How to Set Up Apple Family Plan iCloud Storage
An Apple Family Sharing plan is an excellent way to keep track of your family’s app purchases and media. Why pay for separate iCloud storage when you can share a storage plan for less?
Up to six family members can share a joint iCloud storage plan (and Apple doesn’t limit who you can share your account with.) Better yet, you can even instantly share apps and books between family members at no extra cost.
For example, you can download a game app and it will automatically appear on all your kids devices.
The plan works for any iOS device, whether its an iPhone, iPad or iPod touch.
A shared plan can also you track your family’s devices in case of loss or theft (more on this feature later in this post.)
So let’s get started setting up a shared iCloud storage plan with your family!
How to Enable Your Apple Family Sharing Plan
To enable Family Sharing you need an iCloud account that has at least 200 GB of storage space. This means that you’ll need to upgrade your account form the free 5gb plan. (For more information, and to sign up for a plan, click here.)
When you sign up for a shared iCloud storage plan, designate an adult family member as the family organizer. He or she then has ultimate control over the shared account and has the ability to approve other family member’s purchases.
After you’ve signed up for your paid iCloud account, the next step is for the family organizer to invite and add family members to the shared account.
Invite Family Members to Join the Shared iCloud Drive:
Apple makes it simple to invite family members to join the shared iCloud account.
Step 1) Select the “Set Up Family Sharing” option by tapping it.
This action will open up the Apple ID screen that appears to your right.
Step 2) Tap the “Get Started” Button to begin the setup process.
Step 3)Invite Your Family.
Choose the family members you wish to add (up to six family members can share an account.)
The person receiving your invitation will receive an iMessage notifying them you’ve invited them to share your account.
Or you can invite family members by entering their name, email address or Game Center identification.
Step 4) Create accounts for your children.
Select the ‘Create a Child Account’ option by tapping it, then the screen to the right will open. Tap next.
Step 5) Enter your child’s birth date.
After you enter this date, tap Next.
Note: Apple allows anyone 13 or over to have their own iCloud account. If you don’t want your older kids to have their own account just yet, override this by fudging the year your child was born to 12 years prior from now.
Tap “Next” and you’ll see the Parent Privacy Disclosure Page.
Step 6) Accept the Parent Privacy Disclosure by clicking “Agree”
Step 7) Verify that you’re the account owner.
To verify, enter the security code on the back of the account credit card.
Step 8) After You’ve Verified, Add Your Child’s Details.
Congratulations, you’re done.
Now that you’ve added your family members and set up accounts for your children, you can begin to share all of your apps, books and games and cloud storage space.
An Apple Family Sharing plan lets you stay on top of app purchases. You’ll be able to avoid making the same app purchase multiple times for different kids.
With an Apple Family Sharing Plan, You’re in Control
There’s no need to worry that enabling a Family Sharing plan would allow Junior to run wild buying apps and games (since the account is tied to the credit card of the family organizer.) To prevent any unauthorized purchases, simply set up the “Ask to Buy” feature when you’re setting up your Family Sharing account.
When your child tries to initiate a purchase from the Apple Store, you’ll receive a notification to review and approve the purchase. From there, you’ll have the ability to approve or decline the purchase.
By the way, this feature also gives you a nice “carrot” to get the kids to do their chores. For example, if Susie puts the dishes away all week, she earns a reward in the form of an app purchase approval. Since apps are inexpensive for the most part, this could be a great bargaining tool for parents.
But what about photos? Can photos also be shared by family members? Yes!
Share Photos via iCloud
Sharing photos via iCloud Photo Sharing is another great reason to enable Apple Family Sharing.
You can even create shared albums that signed in family members can comment on and like. If you’re concerned about posting photos of your children publicly on social media, this is a secure alternative.
Check out our post for more details on how to save and optimize your photos with iCloud.
By now your wheels are probably turning about how great it would be to share and manage all of your family’s files, apps, books, games and more through a Family iCloud account.
But there are even more benefits to your shared account!
Track Missing Devices with Apple Family Sharing
Here’s another major benefit to an Apple Sharing Plan.
When you have Apple Family Sharing enabled, you can find any family member’s device with the Find My iPhone app. (The app comes pre-installed with every Apple device. )
To use this feature, enable “Location Sharing” on your family members’ devices while you’re setting up your shared iCloud account.
The next time you log into Location Sharing, you’ll see a list of your family members and their devices, along with their device’s last reported location. (You’ll also see your family member’s physical location if they happen to be carrying their device with them.)
This is a very big deal when you have kids (or spouses) who frequently lose their phones, iPods and iPads. Instead of fretting that Billy left his phone at the movie theatre, you’ll be able to spot that it’s hiding somewhere in your own home.
For more information about tracking missing devices using Location Sharing, check out this post.
Before we wrap up this post, there’s one last question you may have about Family Sharing.
Can I Share My Apple Music Subscription?
You might also wonder if you can share your Apple Music subscription.
Yes, you can, but with a catch.
In order to share an Apple Music account, you need to be signed up for a Family Subscription. This will run you $14.99 per month (in the U.S.) vs. $9.99 a month for an individual account. But even though a shared subscription looks more expensive on the surface, it could still save your family money on individual Apple Music subscriptions.
For example, a couple with individual Music subscriptions could save $48.00 per year with a Family Subscription versus paying for individual subscriptions. If you have a kid or two at the age where they love to listen to music on their iPods, this subscription will certainly pay for itself.
You Don’t Have to Listen to the Same Music as Your Kids
And just because one family member loves a certain genre of music doesn’t mean everyone in the shared subscription needs to listen to it.
Users can create their own playlists inside the Family subscription. In other words, you won’t be stuck listening to your husband’s Hot Country playlist or have to endure the kids’ “Moana” soundtrack when you’re a die-hard Motorhead fan.
Tip: Apple offers a free trial period for Apple Music accounts. You can always try an Apple Music subscription out and cancel later.
Want full details on a shared Apple Music subscription? Click here.
Thanks for reading!