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How to Stop Family Sharing in iTunes and the App Store

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  • Posted on 20th Jul, 2022 11:51 AM
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How to turn off Family Sharing for App Store and iTunes purchases on the iPhone, iPod touch, and iPad, and what happens to shared content afterward.

What to Know

  • iPhone: Open Settings > select name at top > Family Sharing, or in iOS 10.2 select iCloud > Family.
  • Next: Select name again > select Stop Family Sharing > Stop Sharing to confirm.
  • Mac: Open System Preferences > iCloud > Manage Family > select name > Stop Family Sharing.

This article explains how to turn off Family Sharing, for any device that supports it, in iTunes. This includes devices running iOS 8 and newer, and macOS 10.10 Yosemite and higher.

How to Turn Off Family Sharing

If you're the organizer, follow these steps in your device's Settings app to turn off Family Sharing for everyone:

  1. Open the Settings app.

  2. Select your name at the top of the screen, then choose Family Sharing. For iOS 10.2 or older, go to iCloud > Family.

  3. Tap your name again, then select Stop Family Sharing.

  4. Confirm by tapping Stop Sharing.

You can also disband a family group from your Mac:

  1. Select the Apple menu, then choose System Preferences.

  2. Choose iCloud.

    Log in with your Apple ID. If you don't know your login details, reset your Apple ID password.

  3. Select Manage Family.

  4. Select your name, then choose Stop Family Sharing.

With Family Sharing disabled, no one in your family can share their content until you turn the feature back on (or a new organizer sets up a new share).

How to Leave Your Family Group

Another way to disable Family Sharing for yourself is to leave the family group. You can do this on your iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, or Mac.

To leave the family group from your iOS device, repeat steps 1 through 3 from the iOS directions above, but choose Leave Family instead of the option to stop sharing.

The same can be done from your Mac. Repeat the steps above to remove yourself from the Family Sharing group.

What Happens When You Disable Family Sharing

If you deactivate Family Sharing, you may wonder what happens to the items that your family shared. The answer depends on where the content came from originally. If you were part of a family Apple Music subscription or a shared iCloud storage plan, you lose access to those.

TV shows, movies, books, and other purchases through the iTunes Store are protected by Digital Rights Management (DRM). DRM restricts how you can use and share content (generally to prevent unauthorized copying or piracy). These items stop working when the Family Sharing group is disbanded. This covers the content someone else got from you and anything that you received from them.

Although that content can't be used, it's not deleted. The content you received from sharing is listed on your device. You need to re-purchase it using your Apple ID if you want to use it again. If not, you can delete it from your device.

If you made in-app purchases that you no longer have access to, you haven't lost those purchases. Download the app again to restore those in-app purchases at no additional cost.

Can't Stop Family Sharing?

Stopping Family Sharing is straightforward. However, there's one scenario in which you can't turn it off. That's when you have a child under 13 as part of your Family Sharing group. Apple doesn't allow you to remove a child from a Family Sharing group the same way you remove other users.

If you're in this situation, there is a way to remove the child from Family Sharing (besides waiting for that child's thirteenth birthday, that is). After you do that, you can turn off Family Sharing.

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