If Ask to Buy isn't working

Learn what to do if you don't see your Ask to Buy notifications, or if your child sees "Unable to Ask Permission" after asking your family group organizer to make a purchase.

If you don't see your Ask to Buy requests

If you miss an Ask to Buy notification, you can find the request in Notification Center on your iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, or Mac. If you still don't see your Ask to Buy requests, check which Apple ID you're signed in with, check your Family Sharing settings, and make sure that you're on a supported device.

Open Notification Center on your iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch

  • From the Lock screen, swipe up from the middle of the screen.
  • From any other screen, swipe down from the center of the top of your screen. 

Open Notification Center on your Mac

Click Notification Center icon Notification Center in the upper right corner of your screen or swipe left with two fingers from the right edge of your trackpad. Then click Notifications at the top of Notification Center. 

If your child sees an "Unable to Ask Permission" message

After Ask to Buy is turned on, and your child asks the organizer of your family group to approve a purchase in the iTunes & App Store, your child might see "Unable to Ask Permission. You can’t ask permission, because you have signed in with iCloud and iTunes accounts that are not associated with each other."

When you see this message, check which Apple ID you're signed in with, check your Family Sharing settings, and make sure that you're on a supported device.

Check the Apple ID that you're using for purchases

Make sure that you're signed in to the iTunes & App Store using the same Apple ID that you selected for sharing content with your family. Learn how to use your own Apple ID for Family Sharing.

On your iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch

  1. Go to Settings > [your name] > Family Sharing and tap your name.
  2. Make a note of the Apple ID that you're using.
  3. Go back to Settings.
  4. Tap [your name] > iTunes & App Store.
  5. Make sure that you're using the same Apple ID.

On your Mac

  1. Choose Apple menu  > System Preferences.
  2. Click Family Sharing, then click Details next to your name.  
  3. Make a note of the Apple ID that you're using for family purchases.
  4. Open App Store. Click [your name] > View Information. 
  5. Make sure that you’re using the same Apple ID. 

On your Apple TV

  1. From the Home Screen, go to Settings > Users and Accounts > iCloud.
  2. Choose your name. Make a note of the Apple ID.
  3. Click the menu button on the Apple TV remote to return to the Users and Accounts screen.
  4. Choose [your name]'s Account.
  5. Make sure that you're using the same Apple ID. 

Review your Family Sharing settings

If you're the family organizer, you can go to your Settings or System Preferences to see if your family members' accounts have Ask to Buy turned on. 

On your iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch

  1. Go to Settings.
  2. Tap [your name] > Family Sharing.
  3. If you're the family organizer, make sure Purchase Sharing is turned on. Then you can tap a family member's name to see if Ask to Buy is turned on for their account.

On your Mac

  1. Choose Apple menu  > System Preferences. 
  2. Click Family Sharing. 
  3. If you're the family organizer, click Purchase Sharing and make sure Share My Purchases is turned on. Then click Family to see if Ask to Buy is turned on for your family members' accounts.

Make sure that you're using a supported device

You need iOS 8 or later on your iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch, and OS X Yosemite or later on your Mac to set up or join a Family Sharing group. When you try to make a purchase on an unsupported device, you'll still be asked to request permission. However, you won't get a notification when the family organizer approves or declines the request. If the family organizer makes the purchase and your content doesn't download automatically, you can tap the price again to download the item.

Learn more

  • You can't buy iTunes Match, iTunes Gifts, or Donations if Ask To Buy is turned on for your account.
  • If Ask to Buy is turned on for your Apple ID, but you're downloading content from a family member's past purchases, you won't see an Ask to Buy prompt. Also, if you redeem a product code, you won't see Ask to Buy prompts.
  • Learn more about Family Sharing.
  • Still need help? Contact Apple Support
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