So maybe you recently got married or are finally giving the kids their own Apple ID accounts, and the time’s come to set-up Family Sharing. Apple’s Family Sharing allows a maximum of six people in your family (including you) to share each other’s iTunes, iBooks, and App Store purchases without sharing accounts. As parents, you even get to approve your kids’ spending right from your own iDevices! And Family Sharing lets you all share photos, your family calendar, even your location with Find My iPhone to keep everyone connected. Best of all, Family Sharing lets you share eligible music, movies, TV shows, books, and apps from the iTunes, iBooks, and App Store so you only have to purchase ONCE.
Trouble in Family Sharing Paradise
Recently, my family’s encountered some problems with Family Sharing. Specifically, we just bought our newly-minted teenager (yes. 13 years old–oh my goodness!) a new iPhone 6S for his birthday. Since this is his first iPhone, we didn’t restore from a backup. But when we started downloading and installing apps via the app store, things started smoothly but after installing about a dozen different apps, we received the following error message: “Redownload Unavailable with This Apple ID 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.” What the heck?
Okay, we’ve used Family Sharing in the past–a lot. And we love sharing each other’s purchases from iTunes, iBooks and App Store without sharing accounts. But this error is not good, especially for a very impatient 13-year-old (and consequently, his stressed-out parents.)
But of course, we quickly discovered that we are not alone. Several AppleToolBox readers report similar issues where they (or their family sharing group members) are unable to download shared content.
If you are having this Family Sharing Redownload Unavailable issue, here is how you can troubleshoot. Try each step until your issue is fixed.
Redownload Unavailable: Tips and Tricks
- Settings > iTuns & App Store > Automatic Downloads > Apps [Toggle Off and On]
- Go to Settings > iCloud > Sign Out and then Sign Back in.
- Verify that you are using the same Apple ID in the iTunes Store and Family Sharing. Tap Settings > iTunes & App Store and then go to Settings > iCloud > Family > Your Name to verify this.
- Open Settings > iTunes & App Store > Tap your Apple ID. And Sign Out. Then go to App Store and locate the app you wanted to download previously and proceed as usual. Since you aren’t signed in, the app store prompts you to either sign in or create a new Apple ID. Sign back in with your Apple ID. Once you log in, the App Store allows you to download, install, and updates apps.
- Make sure that Share My Purchases is On (Settings > iCloud > Family).
- Note that some content cannot be shared, even if you turned on Share My Purchases: In-App purchases, Apps that are not shareable, hidden content etc.
Obsessed with tech since the early arrival of A/UX on Apple, Sudz (SK) is responsible for the editorial direction of AppleToolBox. He is based out of Los Angeles, CA.
Sudz specializes in covering all things macOS, having reviewed dozens of OS X and macOS developments over the years.
In a former life, Sudz worked helping Fortune 100 companies with their technology and business transformation aspirations.