How to Set Up Family Sharing of Subscriptions for iPhone Apps and Apple Services

How to Set Up Family Sharing of Subscriptions for Apple Apps
Share the knowledge

Did you know that some Apple and iPhone apps offer ‘family subscriptions’? We first came across this with the Mesmerize iOS app, whose update said that they had “Enabled family sharing of subscription. Now you can share your Mesmerize Subscription with family members at no additional cost.” However it can be confusing when an app says that it offers family sharing of the subscription if you don’t know what that actually means, leading you to look everywhere in the app for the family sharing option.

The thing is it’s not within the app – it’s something that you set up globally through your device settings, in your Apple account. Then, if an app that you subscribe to allows it to be family shared, your family members will automatically be covered by your subscription when they download and install that particular app. This means that only one of you has to pay for the app subscription, and then others in your family can also use the app (on their own devices, with their own data) for free.

Here’s how to set it up.

How to Set Up Family Sharing of Subscriptions for iPhone Apps and Apple Services

Go to your Settings area (the Settings app) on your iOS device, and click on the very first entry at the top, which has your name and, under your name, “Apple ID, iCloud, Media & Purchases” or something similar.

Get New Internet Patrol Articles by Email!


settings apple id icloud media purchases

Down below iCloud, Media & Purchases, and Find My, you will see “Family Sharing”.

family sharing family subscriptions ios apple iphone

Click on Family Sharing.

The Internet Patrol is completely free, and reader-supported. Your tips via CashApp, Venmo, or Paypal are appreciated! Receipts will come from ISIPP.

CashApp us Square Cash app link

Venmo us Venmo link

Paypal us Paypal link

When you click on Family Sharing, it will take you to this screen:

How to Set Up Family Sharing of Subscriptions for Apple Apps

Click on ‘Set Up Your Family’, and then on the next screen click on ‘Invite People’.

set up family sharing subscriptions apple ios apps app add people invite people create account for child

This will bring up your share sheet (the screen from which you can quick-share things by sending them in text, email, etc.). Select the people whom you want to include in your family sharing; this will send them the invitation as a text message or email (depending on what you choose).

Once they accept your invitation they will show up in the Family Sharing area; those whose invitations are pending will be listed there as well, as will the apps that are being shared both by you, and by others in your family. Up to 6 people (yourself and 5 others) can participate in your family sharing.

apple famly sharing subscriptions

You might be surprised at just how many apps and services on the Apple platforms allow Family Sharing. Such apps and services include Apple Music Apple TV+, Apple News and Apple Arcade, as well as a host of third-party apps, the aforementioned Mesmerize audio and visual meditation app included – it’s actually really cool, the visual piece a constantly moving, mesmerizing (hence the name, presumably) psychedelic pattern (you can check out Mesmerize here – the first three days are free, then it’s $49 a year, which isn’t bad considering you can give up to 5 family members access to that subscription).

It’s important to note that when a family member downloads an app that is subscription based, and for which you are paying for and sharing the subscription, the app may still prompt them to sign up for a subscription themselves, but when they actually click through the subscription process, instead of collecting money from them it will tell them that “A family member has already purchased this subscription. You get it for free.”

how a family member knows they can use family sharing subscription iphone ios app

You can tell that an app supports Family Sharing from its listing in the app store – if it supports family sharing it will say “Supports Family Sharing”.supports family sharing

If you have Family Sharing set up, let us know what apps you have found most useful to share!

Share the knowledge

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.