How to Set Up and Use iCloud Family Sharing

October 10, 2019Nicole
I know that Family Sharing allows family members to share purchases from App Store, iTunes, iBooks, and more without sharing accounts. But how to set up and use this function? How to switch from an individual iCloud account to iCloud Family Sharing? Do I have to pay for the iCloud Family Sharing?
iCloud Family Sharing

Family Sharing was introduced in 2014 with iOS 8 and Mac OS X Yosemite. It enables families share content purchased with each individual account and remain their separate Apple ID. You can easily share apps, music, movies, books and more among your family members.

However, many iOS and Mac OS users still don't know how to use this feature. Are you one of them? This post will give you a detailed introduction about Family Sharing. In addition, we will tell you how to set up the iCloud Family Sharing, invite others join the Family Sharing service, and more.

Part 1. What Is iCloud Family Sharing

As it mentioned above, Family Sharing was introduced in 2014 alongside iOS 8 and Mac OS X Yosemite. Actually, it is an extension of the standard Family Sharing plan. Family Sharing enables 6 family members to share purchases from App Store, iTunes, iBooks, and Apple Music subscription. iCloud Family Sharing enables all members in the Family Sharing plan to share and store pictures, various app content, and more.

Family Sharing

To join Family Sharing plan, all family members need an iOS device running iOS 8 or higher, or a Mac running OS X Yosemite or newer. There will be a family organizer to manage the specific storage, payment method, shared content and more. All types of data can be shared, such as iTunes and App Store purchases, Apple Music subscription, iCloud Storage, location info, Apple News+, and photos and so on.

Family Sharing requires one credit card shared by everyone for the iTunes and App Store purchases. You can pay for the higher storage plan for families. After switching to Family Sharing, all purchases that family members made previously won't be removed.

Part 2. How to Use iCloud Family Sharing (Share a Storage Plan)

Apple iCloud Family Sharing helps you easily share content purchased and downloaded with other family members. Everyone in the Family Sharing circle can use the same iCloud account. Family Sharing isn't complicated to set up. Here's everything you need to know about how to use the iCloud Family Sharing.

Set up Family Sharing on iOS device

To share iCloud storage, your iOS device should run iOS 11 or a higher version. So you are suggested to upgrade iOS to its latest version first. Then you can take the following guide to set up your Family Sharing.

Step 1.
Open "Settings" app on your iPhone and tap your "Apple account".
Step 2.
Scroll down and tap the "Set Up Family Sharing" option.
Step 3.
When you enter the "Family Sharing" interface, tap "Get Started" button.
Set up family sharing
Step 4.
Choose specific features like Apple Music, iCloud Storage, Purchases and more you want to share. Tap "iCloud Storage" option during this step. Tap "Continue" and then select your upgrade plan.
Upgrade plan for family sharing

Share a storage plan with family

You are allowed to set up shared storage for your existing family members on both iOS devices and Mac.

Share a storage plan on iPhone/iPad/iPod

Step 1.
Unlock your iOS device and open "Settings" app.
Step 2.
Tap your Apple account and the choose "Family Sharing".
Step 3.
Tap "iCloud Storage" to share your existing iCloud storage plan.

You can send a message to let other family members know that they can switch to your shared storage plan. Here you can upgrade to a 200GB or 2TB plan according to your need.

Share storage with family

Share a storage plan on Mac

Step 1.
Click Apple menu and choose System Preferences from the drop-down list.
Step 2.
Click iCloud > Manage Family to go to My Apps & Services. Here you can choose the iCloud Storage on the left panel. Then click the "Start Sharing" and "Done".

Add a family member to your iCloud account

First, you need to set up your family with a Family Sharing plan. After that, you can easily add iCloud to the plan. To add family members to the plan, you need to subscribe to the $2.99 200GB iCloud plan or higher.

Step 1.
Open "Settings" app on your iPhone and then tap your Apple ID banner.
Step 2.
Locate and tap on the "iCloud" option. Tap "Manage Storage" > "Change Storage Plan". Here you can choose either the 200GB option or the 2TB option.
Step 3.
Tap "Buy" and enter your Apple ID password. You need to tap "Buy" again to confirm the operation.
Step 4.
Tap "Share with Family" > "Invite Family Members". A pop-up iMessage sheet with your family members' names will appear on the screen. Add a comment to the invitation and tap the "Send" button. Your family members will receive the invitation and join your shared storage plan.

Part 3. How to Manage iCloud Family Sharing Storage

After sharing your iCloud storage with other family members, you can check the detailed information about used and left storage space with the iCloud storage map. Actually, you can easily manage the space available in the iCloud storage plan.

Step 1. Open "Settings" app on your iOS device and tap your "iCloud account".

Step 2. Tap "Family Sharing" > "iCloud Storage" to manage set the specific iCloud storage for each family member.

Manage iCloud family storage

All family members will get a notification when your family is low on iCloud storage. At that time, you can upgrade your iCloud storage plan.

Part 4. Better Way to Share Various Data with Family

Family Sharing provides a great way to share various purchases with other family members. In case you want to share more iOS data, or worry about some privacy leaks, here we introduce you with a great iOS data transfer, FoneTrans. It has the capability to share all requently-used iOS data like pictures, videos, songs, contacts, messages, etc. between iOS devices and PC/Mac.

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Step 1.
Download, install and run FoneTrans on your computer. If you want to share iPhone photos to another iPhone or iPad, connect both iOS devices here.
iPhone to iPhone interface
Step 2.
When you enter the main interface, you can see all popular data types like Photos, Music, Videos, Contacts, etc. are listed on the left panel. Choose the data type you want to share with your family and check details on the right.
Select photos on iPhone
Step 3.
Select the files you want to share and then click the "iOS device" icon. If you want to transfer data to computer for a backup, here you can click the "computer" icon.

After reading this post, you can know more information about iCloud Family Sharing. You can learn what Family Sharing is and how to use it. If you still have any questions, leave us a message in the comment part.

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iCloud Family Sharing