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.
Follow these quick tips to get your device to download family shared apps and purchases
- Verify that the device’s iCloud and iTunes account have the same Apple ID and email
- Turn on Purchase Sharing for all family members
- Remove a family member from family sharing and re-invite them
- Use Screen Time with your Family Sharing Account
- Setup Home Sharing and Family Sharing with new Apple TV
- How to set up and use Family Sharing
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 XR 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.
Match Apple IDs for services
Our top (and easiest) tip is to make sure the device is signed in with the same Apple ID for both iCloud and the iTunes & App Store–these should match and be the person’s Apple ID, not the family organizer or parent.
- Go to Settings > Apple ID
- Take note of the Apple ID and email listed–if you don’t see the email, tap Name, Phone Numbers, Email to verify that email address
- Now, tap iTunes & App Store
- Confirm the Apple ID is the exact same as above–if not, tap it and choose to Sign Out, then sign back in with the same Apple ID
Sign out of the iTunes & App Store account
- Go to Settings > iTunes & App Store
- Tap the listed Apple ID
- Choose to Sign Out–do not sign back in
- Open the App Store app
- Locate any app that won’t redownload by searching for it
- Tap on the GET button or the cloud icon
- Since you aren’t signed in, the app store prompts you to either sign in or create a new Apple ID
- Tap on Use Existing Apple ID
- Apple prompts you to sign in to your account–sign in with your Apple ID (the same one associated with this specific device–not the family organizer or parents Apple ID)
- Make sure that Purchase Sharing is On (Settings > Apple ID > Family Sharing > Purchase Sharing > On)
- Settings > iTunes & App Store > Automatic Downloads > Apps [Toggle Off and On]
- Go to Settings > Apple ID > 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 > Apple ID > Family Sharing > tap your Name to verify this.
- 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.
Contact Apple Support
Sometimes, it takes a call or a visit with Apple Support to get your Family Sharing account working again.
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.