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YouTube TV: How to Set Up & Manage Family Sharing

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YouTube TV family sharing allows a single subscription to be shared with up to five other people. With as many as six people sharing the same account, it can be a good and cost-effective way to stream live TV over the internet. Here’s how to set up and manage family sharing through YouTube TV.

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A YouTube TV subscription currently costs $64.99 per month. After multiple price increases, it is a more expensive live TV streaming service than some others. With price becoming more of an increasing concern for YouTube TV subscribers, the option to share an account with someone else is likely to prove highly appealing at the cost level.

Besides the savings, the benefit of sharing a YouTube TV subscription is the user experience in general. While a subscriber could simply share their login credentials with others, family sharing not only allows them to keep those details safe, but also allows the other members to have their own individual account with their own settings and preferences, and even their own cloud DVR.

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How YouTube TV’s family sharing works

Family sharing requires a single member to start a subscription and then share it with others. Due to this, the person sharing the subscription will be classified as the family manager. The family manager is also ultimately in control of the subscription. While individual family members can remove themselves from a YouTube TV family group, only the manager can make changes to the overall subscription, including canceling YouTube TV. Likewise only the family manager can invite other people to join a group and become a YouTube TV family member.

How to set up and invite a family member:

  1. Visit YouTube TV
  2. Sign in
  3. Select profile picture
  4. Click on Settings
  5. Select Family sharing
  6. Click Set up
  7. Enter the email address or phone number
  8. Click Send

The person being invited will be notified of the offer to join a YouTube TV family group. Once they have joined, the family manager will receive an email notification confirming the addition of the new family member.

Although it is easy enough to set up a YouTube TV family group, this might not be the solution for all families. For example, there are some limitations that may affect the use of the service, including watching YouTube TV in different homes and also how many devices can stream at the same time. Therefore, some may find that once they have set up family sharing, it might not suit the needs of their individual family or group members.

How to manage family sharing

Generally speaking, there’s not too much for the family manager to do once family sharing has been set up. Sharing a subscription comes with a number of benefits, including a highly individual user experience. Therefore, added family members will largely be able to manage their own subaccount without the help of a family member, even including the option to remove themselves if they want to leave.

In situations where family members are no longer using the service, but haven’t removed themselves, the family manager can manually remove them in a very similar way to how they were added to begin with.

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Removing a family member:

  1. Visit YouTube TV
  2. Sign in
  3. Click on profile picture
  4. Select Settings
  5. Click Family sharing
  6. Select Manage
  7. Click the family group member
  8. Click Remove member

Again, similar to when adding a member, the removed person will receive a notification advising that they have been removed from the family group. In addition, to removing individual family members, managers can also delete a family group as a whole. This won’t cancel the YouTube TV subscription, but it will revert it back to the state it was in to begin with.

YouTube TV Family sharing setup summary

Setting up a YouTube TV family account is fairly simple to do and takes just minutes to complete. Once a family member has been added, they will gain access to their own subaccount. Unlike other services where users have their own profile, a shared YouTube TV subscription acts similar to if the other members were signed up to the service individually. This not only includes their own logins, but their own customized recommendations and recordings as well.

Once set up, there’s not a lot for a YouTube TV manager to actually do. Each member will be able to micro-manage their own account as if it was their own subscription. When the time comes, removing an individual member, or closing the entire YouTube TV family sharing account down, is as easy as setting it up to begin with.

Read more: How to Change YouTube TV Home Area & What to Know Before You Do

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John Finn

By John Finn

John started Streaming Better to help consumers navigate the live TV streaming and subscription service landscape. John has been writing about technology and TV-related services and devices since 2014 and believes the best streaming approach is to bounce between services as needed. Contact John via email at john@streamingbetter.com or on Twitter

One reply on “YouTube TV: How to Set Up & Manage Family Sharing”

Thank you for your excellent guidance. We would like to set up a new YouTubetv account based at our vacation rental condo with 3 smart TVs in Arizona and be able to access recorded Arizona local channels in Washington state. The service needs to be easy to use for guests.
When we are next in Arizona I plan to open a YouTubetv account and then establish a family sharing sub-account for our Washington home. Since the primary account is limited to 3 devices online simultaneously, I presume we will need to avoid using the service while the condo is occupied. Does this plan look like it will work and do you have any suggestions. Thank you. Ken

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