How To Use iCloud Family Sharing.
Apple has a reputation for price premium products, but they also have pretty generous policies and services that ensure you only have to pay for software or services once and then share them with your entire family.
iCloud is the key to all of this and includes both iCloud storage sharing and various other family group benefits that use iCloud as the foundation. So let’s take a look at how to set up iCloud Family Sharing and ask your loved ones to join and share with them all the good things Apple has to offer.
Apple Family Group and iCloud Family Sharing
Apple allows up to six people (including you) to share services, apps, and other benefits without having to pay multiple times for them. Usually, you create a family group and allow everyone in it to share. Of course, each family member will need their own Apple ID. You will add these identifiers to the group.
After creating a group, you can share Apple TV +, music, books, and more. However, in many cases, you might have to pay for a dedicated iCloud family sharing plan. For example, you need a separate Apple Music sharing plan. The good news is that these sharing plans aren’t much more expensive than the custom plan, and are definitely a lot cheaper than the six custom family plans!
How to create a family group
To create a family group, you first need to have one person who will manage this group. This person should be an adult and act as an organizer. The person whose credit card pays for everything is probably best.
Now, to add people to your family group, just go to Settings [your name] and then click Set Up Family Sharing. This will work on all iOS devices with the latest OS.
On your Mac, go to Apple Menu System Preferences and then Family Sharing. This works for macOS Catalina. In Mojave, this setting is in iCloud under System Preferences.
Add up to six Apple IDs for each person you want to share with. If you have children, you can create an Apple ID for them and add them as child accounts. This allows you to control their spending with parental approval.
When you use the Add Family Member feature, an invitation will be sent to the appropriate person. They will become members of your family group only after they accept the invitation.
What is iCloud?
Now that you have a family group, you can share your iCloud account with everyone. iCloud is Apple’s own cloud storage service. You can use it with all your Apple devices to back up files, photos, and more. Everyone gets a small amount of space for free, but to be really useful you need to fork out for one of the paid plans.
The more data plan you buy, the less you will pay for each gigabyte of disk space. At the time of writing, Apple only offers four tiers of storage:
- 5 GB – Free!
- 50 GB – $ 0.99
- 200 GB – $ 2.99
- 2 TB – $ 9.99
This is an incredible value for money. Considering that it can be shared is even more appealing.
With iCloud, you can automatically back up your data, upload high quality photos from your devices, and share and collaborate on documents. Apps, iTunes purchases, and other media available from Apple’s servers do not count towards your storage limit. The place will be taken only by your personal data.
How iCloud Family Storage Sharing works
As with services like Google One, iCloud sharing prevents other members of the iCloud family group from accessing your data. Instead, everyone has access to a single, shared pool of storage, but their files and information are kept separate.
This is great on the one hand because it means that space won’t be wasted when some participants need more space than others. On the other hand, this means that one participant can occupy the entire space. You will have to solve this problem the old fashioned way. Here’s what you need to do to enable storage sharing.
On an iOS device:
1. Go to Settings
2. Tap your name
3. Tap “Family Sharing”
4. Tap “iCloud Storage”
5. If necessary, upgrade your plan to at least 200 GB
6 . Start Family Sharing
7. Tell your family group members that they can switch to shared storage in their iCloud storage settings.
On a macOS device using Catalina:
1. Click Apple Menu and then System Preferences
2. Click Family Sharing
3. Click iCloud Storage
4. Click Share
4. Just follow the instructions of the wizard
After sharing starts, you can return to iCloud storage at any time to see how much each member is using from the shared pool.
Share apps and services
Through iCloud Family Sharing, you only need to buy content once, such as apps, books, movies, and certain types of subscriptions, and then share it with your family group members. When a group member visits the app store, they can tap their account icon and then browse the purchases of other group members by downloading what they like.
In the case of something like Apple Music, you need to choose the service level for the family plan, but once that’s done, everyone in the group will receive personalized services as if they had their own separate plan.
The only exceptions, as far as we can tell, are premium features that can be unlocked through in-app purchases. It is impossible to share them in a family group.
Common payment methods
In your family groups, all purchases are paid with the family organizer’s credit card. This is why you should not add people to the group who are not actually part of your family. The only way to prevent adult group members from making purchases is to turn off shopping sharing entirely for the group.
For members under the age of 13, the Ask to Buy feature is automatically turned on. This means that the family organizer will have to approve or reject every purchase. For members under the age of 18 but not under the age of 13, you have the option to turn on the “Ask to Buy” feature.
Sharing means caring
With so many great services and apps, Apple has made a brilliant gesture to enable people in the same family to save money by sharing with each other. If only other aspects of family life were so easy to manage! Of course, there is always a problem with some contributors taking up all the space, but to be honest the 2TB plan is very affordable!