Are you familiar with the awesome Google Family group service? Once you start using it, there is no going back. It’s a smart way to manage content and services across devices. It can also be used for apps, games, movies, etc. You can save by sharing with your family members on Google Play products. However, some users cannot use it on Google Play—Google Family Play Library. In short, Google Family Play Library is not working for them.
Different users are facing numerous types of issues with Google Family Play Library. While some cannot join a family group, others cannot share apps with other Google family members. Similarly, for several users, some apps can be shared and some not. This is quite confusing.
Let’s understand the reasons and various ways to fix Google Family Play Library not working issue.
1. Limitations on Changing the Family Group
You can only join one family group at a time. So if you’re already part of a Google family group, you can’t quickly switch to another family group.
According to Google, he can join a new family 12 months after leaving his old family group. If you were part of a different family a month ago, you will encounter problems when joining a new family group.
2. Supported Google Account
Google Family won’t work with a Google account from work, school, and organization. Whether you are a family manager or a regular member of a group, you must use a personal Google account for Google Family.
3. Country/Territory Restrictions
All family members, including the family manager, must have the same country or region for the Google Play Store. To check and change your country, follow these steps:
Stage 1: Open Google Play Store and tap on the three-bar icon at the top.
Step 2: Tap on Account. Under Preferences you will find your country.
Stage 3: If you have set a different country for your Google Play account, you will see the option to change your country on that screen.
Note: You can only change the Google Play country once a year.
Google has a guide on how to change the country and solutions when you can’t change the country.
4. Turn off VPN
Fly: Find out if using a free VPN at home is a good choice.
5. Check Compatibility of Apps and Games
Just because you have family sharing enabled for an app or game doesn’t mean it will appear for others. App or game purchased after July 2, 2016 is eligible for family sharing. Also, these purchased apps or games must have the necessary permission to share with the family library. Some apps don’t have this option, which means the app developer has disabled it. And you cannot share such apps with other family members
You can check if an app supports family sharing by opening it in the Play Store. Then, look for Suitable for Family Library under ratings in the More info section.
6. Check the Relevance of Content
Google Play has certain limitations and restrictions on sharing apps, movies, games, shows, and books with family.
For a movie or TV show to be eligible for family sharing, it must be purchased with the family payment method. If purchased with a personal credit or debit card, you cannot share it with other members.
Also, movies for rent (movie or TV show) on Google Play and movies and shows purchased on YouTube are not eligible for family sharing. Free apps cannot be shared via family sharing. If a paid application is available for free, it is better to purchase it separately on all devices.
Similarly, Play Music, Newsstand purchases, free book samples, rentals, and public domain books cannot be added to the Family Library.
7. Allow Apps That Can Be Shared
When you’re part of a Google Family group, Google offers two ways to share your Google Play purchases: share eligible purchases automatically or manually. Legacy options mean you allow Google to automatically share your purchases. The second option means you’ll need to select apps and other purchases to share with other members via Family Library.
For this, follow these steps:
Stage 1: Launch Google Play Store on your phone
Step 2: Tap the three-bar icon at the top and go to Account.
Stage 3: Tap the Family tab, then tap Family Library settings.
Step 4: Tap Apps & Games. Then change the setting according to your need.
When the manual option is enabled, you must visit each app’s page separately and enable the sharing via family sharing feature. For that, turn on the Family Library toggle on the app page.
8. Change Parental Control Settings
If your child is unable to download movies shared via family sharing, you should have a look at the parental control settings. Sometimes movie ratings prevent the sub-account from accessing such content. So filter it. To do this, open the Family Link app. Tap your child, then tap Manage settings > Controls on Google Play. Then tap on the content you want to filter according to your need. See our guide on how to set up parental controls through the Play Store.
9. Check Family Payment Method
If a family member tries to purchase an app using the family payment method and fails, that person can purchase the app using a personal card. However, this app does not appear in Family Library. If the family manager updates the payment method within two hours of purchase, the family member can always request a refund. However, if he decides to keep the purchase on a personal card, this item will be shareable only after the family manager has updated the family payment method. Following this, that member will have to manually share the purchased app as shown in #7 above.
10. Clear Play Store Cache and Data
Even after applying the solutions mentioned above, Google family sharing still doesn’t seem active, it’s time to clear cache and data for Google Play Store. This will not uninstall your apps or delete any personal data. It only changes the settings in the Google Play Store to their default values.
To clear Play Store cache and data, follow these steps:
Stage 1: Open Settings on your phone and go to Apps.
Step 2: Tap on Google Play Store under All apps. Tap on Storage.
Stage 3: Press the Clear cache button first. Restart your phone. Check if Family Library is working properly. If it is still giving you trouble then tap on Clear data or Clear storage depending on the option available.
Fly: You should also try to manually update the Google Play Store and Google Play services.
Bonus: Purchase Confirmations Not Working
When a family payment method is set up, other family members (over 18) can purchase items from Google Play without the family manager’s permission. If necessary, the family manager can set up purchase confirmations for members to request any app or service purchase.
For child accounts (under 18), purchase approvals can be enabled for all content. This feature is not available for adults. In this case, the family manager can only restrict in-app purchases.
If the child’s account does not offer the ability to enable purchase approvals for all content, check that account’s information, especially the date of birth. Age must be under 18.
Google Family groups are one of the smartest ways to share purchases among family members and even friends. We hope the above tips helped you restore the normal functionality of Google Family Play Library features.
Next: We use Google Play Store to install and update apps regularly. Why don’t you do your best? Check out 10 useful tips and tricks for Play Store at the next link.