iCloud Family Sharing – Part 3

In case you missed the last post, I have taken Family Sharing on your iOS devices like the iPhone and iPad and unpacked what it looks like to get everyone in your family connected. Today, I would like to briefly explain what Family Sharing is like on your iMac or MacBook, as well as Apple TV.

Family Sharing on Mac

The steps to enable Family Sharing on your Mac are super easy and here’s how to do it:

Click the Apple logo in the upper left corner () and click System Preferences. You’ll then see a window with the title “System Preferences.” As shown in the picture above, in the third row you’ll see the first icon is iCloud. Click that icon and you’ll see the screen below (on the left).


In this box, you’ll see your picture (or the mystery person silhouette, if you haven’t set up your picture) and also a slew of checkboxes and options to choose from. We’re going to focus on the buttons just below the picture. The button I want you to click is “Manage Family.”

In the above right image, you will see the next screen that will display more details about your account. If you already have family members added to your “family,” those members will show up in the list on the left-hand side. You’ll see at the bottom of the right-hand pane, there is a checkbox labeled “Share my purchases.” In order for your family members to have access to your purchases, be sure that this box is checked.

That’s pretty much it as far as the Mac is concerned.

Family Sharing on Apple TV

📸Screenshot: iDownload Blog

Think of Apple TV as simply a vehicle for your Family Sharing content. As of this writing, Apple has not made a direct method for users to set up Family Sharing capabilities via the Apple TV platform. As you can see in the screenshot above, you can access all of your content on Apple TV, but you have to complete the setup process on your Mac or iPhone/iPad.

tvOS is great for iCloud Family Sharing
📸 Apple

The key is to ensure that you are logged into the same AppleID that you use as the “Organizer” of your family unit.

Ask To Buy (for the kids)

Put simply, Ask to Buy is a great feature Apple has created that allows your children to have the freedom to choose for themselves, while leaving the decision-making ability in your hands. When a child in your family unit opts to acquire a free or paid app/song/album/movie/TV show, iCloud will alert the Parent/Guardian or Organizer who will then approve or deny the purchase request.

To activate “Ask to Buy” on your iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch:

Go to Settings>YOUR NAME>Family Sharing. If your device is running iOS 10.2 or older, go to Settings>iCloud>Family.

To activate “Ask to Buy” on your Mac computer:

Click the  icon>System Preferences>iCloud>Manage Family>Select the family member you wish to enable “Ask to Buy” and select the toggle switch.

To approve or decline a request, simply open the notification you receive from the family member select Approve or Deny. If you Approve a request, you will be prompted to sign in via your AppleID in order to complete the approval and purchase process. Once that is done, the family member will have access to the requested content.

Location Sharing

Lastly, as part of the iCloud Family Sharing experience, you have the opportunity to share your location and the location of all of your powered-on devices.

As you accept an invitation to join the family, you will be asked if you’d like to share your location.

Family Location Sharing via iCloud
                                                                                        📸 Apple

At this point, you have mastered the art of iCloud Family Sharing. With all of this information, you are on your way to creating a much more enjoyable experience on all of your devices with your family!

As always, leave a comment with any questions or issues you may encounter with the setup or understanding of Family Sharing. I’d be glad to help!


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