Family Sharing is a handy feature that Apple offers to let up to six people share things like iCloud Storage, Apple Music, iTunes purchases, apps, location data, and more. Whether you’ve never needed the feature before or just want to get it set up for the first time, follow along for how to start using Family Sharing.

Family Sharing for iOS was first introduced back in 2014 with iOS 8, but Apple has brought along some handy new features like being able to share one iCloud Storage plan amongst six people more recently.

Setting up Family Sharing is mostly straight forward, but there are a couple of details and restrictions to look out for.

How to set up Family Sharing and create a child’s Apple ID on iPhone and iPad

  1. Open Settings and tap on your name
  2. Tap on Set up Family Sharing
  3. Next tap on Get Started and choose which category you’d like to start sharing first
  4. Follow the prompts until you see the option to Invite Family Members
  5. Add any members that already have an Apple ID that you do not help managing purchases and downloads, etc.

Interesting enough, Apple doesn’t let you turn on sharing for all the of the categories shown in the image above right away. We’ll visit how to do that in a moment.

Continuing on, you’ll need a credit card as the payment method to use Family Sharing. It seems the easiest thing to do is add someone who has an Apple ID already that doesn’t need any parental controls during the initial set up. We’ll look at adding or creating an Apple ID for a child that will include parental control options.

After completing the steps above, tap on Family Sharing again as shown above in the image on the right.

Notice the list of shared features that you can turn on. Only the first option you started with during the steps above will be turned on for now. For a closer look at sharing iCloud Storage, see our guide here.

To invite more family members or create an Apple ID for a child to be able to approve purchases and downloads, tap on Add Family Member…

At this point, you should be all set up for a simpler iOS experience with Family Sharing! For more help getting the most out of your Apple devices, check out our how to guide as well as the following articles:

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About the Author

Michael Potuck

Michael is an editor for 9to5Mac. Since joining in 2016 he has written more than 3,000 articles including breaking news, reviews, and detailed comparisons and tutorials.