Can’t Find Your Family’s Shared Content on iPhone, iPad, or Mac? Fix It! 

With the purchase-sharing feature enabled, you can share your purchases with your family members. While this neat family-sharing feature works as expected for many, some iDevice users have reported that they can’t find family’s shared content on iPhone, iPad, or Mac. If the issue has haunted you as well, check out these viable tips to fix the purchase sharing not working on iOS, iPadOS, and macOS.

8 Best Tips to Fix Purchase Sharing Not Working in iOS 17, iPadOS 17, and macOS 14 Sonoma

Before moving ahead, let’s sort out some fundamental questions for better understanding!

Why is Purchasing Sharing Not Working on My iDevice? 

Though you can never overlook the possibility of a hidden software bug, things like app incompatibility, system requirements, and hidden purchases appear to be the bigger culprits. Hence, you can get rid of the issue by just taking care of the basics – more often than not!

1. Make Sure Your Devices Meet the System Requirements

First things first, ensure that your iDevice meets the system requirements. 

  • Not that purchase sharing supports iOS 8 or later and OS X Yosemite or later. 

2. What Sort of Content Can You Share With your Family?

If not sure what type of content you can share, take a look at the type of content that you can share with your family.

  • Apps from the App Store
  • Music
  • Movies and TV shows from the iTunes Store or Apple TV app
  • Books from the Book Store in Apple Books.
  • Subscriptions from Apple including
    • Apple One Family and Premier plans
    • Apple Music family subscription
    • Apple Arcade
    • Apple Fitness+
    • Apple News+
    • Apple Podcasts Subscriptions
    • Apple TV+
    • Apple TV channels
    • iCloud+
  • Note that you can also share subscriptions and in-app purchases from participating apps

3. What Sort of Purchases You Can’t Share?

It would also be better to check out the list of content that you are not allowed to share.

  • Note that you can’t share individual subscriptions to Apple Music and Apple One
  • You are not allowed to share subscriptions and in-app purchases from non-participating apps.
  • Apple doesn’t allow sharing student subscriptions like the subscription to Apple Music.
  • You can’t share consumable in-app purchases like coins or gems with your family.
  • You can’t share items that no longer exist in the App Store, iTunes Store, Books Store, or Apple TV app.
  • Keep in mind that hidden purchases can’t be shared with family.
  • Do note that some apps from the App Store can’t be shared.
  • The content that has been assigned through a child’s school can’t be shared.

4. Make Sure the App is Shareable

Keep in mind, not all apps are shareable. So, ensure that the app you want to share is compatible with family sharing. 

  • Open the App Store -> find the app in question. 
  • After that, scroll down to the Supports section and ensure that Family Sharing is listed. 
  • Note that if an app is not designed for purchase sharing, your family members won’t be able to see or redownload it. 

5. Ensure That the Purchased App is Not Hidden 

Another important thing that you should do beforehand is to make sure that the purchased app has not been hidden. Yeah, you read that right! If an app has been hidden, it will not show up in the purchase history. Head over to our detailed guide to learn how to hide and unhide App Store purchases on iPhone, iPad, and Mac.

6. Ensure That Purchase Sharing is Enabled on your iDevices 

While it may sound funny to many, make sure purchase sharing is active on your iDevices. Besides, you should also ensure that you are using the same Apple ID for Family Sharing and Media & Purchases.

On your iPhone or iPad with iOS 16 or later

  • Head over the Settings > Family -> tap your name. Now, check out which Apple ID is listed. Then, tap on Purchases. 
  • After that, tap Apple ID for Purchases and then ensure that you’re signed in with the same Apple ID that you use for Family Sharing. 
Enable purchase sharing on iPhone and iPad
  • If you are not signed in with the same Apple ID, tap Share using a secondary Apple ID and enter the Apple ID and password for that Apple ID. 

On your iPhone or iPad with iOS 15 or earlier

  • Navigate to Settings -> your name -> Family Sharing.
  • Now, tap your name and then check out which Apple ID is listed. 
  • Next tap Back to go back to Family Sharing and then hit Purchase Sharing.
  • Then, ensure that Share Purchases with Family is enabled. 
  • Next up, tap Back, and then hit Apple ID.
  • After that, tap on Media & Purchases and select View Account.
  • Up next, sign in with your Apple ID. Be sure that you sign in with the same Apple ID that you use for Family Sharing.

On your Mac with macOS Ventura or later

  • Go to Apple menu  > System Settings -> Family ->  Purchases.
  • Under Apple ID for Purchases. Find out which Apple ID is listed
  • Then, open the App Store -> Store -> Account.
  • After that, click on Account Settings and ensure that you’re using the same Apple ID that you use for Family Sharing.

On your Mac with macOS Monterey or earlier

  • Click on the Apple menu  > System Preferences -> Family Sharing.
  • Now, click Purchase Sharing and find out which Apple ID is listed. 
  • Next, ensure that Share My Purchases is selected.
  • After that, launch the App Store -> Store -> View My Account -> View Information.
  • Ensure that you have signed in with the same Apple ID you use for Family Sharing.

7. Sign out of Media & Purchases

Be sure you sign in to all Apple services with the same Apple ID that you use for sharing content with your family. It’s worth pointing out that there is no need to sign out of any other services that use your Apple ID like iCloud or iMessage.

On your iPhone and iPad

  • Go to Settings -> your name -> Media & Purchases -> Sign Out.
  • Now, tap on Media & Purchases again.
  • Then, tap Not [your name]. 
  • After that, sign in with the Apple ID you use for Family Sharing.

On your Mac

  • Launch the App Store -> In the menu bar, choose Store > Sign Out.
  • In the menu bar, select Store > Sign In.
  • Make sure to sign in with the same Apple ID you use for Family Sharing.

On Apple TV

  • Head over to Settings -> Users & Accounts -> [your name] -> Store.
  • Now, choose the Sign Out option and then select Sign In.
  • Be sure to sign in with the same Apple ID you use for Family Sharing.

8. Update Your iDevice

If purchase sharing is still not working on your iDevice, the issue might be due to a software bug. But bother not, the software update may get rid of the issue. 

On your iPhone or iPad

  • Go to the Settings app -> General -> Software Update -> Download and install the latest version of iOS or iPadOS. 

On Mac

  • Click on the Apple menu at the top left corner of the screen -> System Settings -> General -> Software Update -> download and install the latest version of macOS. 
  • In macOS 12 Monterey or earlier: Head over to the Apple menu -> Software Update. 

Fixed Purchase Sharing Issue on iPhone, iPad, and Mac

That’s pretty much it! Hopefully, you have gotten the better of the issue. Which one of the above solutions has worked for you in fixing the problem? 

Frequently Asked Questions

1. Why apps are not downloading on my iPhone?

Ensure that you have a stable internet connection as it’s the sluggish internet connection that often causes the app updates issue. Besides, make sure you have enough storage and the app supports the software version currently installed on your iPhone or iPad.

2. Why are apps crashing on my iPhone?

It’s the outdated version of the app that often causes freezing or the unexpected crashing issue. Another equally responsible culprit is the cluttered storage that triggers a host of frustrating issues such as freezing, overheating, and battery drain.

Posted by
Rajesh Mishra

Co-founder/Editor-in-Chief: Rajesh Mishra (Your beloved “R.K” 360 Reader Voice) is a Shakespearean poet at heart who turned a tech nerd while having a secret rendezvous with iPhone 4. When that rendezvous turned obsession, he let go of his hard-core political journalism in favour of the lifelong love-affair with technology. In a career spanning one and a half decades, Mr. Mishra has crafted over 8K articles and around 2K YouTube videos. He is probably the only journalist alive with this unique achievement. When he is not at his desk, you may find him either engrossed in a Deathmatch or chasing Wordsworth!

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