Top 16 Things Beginners Should Know About Google Families

Top 16 Things Beginners Should Know About Google Families

In real life, when a family member buys something, the rest of the family can share it. Sharing is kind, right? Likewise, if you have a Google Account, you can enjoy the benefits of sharing content and services with others using Google Families. However, signing up for Google Families is confusing, and it’s not exactly a WhatsApp group. In this article, we’ll cover the most confusing questions about Google Families.

You may be wondering why you should sign up for or join a Google Families service? Well, the bottom line is that sharing Google services helps you save money.

You only have to pay for a product or service once, and then everyone in the family (Google) can use it. Google Families also helps to keep an eye on your child’s digital activities, in case you are worried about them.

Let’s dive into the world of Google families. We will try to answer the most important questions in this beginner’s guide.

1. What is a Google family

First, Google confuses you by calling it with multiple names – Google Family, Families, and Family Group. It is a service offered by Google to mainly share your content purchased from Google services with other family members (virtual Google). It also lets you create and supervise a Google Account for kids using the Family Link apps available for Android and iOS.

Google 8 Family Sharing Guide

2. How many members can be in a family

The Google family includes 5 members, except the family head or the creator of the group. Thus, the total number of members can be 6.

3. What is the role of members in family groups

Whoever creates a family on Google is known as a Family manager. There can only be one head of the family. This person can then assign the parent role to any other member. The head of the family has all the main rights. For example, the caregiver can choose to add or remove family members, remove the family group, add supervision to a child account, and add or remove family services such as YouTube family plans. Premium.

Google Family Sharing Guide 1

The other members are called family members. They only become part of the family when they accept the invitation addressed to them. Otherwise, they appear as a family member (limited access). You can learn more about the granular details of the roles of family members on the Google support page.

Google 3 Family Sharing Guide

4. What can you share with family members

Here is a list of content and services that you can share with other members:

  • Purchased apps, movies, TV shows, games, eBooks, and audiobooks from the Google Play library
  • YouTube Music Plan
  • Premium Family YouTube Package
  • YouTube TV
  • Google Play Pass
  • Google One plans

Point: Refer to our guide on 4 ways to find apps purchased from the Play Store.

5. How Google Family Group works

Since Google Family sharing involves various apps and services, it works differently for each of them. But the main concept is that paid services and content can be shared with other family members.

For starters, family sharing is useful for purchases made through the Google Play Store. As mentioned above, you can share apps, movies, TV shows, games, eBooks, and audiobooks purchased using the Google Play family library.

If one of the family members purchases an application, the same item purchased can be downloaded by others without paying a penny. The other members do not need to buy it again. You can turn off the family sharing option if you don’t want other members to access your purchased content.

Google 9 Family Sharing Guide

Note: Some apps and games cannot be shared because the developers may have disabled the family sharing feature, which is required for sharing.

Google Families also extends to Google services. You can share YouTube services such as YouTube Music, YouTube Premium and YouTube TV plans with other members by subscribing to family plans. Family sharing also gives access to Google Play Pass. You can even share Google One family plans where each member will get their private storage.

In addition to paid purchases, family groups also help the whole family stay in the loop using Google apps like Keep, Calendar, Stadia and Google Assistant. In short, you can share content with the whole family with one click.

For example, if you want to share a note on Google Keep with all family members, you only need to share the note with the family group instead of adding the contacts individually. The note will be shared with everyone. Likewise, a calendar event can be shared with the whole family using Families.

6. What information family members see about each other

When you join a family, other family members can only see your name, photo, and Google email address. And of course, the content added to the family library. Rest assured, none of your other personal data will be shared. Even if you visit, you will only see details like photos and the names of family members. That’s it.

Google 4 Family Sharing Guide

The following personal data is separated and hidden from others:

  • Your browsing or search history from one of the Google apps
  • Files on your phone
  • Files in Google services such as Google Drive
  • Photos, unless shared with other members
  • Contacts
  • Content uploaded to Chrome or apps like YouTube
  • Notes and similar personal data

Note: Parents can see the activity time of the child account, manage the applications, check the location, etc.

7. Should you create a separate Google account

No. You can create a family group from any of your existing Google accounts. Likewise, other members can join from their existing accounts.

However, the Google account used to join or create a family must be a personal account. You cannot use work, school or organization accounts.

8. How to create a Google family

You can create a Google family group from any of the supported Google services, including Google Play Store, the Family Link app, the website, and family subscription plans for services like than YouTube.

When created on a service, it is linked to your Google Account. Thus, the family group also becomes applicable to other applications and services.

Google 10 Family Sharing Guide

For example, if you create a family through the Google Play Store and then purchase the YouTube Premium family plan, the members of the YouTube family and the Play Store will be the same.

9. How much does it cost to create a Google family group

The creation of a family group is free. There are no hidden fees. You just have to pay for the services you buy.

For example, if you buy a movie from Play Films, you have to pay for it. Likewise, if you subscribe to the YouTube Premium Family plan (which includes YouTube Music), you will be charged. However, as mentioned earlier, the amount only needs to be paid once, then each member can receive the benefits.

10. Who pays for purchases made in family groups

For purchases made on Google Play for apps, books, movies, music, etc., the family manager can set up a family payment method. Then all family members can buy items on Google Play using the family payment method. Again, the item should only be purchased once.

Google 2 Family Sharing Guide

The family manager will be informed of purchases by e-mail. The manager can activate purchase approvals so that approval is required before family members can purchase certain items. These include in-app purchases and any content purchased from a child account. Purchase approvals do not work for movies and TV shows for members over the age of 18. You can read more about purchase approvals.

Google Family Sharing Guide 11

As far as subscription plans like YouTube Premium are concerned, only the family manager can buy it. Family members will then automatically have access to services.

Family members can also pay using a separate payment method if they wish. Purchased items will be shared with other members after necessary permissions.

11. How many families can you join

You can only be part of one Google family at a time. When you leave a Google family group, you must wait at least 12 months before you can join another family.

12. Can you restrict the content to share with others

For purchases made on Google Play products such as apps, books, etc., you have two options. You can either share all purchases with other members automatically, or choose the manual option in which you must select the item you want to share.

But, when it comes to subscription services like YouTube Music or YouTube Premium, they are automatically shared with other members if you choose family plans.

Google 5 Family Sharing Guide

13. Does family sharing work for in-app purchases

No. Although you can make in-app purchases using the family payment method, you can’t share in-app purchases with other family members.

For a better understanding of in-app purchases, consider an example where you and your child are part of a family group. You are the Family Manager. Your child is playing a very addictive game like Candy Crush and wants to buy more gold bars. If your card is set as an automatic payment method (family payment method), the child can buy these items in the app without your approval and you will be billed for this. However, if you’ve set up an approval request for in-app purchases, you’ll know your child is trying to buy something using your card.

Now everything you bought in an app will no longer be available to other members. Likewise, if you buy outfits in PUBG Mobile using family payment, you cannot share them.

14. Can you share old items on the Google Play library

Yes. Everything you bought (after July 2, 2016) before joining or creating a family group can be shared with other members.

Applications or games purchased before July 2, 2016 must be eligible for the family library. You can check it on the app details page on Google Play Store.

Google 7 Family Sharing Guide

15. How to know if an item has already been purchased

If a family member has added a purchased item, such as apps, books, and so on, to the Google Play family library, that is, they have allowed sharing, other members will see the “Added to family library” message under the item. Likewise, if you try to subscribe to a premium service, you will be informed if you are already subscribed or not.

Google 6 Family Sharing Guide

16. What happens when you leave a family group

You will lose access to the Google Play Family Library, which means that you will not be able to install paid items for free. You will have to buy the products yourself now. Likewise, if you have added an item purchased to the family library, the others will no longer have access to it. In addition, you will lose the right to use the family payment method. You will also need to say goodbye to family membership plans.

However, any content you purchased through the family payment method will remain in your account.

Joy of giving

Google Families or Family Groups is a useful service for saving money and sharing purchased items and service plans with other family members. Why restrict the application or service to a single user if many people can benefit from it? There is no better joy than the joy of giving. And, the best part, all of your personal data remains secure and hidden.


Don’t want Google to keep track of your activities? Learn how to delete Google Search History and other activity data from your account.

Last updated on May 16, 2020

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