I am setting up Apple Family Share for the first time. Currently my wife and I have separate iPhones with separate Apple IDs (separate purchases and everything else), and we have two iPads for our kids under a third shared Apple ID that shares everything (purchases, iMessage, everything).

Now I’m setting up an Apple Watch SE 2 (cellular), and I’m facing a decision: (1) I become the family organizer or (2) I make the shared account the family Organizer. In both cases I plan to switch the iPads to separate new Apple IDs.

So in the end, there will be five Apple IDs under the family: me, my wife, two kids, and the shared account with purchases I don’t want to lose.

The question is, considering you cannot change family groups often, would it make more sense to make the shared account the “master” Organizer account, my wife and I “parent/guardian” accounts, and the kids with child accounts? Or will I be hassled to sign into the master account to make changes, other than adding new family members, and it would be best for me to be the organizer?

It seems like it would be best to have an account rarely used as the organizer that delegates parent roles, so if I ever needed to drop out (for work reasons maybe?) then I wouldn’t have to dissolve the Family Group. But I have not found this advice anywhere yet. Am I missing something?

1 Answer 1


I believe the biggest drawback would be notifications for things like purchases and storage. When you're using your own Apple ID and not the shared one the notifications wont go to you and I don’t think you can forward them.

You can’t be signed into two Apple IDs at the same time so that will make managing things really confusing.

  • I might be wrong, but I thought Apple's support pages said all "parent/guardian" roles receive the notifications. If there are times where only the shared one, which no one is regularly signed into, receives the notices then that would be bad.
    – jimp
    Commented May 19, 2023 at 19:56
  • 1
    Do you mean this page? support.apple.com/guide/personal-safety/…. To me it sounds like handle parental controls like screen time and content but not purchases and things like that Commented May 19, 2023 at 20:06

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