My girlfriend has just got an iPhone. I've created a free apple account for her and added it to a family, with myself as the organiser, thinking that this would mean she could download my purchased apps. But whenever she tries to download an app that I've purchased from the list of my purchases, she gets this message:

This redownload is not available for this Apple ID either because it was bought by a different user or the item was refunded or cancelled.

If she tries do download it from the main store, she is prompted for payment info. In either case, no app is downloaded.

We've tried:

I'm not willing to try:

  • Adding a payment method for my girlfriend - with nothing else working, I don't trust them not to charge it
  • Erase and restore the phone - too much faff
  • Removing and re-adding her to the family - I've read there's a limit on how often you can do this

How can I use Family Sharing for purchased apps? Does it even work? It really feels at this point like the feature doesn't work at all and that Family Sharing is just a lie.

  • 1
    I'm the organiser for mine, so this is a bit of guesswork, as I can't look at a 'member' phone right now - check App Store > Updates > Purchased. There ought to be a list in there of the member names & their 'own' apps. You should be able to download any from anyone's list.
    – Tetsujin
    Nov 1, 2017 at 10:30
  • 1
    Did your girlfriend accept the invitation that was sent to her? Make sure you've followed all these steps. I've had family sharing setup for 2 years and I don't have any problems with it so I know it's not a lie and that it works.
    – fsb
    Nov 1, 2017 at 11:16
  • Just adding to the confirmation that it works. We've been using it for years without any issues whatsoever. I'm the organiser, my wife is listed as a Parent/Guardian, and we have three children. We also use Apple Music. In summary, as long as the app supports family sharing (the overwhelming majority do) then all our purchases are shared with each other (unless we manually hide a purchase). Stick with it and you'll sort it out. Worst case scenario is you have to contact Apple directly. All the best! :)
    – Monomeeth
    Nov 1, 2017 at 11:28
  • @Tetsujin yes, that gives us the "redownload" message.
    – Simon
    Nov 1, 2017 at 13:48
  • 1
    'prompted for payment info'... that's the bit missing from my experience. All family members already had payment info & had previously bought or downloaded free apps. I was reminded when someone just downvoted my 'jog its elbow to get it going' answer & the myriad questions we've had here about not being able to download even free apps without payment info on file.
    – Tetsujin
    Nov 1, 2017 at 15:29

1 Answer 1


Contact Apple store support. You’ll want them to verify thing s before you try removing and re-adding after they sort out any issues with your or with her account.

I would add payment for her, it won’t get charged once you re-add her and it will help make her account verified in Apple’s eyesore a different account.

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