When using the new iOS8 Family Sharing feature, I can download the apps purchased by the other group members of my family.

If these apps use In-App Purchases, and one of the family members has already purchased some content, e.g. a new guitar amp for the JamUp Pro XT guitar/bass amp simulator, do other members of the family get to benefit from these In-App Purchases? Or does every family member have to purchase the same content in the app again?

  • 4
    So a lesson that can be taken from this is that it may be better to buy the pro versions of apps directly instead of upgrading/unlocking pro functionality in the normal app... especially because those pro upgrades are usually pretty pricey. I wonder if you can "Restore In-App Purchases" using family sharing...
    – krs013
    Sep 23, 2014 at 7:21
  • That's exactly why I asked the question. Can someone who downloaded an app through Family Sharing restore the other person's In-App Purchases through the Restore functionality. So far it doesn't look like it - I might give it a try with one of my kids' iPads tonight.
    – nwinkler
    Sep 23, 2014 at 7:30

5 Answers 5


"Up to six people in your family can share purchases from iTunes, iBooks, and the App Store without sharing accounts. Pay for family purchases with the same credit card and approve kids’ spending right from a parent’s device. Easily share photos, a family calendar, and more to help keep everyone connected."


In-App purchases are not supported by Family Sharing.


If a free app has been shared and a user makes in-app purchases, this is supported; however, if the user leaves the group in which the app was originally shared, the user will need to purchase the app on their own and then restore their purchases.

  • 1
    And where do I see "In-App" purchases coming back in your answer? -1
    – Rob
    Sep 23, 2014 at 7:08
  • Added clarification. Missed that. Sep 23, 2014 at 7:30

In App purchases are not shared in Family sharing and its clearly given in apple website. But what we can do is log in to iTunes & App store using the ID which was used to buy the in app purchases without having to change the primary ID of the device and still enjoy the in app purchases

  • 1
    +1 for the most relevant answer, but it would be good to provide your source, i.e. where the information is 'clearly given in apple website'. I'm guessing it's this page: support.apple.com/en-us/HT203046. Here it clearly lists 'In-App purchases' under 'What you can't share'.
    – Kal
    Jul 20, 2018 at 8:01

Apple does not include In-App purchases on their site, meaning they are not included. If In-App purchases would be shared, it would have been stated there very clearly.

Once you set up Family Sharing, family members get immediate access to each other’s music, movies, TV shows, books, and apps.

You can see the official page here.

Personal note: I don't see In-App purchases being shared soon or in the near future as they include lifes for games for example.

  • 2
    There is two kinds of In App Purchases, Consumables (life in games, ...) and non Consumable (unlock a chapter, remove ads, ...). I believe Apple could make it for the second kind only :-)
    – Antzi
    Feb 10, 2015 at 10:18

I think there may be a workaround, f.i. If the parent buys the in-app purchase and the kid dowloads the app afterwards, it should be able to reset all already bought in-app purchases. I think I have already done this but I'm not sure, can someone confirm?

  • I'm sorry, just tried it but doesn't work, a working workaround would be to log in as the parent on the kid's device I guess and seem to remember again now, this is logging into the parent's iCloud account on the kid's device... :-/
    – Sandra
    Jul 17, 2015 at 20:14

If it helps, I was trying to get a "full" version of a kids app on my son's iPad that had been purchased on my daughter's - with Family Sharing and the SAME iTunes App Store acct ID on all devices (the full version being considered an in-app purchase, I suppose). I gave in and decided to buy it and, only after I agreed to it, a message box came up and said, "You've already purchased this. Would you like to get it again for free?" so I was able to get it on both devices only paying for it once. But I never would have tried that route if I hadn't broken down and decided to just purchase it again. Maybe you'll be pleasantly surprised but you have to take a risk.

  • The key point here is that you are using 'the SAME iTunes App Store acct ID on all devices'. As others have said, this works. Family Sharing on the other hand, allows everyone to have their own unique Apple ID (lots of good reasons to do this) and to share app purchases between accounts. But as Apple's website (support.apple.com/en-us/HT203046) clearly says, you can't share in-app purchases using Family Sharing. If someone tries your suggestion without first logging in to the payer's Apple ID, they'll be disappointed.
    – Kal
    Jul 20, 2018 at 6:39

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