Your Apple ID is the account you use to access all Apple services, including Family Sharing. Everyone in your family needs to join Family Sharing using their own Apple ID. This way your family can share purchases, an Apple Music family plan, iCloud storage, photos, and more without sharing personal information like email, text messages, or passwords. If someone in your family doesn't already have an Apple ID, they can create one. You can also create an Apple ID for your child if they're not old enough to create one on their own.
Confirm the Apple ID you use for purchases
After you set up or join Family Sharing, review the Apple ID you use for iTunes Store, Books Store, and App Store purchases. In most cases, this is the same Apple ID that you use everywhere. But, if you use a different Apple ID for purchases, you can enter it to automatically share purchases with your family using that Apple ID.
After you set up Family Sharing, here's how your account might look. If you check your child's account, you should see their Apple ID instead of your own.
Check your Apple ID in iCloud
On your iPhone, tap Settings > [your name]. If you're using iOS 10.2 or earlier, tap Settings > iCloud.
On your Mac, choose Apple Menu > System Preferences, then click iCloud.
Check the Apple ID that you use to share purchases and music
On your iPhone, tap Settings > [your name] > Family Sharing. If you're using iOS 10.2 or earlier, tap Settings > iCloud > Family, then tap your name.
On your Mac, choose Apple Menu > System Preferences, then click iCloud. Click Manage family, then tap your name.
Check your Apple ID in iTunes
On your iPhone, tap Settings > [your name] > iTunes & App Store. If you're using iOS 10.2 or earlier, tap Settings > iTunes & App Store.
On your Mac, open iTunes and click Account > View My Account in the menu bar.
This should match the Apple ID that you use to share purchases in Family Sharing.
Avoid sharing an Apple ID
If you share the same Apple ID with a family member for iTunes & App Store purchases, certain services will treat you as the same person. You may see these and other issues:
- Apple Music family subscription: Instead of receiving your own membership with your own library, you’ll share a library and recommendations with the other family member.
- iTunes, Apple Books, and App Store purchases: If Family Sharing is ever stopped, the owner of the shared Apple ID will keep all purchases. You might lose access to everything in the account, including purchases you initiated.
- Apple Podcasts, Apple Books, and iTunes U: Podcast episodes, bookmarks, and iTunes U courses might sync according to the other family member’s preferences or be accidentally deleted.
To see which Apple ID your family member is using to share, tap Settings > [your name] > Family Sharing, then tap their name. If you're using iOS 10.2 or earlier, tap Settings > iCloud > Family. Make sure that no one else is using your Apple ID to share content.
- Create and manage your child's account.
- See what you can share with your family, and what you can't share. For example, you can share music and more from the iTunes Store, but you can't share songs added to iTunes Match from outside the iTunes Store.
- Get help if you don't see your family's shared content.