How to Use Family Sharing in iOS 8

How to Use Family Sharing in iOS 8

Until now, sharing photos, music, movies and other iTunes purchases with your family members was a huge headache.
With iOS 8, Apple finally introduced a way to sync purchases without being forced to share your Apple ID and password information. The new Family Sharing feature allows up to six people to share purchased content, photos, locations and calendars from their individual accounts.
Ready to sync up your family's digital life? Here's a step-by-step guide on how to activate and use the handy Family Sharing feature in iOS 8.

1. Download iOS 8.

iOS 8 software update
Image: Screenshot, iPhone
For Family Sharing to work, all devices must be running iOS 8. If you or your family members haven't already, download the update. Go to Settings > General > Software Update on your iOS device, and follow the directions to install it.

2. Enable Family Sharing.

To use Family Sharing, there needs to be one organizer who heads up the account. Once you enable Family Sharing, any purchase made from the connected devices will be charged to the family organizer's iTunes account.
Turn on Family Sharing
Image: Screenshot, iPhone
To set up a Family Sharing account, the family organizer should go to Settings > iCloud > Set up Family Sharing... > Get Started > Continue on his iOS device. If asked, enter your Apple ID, agree to the terms and conditions, and tap "Continue" to confirm that you agree to pay for all iTunes, iBooks and App Store purchases made by family members, and that your payment method is correct.
Next, you'll be asked if you want to share your location with the Family Sharing group, which means all family members can see where you are. If you decide to change your mind later, you can turn off the location setting in Settings > iCloud > Share My Location.
To add family members to your group, tap "Add Family Member..." and type in their names or email addresses. When you add family members, they'll each receive an email that will ask them to accept the Family Sharing invite. Remember, you can add up to five other family members.
Add Family Member on Family Sharing
Image: Screenshot, iPhone

3. Share iTunes, iBooks and App Store purchases.

Once you've set up Family Sharing, everyone can access each others' apps, music, movies, TV shows and books.
To download content from another family member, sign into your iTunes account and visit the "Purchased" pages in the iTunes store, iBook store or App Store. Simply choose the family member whose content you want, and go ahead and download.

Hide and unhide purchases.

Hide purchases
Image: Apple
If you want to hide your purchases from the Family Sharing group, sign into iTunes on your computer. When you hide your purchases, members of the Family Sharing group won't be able to download them.
To hide purchases, go to "Purchased" on the right side of iTunes, select content type (Music, Movies, TV Shows, Apps or Books) and you'll see your purchases. Choose the icon of the content you want to hide by placing your mouse over it, and click the "X" on the top left corner.
To unhide purchases, go to Store > View Account. If asked, enter your password. Now, scroll down to "iTunes in the Cloud" and click "Manage" next to "Hidden Purchases." Choose the content type, and click "Unhide."

4. Share photos.

Family Sharing Photos
Image: Apple
Exchanging photos with your family just got a whole lot easier. If you go to your Photos app, you'll see a new stream called "Family." This is where family members can share photos, videos and even post comments. You can also set up notifications to let you know when others add content.

5. Share calendars and reminders.

Family Sharing Calendar
Image: Apple
With Family Sharing's calendar, you can keep your family organized and on schedule. If you go to your Calendar app, you'll notice that a new "Family" calendar appears. Everyone has access to this calendar and can easily add, remove or modify events. You can also set up notifications to remind everyone about certain events.

6. Share location.

Once a family member joins Family Sharing, their device will automatically share their location with everyone in the group. To turn the location feature off on an individual device, go to Settings > iCloud > Share My Location and disable it. That way, no one in the Family Sharing group can see where you are.

Find My iPhone

Find My iPhone Family Sharing
Image: Apple
With Family Sharing, each family member's device will automatically show up in the Find My iPhone app. When someone in your family is searching for a missing device, Find My iPhone can be helpful in tracking it down.
To hide your location from family members on Find My iPhone, go to your Family Sharing settings and disable "Show My Devices."

7. Set parental controls.

Family Sharing Parental Controls
Image: Apple
Kids under the age of 13 can be a part of Family Sharing, too. However, the family organizer must create the child's Apple ID. To create a child's account, the family organizer can go to Settings > iCloud > Family. At the bottom of the screen, you'll see this:
Add account for child on Family Sharing
Image: Screenshot, iPhone
Once a parent creates an account for the child, the "Ask to Buy" feature is activated by default. This means when your child tries to download anything from iTunes, iBooks or App Store, he will receive a notification saying, "A request to buy this app will be sent to your parents."
Following this, the family organizer will receive a notification with the name of the child, what he is trying to download and its price. The parent will have to approve the purchase before the child can download it.
Parental controls in Family Sharing don't end there. The family organizer can also control what content his child has access to by going to the "Restrictions" setting (on the family organizer's iOS device) or "Parental Controls" in iTunes.

8. Remove Family Sharing.

If you want to leave a Family Sharing group, keep in mind that you will no longer have access to your family members' apps, music, movies, TV shows and books. The same goes for the shared photos, calendar, reminders and location information.
Additionally, you won't be able to access any content protected by digital rights management (DRM) that you downloaded from another family member in the group.
If you have additional questions about Family Sharing, visit Apple's support page.
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