Why is my Apple Music subscription not working with family sharing?

Family sharing is a great feature offered by Apple that allows you to share purchases like Apple Music subscriptions with up to 5 other family members. However, sometimes there can be issues getting Apple Music to work properly with family sharing. Here are some quick troubleshooting tips if your Apple Music subscription is not working with family sharing:

Check Your Family Sharing Settings

The first thing to check is whether family sharing is set up correctly between all devices and family members. Make sure everyone has activated family sharing and is logged into the same iCloud account on their devices. Also double check that the Apple Music subscription is linked to the family organizer’s account that is sharing the purchases with the family group.

Check Activation Status on Devices

Even with family sharing set up, each device and family member still needs to have Apple Music properly activated. On each device, open settings > tap your name > iCloud > Media & Purchases. Make sure Apple Music is showing as Active. If not, tap the button to activate it. Also check that everyone in the family group has an active Apple Music subscription showing on their device.

Update Software

Having the latest iOS software version on all devices can help resolve activation issues with Apple Music and family sharing. Make sure all family devices are updated to the most recent iOS version. You can check for updates in settings > general > software update.

Sign Out and Back In to iCloud

As a troubleshooting step, sign out of iCloud on all family devices and then sign back in to refresh everything. Go to settings > tap your name > sign out. Then sign in again with the family organizer’s iCloud account credentials that is set up for family sharing.

Contact Apple Support

If you still can’t get Apple Music working properly with family sharing after trying the above troubleshooting, you may need to contact Apple support for further assistance. An Apple support advisor can review your family sharing settings and Apple ID account details to resolve activation issues.

Common Family Sharing Issues

Here are some of the most common family sharing problems that can cause Apple Music subscriptions not to work properly across all devices:

Only Family Organizer Can Access Apple Music

With family sharing, only the family organizer’s account and payment method is billed for subscriptions. So other family members may be restricted from accessing Apple Music individually. Make sure the family organizer’s subscription is up to date and active.

Activation Taking Too Long

It can sometimes take over 24 hours for Apple Music to properly activate across all family devices. If it’s still not working after a day, try signing out and back in to iCloud on devices to force activation.

Child Accounts Not Working

Child family members under 13 cannot activate purchases or subscriptions on their own. The family organizer must activate Apple Music for them. Also, restrictions on child accounts can block Apple Music.

Region / Country Mismatch

All family members need to be in the same country / region for subscriptions and purchases to share properly via family sharing. Double check settings if regions don’t match.

Family Member Left Family Sharing Group

If a family member leaves or is removed from the family sharing group, they will lose access to any shared purchases and subscriptions. Be sure to monitor the family sharing member list.

Family Sharing Disabled

Check that family sharing has not been accidentally turned off on the family organizer’s account. This would disable sharing for the whole family group.

How Family Sharing Works for Apple Music

Here’s some key information on how family sharing enables Apple Music subscriptions to be shared:

  • One subscription is shared between up to 6 family members
  • The family organizer pays for and controls the subscription
  • All family members get full access to Apple Music on their devices
  • Any family member can listen at the same time
  • Personal playlists and libraries remain private for each person
  • Works across iPhone, iPad, Mac, Apple TV, and the web

So with family sharing properly set up, the Apple Music subscription can be shared with everyone in the family group simultaneously. Each person still maintains their own personal Apple Music account and library.

Family Sharing Requirements

Here are the requirements for family sharing members:

  • All in the same country / region
  • All have an Apple ID
  • All using iOS 8 or later
  • All signed into iCloud on devices

The family organizer must also have a valid payment method on their account to be charged for any shared purchases and subscriptions. Family sharing can be enabled in the iCloud settings of any device signed into the family organizer’s account.

Managing Family Sharing

The family organizer has the ability to manage family sharing settings and members:

  • Add or remove family members
  • Turn family sharing on or off
  • Designate another family member as organizer
  • View family purchase history
  • Share purchases from a linked payment method

Family members can also view the family sharing status and member list from their own devices. However, only the organizer can make changes or disable sharing.

Fixing Family Sharing Issues

If your family is still having issues getting Apple Music to work properly through family sharing, here are some additional troubleshooting tips:

Restart Devices

Try fully restarting all family devices after ensuring Apple Music and iCloud are activated correctly in settings. This can resolve software glitches stopping music sharing.

Remove and Re-add Family Members

In family sharing settings, try removing problem users and then re-inviting them to the family group. This forces reactivation of subscriptions.

Double Check Restrictions

Parental restrictions on child accounts could block Apple Music usage. Or other iOS settings may disable media playback. Check all restrictions if needed.

Update Billing Info

Using an expired or invalid payment method for subscriptions can cause problems. The family organizer should confirm billing details are current on their account.

Check iTunes Match Status

iTunes Match subscriptions can sometimes conflict with Apple Music family sharing. Check that status under account settings for any family member.

Factory Reset Device

For persistent activation issues, a full factory reset of the iPhone or iPad can get rid of any problematic software glitches. Just be sure to re-download any media afterward.

Contacting Apple Support

If you still can’t get a family member’s Apple Music working properly after exhausting troubleshooting, reach out to Apple support directly for help. Here are some tips for contacting Apple support:

  • Use the Apple Support app on any iPhone or iPad. Chat directly with a support advisor.
  • Call 1-800-APL-CARE (1-800-275-2273) to speak with Apple support over the phone.
  • Visit getsupport.apple.com to start a support case by email or scheduling a callback.
  • Bring devices to an Apple retail store for in-person support at the Genius Bar.

When contacting Apple Support, be ready to provide:

  • Apple ID and iCloud login details used for family sharing
  • Serial numbers of all family devices having issues
  • Receipts for Apple Music subscription charges
  • Family sharing status and settings overview

This information will help Apple Support quickly diagnose and resolve the underlying problem preventing Apple Music from properly working with family sharing.


Family sharing is designed to make it easy to share an Apple Music subscription with family members using different devices. However, issues can arise preventing music from being accessed. Checking family sharing status, ensuring proper activation, updating account details, and contacting Apple Support if needed can typically get Apple Music working again for all family devices. With some focused troubleshooting, you should be able to resolve any problems and have your shared Apple Music subscription fully functional through family sharing.