Sunday, February 05, 2023

Family member not getting iCloud+ family subscription for 2TB storage - "Use Family Storage" in Settings (Family Sharing)

A family member was seeing only the default 5GB of storage. I prepared to the usual fixes like restart phone, upgrade iOS, leave and restore iCloud and, finally, remove from family and add back in.

Turned out the fix was much simpler as of iOS 16.3.

Settings:Apple ID: iCloud: Manage Account Storage: Use Family Storage.

After I selected this option they got access to our 2TB and the "Use Family Storage" option went away. Instead they had "Change Storage Plan". Tapping that gave the option to leave Family Storage.

Apple's docs mention something about an iMessage going to family members to give them the option to use Family Storage. I suspect that didn't get attention.

Once I'd fixed the problem I used the new keywords to search for Apple documentation. Google found nothing (though it's really bad now) on the Apple site except a post from 2 days ago. So this might be newish.

Update 1/17/2024 

In the 2024 version of iOS and macOS (Sonoma) a friend ran into a similar issue. The family organizer had purchased the 2TB plan but my friend was only seeing the 200GB he paid $1 a month for. This time we found an Apple support document on the problem. If someone is paying for anything beyond the default free storage they have to manually switching into the family plan and end their subscription. This is now found on an iPhone in the newish Settings:Family:Subscriptions.

  1. Go to Settings > Family.
  2. Tap Subscriptions.
  3. Tap iCloud+.
  4. Tap Use Family Storage.

Also, when updating this, I discovered a 2017 post I'd done where I ran into a similar problem. That might be worth a look too.

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