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How to Set Up iOS 8 Family Sharing on the iPad and iPhone

Family Sharing is one of the great new features debuting with iOS 8.  It lets you share your iPad and iPhone movies, apps, music, books and location with your family members easily and quickly. This guide will show you how to set up iOS 8 Family Sharing from an iPad, iPhone or Computer.


Part 1: iOS 8 Family Sharing on the iPad FAQs

Here are the answers to common iOS 8 Family Sharing questions.

Will Family Sharing cost anything?

No. Family Sharing is a free feature in iOS 8. The only requirement is that each device be upgraded to iOS 8 and each Apple ID be attached to the same credit card. The Apple ID setting up the plan will be used as the Family Sharing administrator.

What can be shared?

Family Sharing makes it possible to share content with up to 6 people (including yourself). This obviously opens the doors for people in your household to share stuff, but what exactly can you share?

  • iTunes Store purchases — Content that you have paid for using your iTunes account can be shared with people in your household. The type of content you can share includes: digital music, apps, movies, TV shows, and books.
  • Free Downloads — As well as paid-for content, you can also share free downloads from the iTunes Store in the same way as for purchased items.
  • Photos & Videos — When you’ve enabled Family Sharing, a shared album is automatically created so your family can easily share photos and videos. Every member you’ve added to the family group will get a shared album in the Photo app on their Apple device. Everyone will then see all the content that has been shared and they will also be sent notifications when the album gets updated.
  • Calendars — With Family Sharing enabled everyone in your group will see the same calendar. It’s useful for keeping track of events in your family. Reminders can also be set up that will be displayed on all devices.
  • Sharing Your Location — You can see where all your family are when they are part of your Family Sharing group. By using the Find My Friends option or the Messages app you can pinpoint their location. This is especially useful if you are a parent and want to know exactly where your child is.
  • Finding a Missing Device — . The Find My iPhone app gives all the members of your family the ability to find a lost device. All the devices each person has in the Family Sharing group are displayed (on everyone’s device), making it easy for all your family to find one that’s lost.

What about parental controls?

Not only will you be able to set limits for purchases for individual accounts on the Family Sharing plan, but parents can also enable an “Ask to Buy” feature on the account. This feature queries the parent’s device when a child attempts to busy something from the app store, iTunes or iBooks. The parent is able to either accept or decline the purchase, which allows parents to better monitor what their children are downloading.

Part 2: iOS 8 Family Sharing Setup on iPad Step-by-step Guide

You need the iOS 8 update to use this feature, and it needs to be installed on all the devices to make this work. Whoever sets up Family Sharing on iOS 8 is the organizer, but you can add other adults and separate kids accounts as well. Follow these instructions to setup Family Sharing:

  • Open the Settings app
  • Tap on iCloud
  • If you’re setting up Family Sharing for the first time, tap on Set Up Family Sharing
  • Now, login with your default/parental iTunes account that will be the controller of this family sharing. Usually, if you’re setting up the Family Sharing, this is your default Apple ID.
  • 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.
  • Tap on Managing Family Purchases and click done.
  • Click continue, 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.
  • After this, tap on Add Family Member.
  • Enter the Apple ID of the person you want to add to the Family Sharing. Invitations to join the sharing will be sent to this Apple ID.
  • You can repeat the process to add more family members to the Family Sharing.

Kindly note that every member in the Family Sharing club needs to have the same credit card data as the main account holder. But worry not because every purchase “request” is sent to you for your approval. So if your kid decides to purchase a game, you will get a notification (lockscreen, alert) requesting your permission. If you decline, that purchase is not made.