How to setup Family Sharing on your iPhone or iPad in iOS 8

BY Gautam Prabhu

Published 17 Sep 2014

iOS 8 Family Sharing

Families are increasingly using multiple iOS devices to share information, data and media between members. Till now App Store and iTunes purchases were tied to a single account, and your data was tied to a single iCloud account. So if you wanted to sync either of these, you needed to be signed in from the same Apple ID from all accounts.

iOS 8 introduces a new feature called Family Sharing that makes this entire process a whole lot simpler by removing the requirement to be signed in to the same account across all devices. So your spouse could use their own account, but also be able to access the music, movies, TV shows, books, and apps you’ve purchased, location of your devices, shared reminders and more without needing your password.

Follow these instructions to setup Family Sharing:

  • Launch the Settings app
  • Scroll down and tap on iCloud
  • If you haven’t already logged in to your iCloud account, then enter the login details and log into your iCloud account.

iOS 8 Family Sharing

  • Tap on Set Up Family Sharing…

iOS 8 Family Sharing

  • Tap on Get Started

iOS 8 Family Sharing

  • The next screen will explain that as the family organizer, you can invite family members and agree to pay for iTunes, iBooks and App Store purchases they initiate. Tap on Continue.

iOS 8 Family Sharing

  • Sign in with the Apple ID that you want to use to share iTunes, iBooks and App Store purchases. This will be the main Apple ID for the family sharing account. Enter the login details, and tap on Next in the top right corner.

iOS 8 Family Sharing

  • In the next step, it will show you of the payment method that will be used for the payment. So if you have a credit or debit card associated with your iTunes account, it will show up here.

iOS 8 Family Sharing

  • Tap on Managing Family Purchases


  • Then tap on Done.

iOS 8 Family Sharing

  • Tap on Continue.
  • Here’s you’ll prompted if you want to share your location with your family. This will share your location with all family members using Messages and Find my Friends. Family members will also see the location of your devices in Find my iPhone. Note, you can change this setting if you change your mind.
  • Tap on Share Location or Not Now to proceed further.
  • You’re now the Organizer. You should get an email from Apple welcoming you to Family Sharing. You can now invite up to five additional family members.

iOS 8 Family Sharing

  • To add family members, tap on the Add Family Member option.
  • Enter the name or email address of the Family Member. Then tap Next.

iOS 8 Family Sharing

  • Invitations to join family sharing will be sent to your family member, detailing the information they can share, with an option to accept or decline the invitation. They can accept a Family Sharing invitation from any compatible iOS device or Mac where they are signed into iCloud. Or, if you’re nearby, they can simply ask you to enter your iCloud Apple ID and password during the setup process. Note: Family Sharing requires a device with iOS 8 or later, or a Mac with OS X Yosemite or later or iTunes 12.
  • To complete setup, they will also need to confirm the Apple ID they use for the iTunes, iBooks, and App Stores so they can share their purchases with family members.
  • You can repeat the process for other family members.

The features of Family Sharing are set up on your compatible devices automatically such as:

Sharing iTunes, iBooks, and App Store Purchases

With Family Sharing, family members get instant access to the each others movies, music, TV Shows, books and apps.

To download them on your device, go to Purchased  in the iTunes Store (in the More tab), App Store (in the Updates tab) or iBook Store, tap on the family member whose collection you want to browse, and then download or play the content.

Family Purchases and Ask to Buy

If a family member makes a purchase, the amount is directly billed to the organizer’s account. Once purchased, the item is added to the initiating member’s account and shared with the rest of the family group.

Family Sharing has a cool way to control spending by kids. You can enable Ask to Buy option for the family member who is not an adult. So whenever a purchase is initiated by that member, a notification will be sent to you as the organizer. You can request the request, and choose to accept or decline it right on your device.

Sharing Family Photos

When Family Sharing is setup, it automatically creates a new shared stream called Family in the Photos app of all family members’ devices. Everyone in the family group can contribute photos, videos, and comments to the stream. You will get notifications whenever something is added like any other shared stream.

Family Calendar and Reminders

When Family Sharing is setup, it also creates a new family calendar that is shared with all family members and will be accessible on all family members’ devices. Family members can view the calendar, add or modify events, and receive notifications and alerts.

You will also be able to use the Reminders app to set time- or location-specific reminders that will be delivered to everyone in the Family.

Important points to note:

  • Every member in the Family Sharing club needs to have the same credit card data as the main account holder.
  • The app developers and content creators need to enable Family Sharing for the app and their content in order for you to share it with your family.

That’s it let us know if you need any other information in the comments below.