I have Family Sharing turned on currently, but no longer wish all my family's purchases to come from the one credit card.

As some iOS apps have been bought for the benefit of the whole family, what happens to these apps if I were to turn off the Family Sharing feature?

I note that any In-App Purchases will not be shared (which is fine), but:

  1. Will the apps continue to reside on all the other people's phones and be updatable etc?
  2. Presuming 1. to be "Yes", what happens if in the future they remove it from their phone, but then want it back again?
  3. Does it show as purchased on their accounts?
  4. If the answer to 3 is "no", would turning Family Sharing back on temporarily solve this?

Thanks in advance.

  • How are you planning on turning off the "sharing"? In general we prefer one question per question since most of this is a follow on to the first part of sharing that's not making sense to you. I'll take a stab at answering it though, so let's see how that works.
    – bmike
    Dec 29, 2014 at 15:02

1 Answer 1


Before Family Sharing, you could take someone else's iOS device and sign in to the app store with your account and download all/any apps you choose.

At that point, your password was needed to update, but signing out didn't delete the apps or in any other way prevent them from working. Let's set aside in-app purchases for the time being.

Family sharing changes this in that when someone joins the "family" - their Apple ID is used to download and update other family member apps. They do not show up in your purchases, they show up as the other named family member's purchase. All that changes is the password needed to install and update.

When you as a family member remove yourself from the plan - you get a warning that lists what will happen and basically, you immediately lose access to the purchases, photos, calendars and other items that were shared in the plan.

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Rejoining the family would then let you re-download and re-sync the items.

You'll probably want to find a better way to use the family service than routinely joining and leaving or skip the family share and use the older method of signing in to multiple devices which doesn't immediately remove/revoke the items.

  • Ok, that makes sense. So apps will stay, but can't be updated unless Family Sharing is set up again? Seeing as the app I care about most is only updated quarterly, this shouldn't be too bad. (Quoting this from the Apple article: "Any content that your family shared with you isn't automatically removed from your device. You can purchase it again or remove it to free up space on your device.") Dec 29, 2014 at 15:45
  • Apps stay if the purchaser logs in to the device and downloads it directly - not if it's "redeemed" through family sharing. The device limit allows moderate sharing this way, but you can't log into dozens of devices to run those seldom updated apps. Cheers!
    – bmike
    Dec 29, 2014 at 15:52

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