”) to create a digital family unit within your iCloud account in order to share purchases from the App Store, iTunes Store, and the iBooks Store. You also met the Parker family and we reviewed how they got everyone invited to Family Sharing and can now keep track of and share iCloud content with each other without having to pay multiple times for the same content. Now, we’re going to  take a deeper look at what content sharing looks like within a Family.

iCloud Family Sharing explained
📸 Apple
Family Sharing Content

When a member of the Parker family buys the new Taylor Swift album, everyone else in the family can download that same album to each of their respective devices. The same applies to all music, TV shows (including whole seasons), movies, apps, and books.

Season Passes from your favorite TV shows are available for Family Sharing.

Family Sharing only works on devices with iOS 8 or later or OS X Yosemite or later.

On Your iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch

To confirm your Apple ID and settings:

  1. Tap Settings>YOUR NAME>Family Sharing. (In iOS 10.2 and earlier, tap Settings> iCloud>Family.
  2. Tap YOUR NAME.
  3. Under the title “Family Sharing“, verify that your account information is correct.
  4. Ensure that “Share My Purchases” is enabled.

On Your Mac

 System Preferences iCloud Pane

To confirm your Apple ID and settings:

  1. In the upper left of your screen, select  >System Preferences>iCloud.
  2. Click “Manage Family“.
  3. Click YOUR NAME and review your account information next to Family Purchases.
  4. Make sure that Share my purchases is selected.

iCloud Family Sharing Settings page on macOS Sierra

Next, let’s look at what to do when you want to download an item purchased by another family member:

Downloading Purchased Content From Family Members

Like I said earlier, once you or a family member accept an invitation from the “Organizer” to join the family, you can view and download content from other family member’s list of purchases and enjoy them on your own device(s).

Note: Apple enforces a limit of up to 10 devices that you can download shared content to. This means that each family member can download their content to a maximum of 10 devices EACH (per AppleID account,) not total between all family members.

Up to 5 of these devices can be Macs.


Follow these steps to view and download content from other family member’s.

On Your iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch

  1. If you’re not already signed in, sign in using your AppleID.
  2. Open the Store app that you want to download content from.
  3. Go to the Purchased tab at the bottom of your screen:
    • iTunes Store: On your iPhone or iPod touch, tap More>Purchased. On your iPad, tap Purchased.
    • iBooks Store: Tap Purchased.
    • App Store: Tap Updates>Purchased*.
  4. Select the desired family member, then find the content you want to view and download.
  5. Once you find an item you want, tap Download icon.

App Store Shared Purchases

iBooks Store Family Purchases

iTunes Store Family Sharing

*If you have downloaded apps for yourself in the past but later deleted them, there is a tab at the top of the Purchased page where you can see ALL apps or sort specifically to view apps that are Not On This iPhone.

Later this week, we will unpack what this process looks like on your Mac and Apple TV (4th Generation), before we close with some final thoughts next week!

As usual, if you have any questions or issues, feel free to leave them in the comments and I’ll get back to you asap!


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