What is the right way to set up iCloud for a family? Assume that I want to share iTunes store account, have separate mail, contacts, bookmarks and notes, but have the possibility of sharing calendars and reminders, and have all devices appear under one ID for Find My iPhone. It would be nice to share data as well, so that I only need to add space on one account for backups. Is this possible?

If not, what is the best way to set up for a family with, at a minimum, shared iTunes account for purchases?

3 Answers 3


If you have multiple devices spread among family members and also share your iTunes account with family members, this should help:

Article: How to Use iCloud in a Family Setting:



iCloud does not offer family accounts at the moment, and there is no migration path if you do have one. That may change in future, but I suspect Apple may not do it since iCloud is now free compared to MobileMe.

iCloud isn't big on sharing, so each family member will need their own account for email, calendars, contacts and device backups. Possibly consider creating a separate iCloud account that can invite the other family members to be events so you can "share" your calendars in that way, or just ensure that when creating an event on your account you invite the rest of the family.

You can however have one Apple Id to make purchases with. I do this since I have a American and South African account. My South African account is a fully migrated iCloud account for email, calendars etc.

My American account is simply an Apple Id and I use it solely for purchasing applications, books etc.

iCloud backs up all my devices to my South African account so I have backups of everything, and the purchase histories and updates goes through the American account. On my devices and in iTunes I am always signed into the App Store using my American account so never need to switch, iCloud on the devices is configured for my South African account.

For file sharing I suggest looking at something like DropBox.


You can add 2 iCloud accounts to the same device. But on the secondary account you won't be able to enable things like Backup and Photostream.

EG I have my account for Apps (I had the first iOS device in my family so I had the most apps to start off with), Music and Books and Find My iPhone, but a shared account for backups and iMessage. (on my families iPad).

I long for the day Apple let you have different Users on an iPad.

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