How to Setup Family Sharing Without Apple Email-Addresses

by Martin Storbeck

When you set up an Apple ID for a child, Apple wants you to create an email address for him or her. Here is how you can avoid this & use a different email provider or your own email server


  • Your own iCloud account
  • An e-mail Address for the child
  • Instructions

    Step 1

    Apples new Family Sharing is a great option. You can save a lot of money on apps, have a family calendar, joint to-do list, family photos and more important ...

    Step 2

    ... your kids need to ask for your permission when they want to buy stuff from the App Store or iTunes

    Step 3

    Even our youngest has her own iPod Touch & AppleID so we can separate her music, data, email & apps from ours (and don't have to clean up the mess on our own devices when she grows older)

    Step 4

    But here is the problem: Adults can set up their Apple ID without using iCloud email addresses. But for a child age 13 or younger Apple forces you to use as an email provider

    Step 5

    Let us fact-check this...

    Step 6

    So if you choose this option ...

    Step 7

    ... and navigate through all those steps ...

    Step 8

    ... you'll end up with Apple asking for a new email address

    Step 9

    But if you are on your own email server (which was my case) or want to use something like Gmail or Yahoo mail, it won't work

    Step 10

    An outrage!!!

    Step 11

    Or is it? I found a loophole in the Apple ID setup process that you can use to set up a child Apple ID in Family Sharing with a personal email address! This is how to do it:

    Step 12

    Go to

    Step 13

    Choose to create an AppleID

    Step 14

    Now you can choose the email address you want

    Step 15

    Now this is important: Set the child's birth year wrong. The child needs to be older than 13 but younger than 18!

    Step 16

    Choose the wrong birth year!!

    Step 17

    Let me help you with that!

    Step 18

    Finish the steps and verify the email address.

    Step 19

    Now add this child to your Family Sharing through the invite button

    Step 20

    Once the child account has accepted the invitation you need to visit one more time to adjust the birth date

    Step 21

    Alright, final steps, let's do that!

    Step 22

    Log in with the child account and go to 'Password and Security' (you'll be asked to answer two of the security questions)

    Step 23

    On the bottom of the page you'll be able to set the right birth year

    Step 24

    Finally the head of the family needs to approve this change

    Step 25

    Aaaaand.... You're done! It is a little more complicated than setting up a child account with, but this way it works with any other email address!

    Step 26

    But ... The child appears to be satisfied with her own email address and the dad does not have to fear for his credit card.

    Step 27

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