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My 10-year-old son is set up as a family member with his own Apple account. His iPad, it's set to "Ask To Buy." So, when he wants to download an app from the App Store, I get a notification on my iPhone.

This works great for free apps... but for a paid app (or in-app purchase), after I approve it via the iPhone notification, it asks him to put in a credit card on his iPad.

For obvious reasons, I'm wary of putting my credit card info onto his iPad. But I do want to buy this app for him. I would have expected the "Ask To Buy" notification to go the next step and give me the option to purchase it on his behalf.

How do I do this? I feel like I'm missing something obvious here.


I Googled around for an answer, but to no avail. Lots of info on sharing purchases. But not purchasing initiated on the child's device. If I'm just a bad Googler, point me in the right direction!

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  • Do you have a credit card saved to the account?
    – Allan
    Commented Feb 5, 2023 at 16:41
  • @Allan I have a credit card saved to my account, but not on my 10yo's account.
    – Sam
    Commented Feb 5, 2023 at 17:18
  • It sounds like you have Family Sharing and Ask to Buy enabled, but not Purchase Sharing.
    – Allan
    Commented Feb 5, 2023 at 17:21

1 Answer 1

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Enable Purchase Sharing

In addition to Family Sharing, Purchase Sharing needs to be enabled to share purchases (redundant, I know) and to have the family organizer billed for all purchases.

When you turn on purchase sharing, everyone in your family gets access to apps, music, movies, TV shows, and books that family members buy. The family organizer is billed for family members' purchases.

You as the organizer must have a payment method saved to your account for purchases to made seamlessly.

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  • Thanks... but wouldn't that mean that I would have to make the purchase on my device first and then my son would be able to download it... along with every other purchase I've ever made?
    – Sam
    Commented Feb 5, 2023 at 17:18
  • You need a credit card (payment method) saved to your (the organizer) account. With “Ask to Buy,” your son will ask for permission, you approve, and your saved purchase method will be billed.
    – Allan
    Commented Feb 5, 2023 at 17:20
  • Ok. I see. Just tested and it works correctly. Thanks. Now, however, my kid can see every single app I've ever downloaded. Which isn't a big deal... just weird. I learned that in your purchase list, you can swipe to the left to hide the app. Fine, but I have hundreds of apps. Like I said, it's not a huge deal... just weird that each account isn't more isolated.
    – Sam
    Commented Feb 5, 2023 at 19:50
  • Glad you got it sorted!
    – Allan
    Commented Feb 5, 2023 at 20:04

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