Why is ‘ask to buy’ not working? Common issues and troubleshooting tips

By SmartHomeBit Staff •  Updated: 09/04/23 •  20 min read

Understanding “Ask to Buy”
The “Ask to Buy” feature is an essential tool for parents and families to manage and monitor app purchases and downloads on Apple devices. The feature allows parents to approve or decline their child’s request to download apps, make in-app purchases, or access certain content. It provides a level of control and safety, ensuring that children only access appropriate and approved content. When used correctly, “Ask to Buy” can help maintain a secure and controlled digital environment for children.

To fully grasp how “Ask to Buy” works and its benefits, it’s essential to explore the purpose of the feature, how it functions on different devices, and common issues that users may encounter. troubleshooting steps will be provided to address any “Ask to Buy” issues that may arise. By familiarizing yourself with this feature and its functionalities, you can successfully navigate and utilize “Ask to Buy” to enhance your family’s digital experience.

Table of Contents

Understanding “Ask to Buy”

“Ask to Buy” is a feature available in Apple’s Family Sharing that allows parents or guardians to manage and control purchases made by their children on the App Store and iTunes Store. Here’s a breakdown of how “Ask to Buy” works:

  1. Enabling “Ask to Buy”: To use this feature, the organizer of the Family Sharing group needs to enable “Ask to Buy” for the child’s Apple ID. This can be done through the Family Sharing settings on their device.
  2. Purchase Requests: When a child tries to make a purchase, a request is sent to the organizer, who is then notified about the pending purchase. The organizer can receive the request on their own iOS device or via email.
  3. Approval or Denial: The organizer has the authority to approve or deny the purchase request. If approved, the child can proceed with the purchase. If denied, the child will be notified that the request was declined.
  4. Managing “Ask to Buy”: The organizer can manage the “Ask to Buy” feature by going to the Family Sharing settings and selecting the child’s account. From there, they can view purchase requests, adjust settings, and control what types of content the child can access.
  5. Communication: “Ask to Buy” encourages communication between parents and children regarding purchases. It provides an opportunity for parents to discuss the appropriateness of the purchase, set spending limits, and teach responsible digital habits.
  6. Limitations: It’s important to note that “Ask to Buy” only applies to purchases made on the App Store and iTunes Store. It does not extend to other platforms or in-app purchases within apps.

By understanding how “Ask to Buy” works, parents or guardians can ensure a safer and more controlled digital experience for their children, while also fostering open communication and responsible spending habits.

How Does “Ask to Buy” Work?

The “Ask to Buy” feature is designed to enable parents or guardians to have control over their children’s purchases and downloads on Apple devices. Here’s how the “Ask to Buy” feature works:

  1. Family Sharing: The “Ask to Buy” feature is part of Apple’s Family Sharing functionality, which allows family members to share purchases, subscriptions, and content across their devices.
  2. Parental Controls: Within Family Sharing, a parent or guardian is designated as the “Organizer” and has control over certain settings, including “Ask to Buy.”
  3. Child’s Request: When a child using a connected Apple device attempts to make a purchase or download, a notification is sent to the parent’s device. The child can send a request to the parent, asking for permission to proceed with the purchase or download.
  4. Parent’s Approval: The parent receives the request notification and can review details such as the item being requested, the cost (if applicable), and any associated content ratings or restrictions.
  5. Granting or Declining Permission: Based on their evaluation, the parent can choose to approve or decline the child’s request. If approved, the child can proceed with the purchase or download. If declined, the child will be notified that the request was not granted.
  6. Notifications and Reminders: Parents may receive additional notifications or reminders related to the child’s requests and can manage these settings within Family Sharing.

By using the “Ask to Buy” feature, parents can have oversight and control over their children’s digital purchases and downloads, ensuring responsible and appropriate usage of Apple devices within the family.

What is the Purpose of “Ask to Buy” Feature?

The purpose of the “Ask to Buy” feature is to give parents control over their children’s App Store and iTunes purchases. It allows parents to manage and monitor the content their children can access and purchase on their devices.

Here are some reasons why the “Ask to Buy” feature is important:

  1. Safety: The feature ensures that children do not accidentally or unknowingly make purchases that could be inappropriate or unsafe. Parents can review and approve or decline each purchase request, ensuring they have the final say in what their children can access.
  2. Budgeting: “Ask to Buy” helps parents maintain control over their family’s budget by monitoring and managing the purchases made by their children. They can set spending limits and prevent overspending on apps, games, or media.
  3. Responsible Online Behavior: The feature allows parents to teach their children about responsible online behavior. By discussing and approving each purchase, parents can have conversations about the value of money, making informed choices, and distinguishing between wants and needs.
  4. Parental Guidance: “Ask to Buy” enables parents to have a better understanding of the apps, games, and content their children are interested in. This can facilitate open communication and discussions about appropriate digital content and engage in activities that align with their family values.
  5. Protection against Fraud: By reviewing the purchase requests, parents can also identify and prevent fraudulent activities or unauthorized purchases on their children’s devices.

By utilizing the “Ask to Buy” feature, parents can ensure a safer and more controlled online experience for their children, promoting responsible digital habits and protecting them from potential harm or unwanted purchases.

How Does “Ask to Buy” Work on Different Devices?

When it comes to understanding how the “Ask to Buy” feature works on different devices, there are a few key points to consider:

Compatibility: The “Ask to Buy” feature is available on devices running iOS 8 or later, as well as macOS Yosemite (10.10) or later.
iOS Devices: On iOS devices, such as iPhones and iPads, parents can use the feature to manage their child’s App Store purchases and downloads. When a child tries to make a purchase, a message is sent to the parent’s device, allowing them to approve or decline the request.
Mac Devices: On Mac devices, parents can also use the “Ask to Buy” feature to manage app purchases from the Mac App Store. Just like on iOS devices, a request is sent to the parent’s device for approval.
Family Sharing: “Ask to Buy” is a feature that is part of the Family Sharing functionality on Apple devices. It allows parents to have control over their child’s purchases and ensures that they are involved in the decision-making process.

These are the basic points to understand about how the “Ask to Buy” feature works on different devices. By utilizing this feature, parents can have peace of mind knowing that they have control over their child’s purchases and can make informed decisions about what content is appropriate for them.

Common Issues with “Ask to Buy”

Running into problems with “Ask to Buy”? This section is here to help! We’ll tackle some common issues you may encounter, including difficulties setting up “Ask to Buy”, receiving inaccurate notifications and approvals, and navigating challenges related to Family Sharing. Get ready to troubleshoot and find solutions to make your “Ask to Buy” experience smooth and hassle-free. No more roadblocks – let’s dive in!

Unable to Set Up “Ask to Buy”

If you are experiencing difficulties in setting up the “Ask to Buy” feature, here is a step-by-step guide to help you:

  1. Ensure that your device is running on the latest version of iOS or macOS. It is crucial to have the newest version as older versions may not support the “Ask to Buy” feature.
  2. Go to the Settings app on your device and navigate to the “Screen Time” or “Family Sharing” section. Verify that the “Ask to Buy” feature is enabled and that you have correctly set up Family Sharing.
  3. If you have recently updated your iOS or macOS version, attempt restarting your device. Sometimes, a simple reboot can resolve any issues encountered during the “Ask to Buy” setup process.
  4. If the problem persists, try reauthorizing Family Sharing. Access the Settings app, tap on your Apple ID, and select “Family Sharing”. You will find the option to reauthorize and set up Family Sharing again.
  5. If none of the aforementioned steps prove successful, you can try resetting the “Ask to Buy” feature. Within the Settings app, choose “Screen Time” or “Family Sharing”, and tap on “Reset Ask to Buy“. Keep in mind that this action will eliminate any previous settings, requiring you to set up “Ask to Buy” once again.

If you are still encountering difficulties in setting up the “Ask to Buy” feature after following these steps, it would be advisable to reach out to Apple support for further assistance. They are equipped to offer more specific guidance tailored to your device and situation.

Inaccurate Notifications and Approvals

Inaccurate notifications and approvals can often be a common issue experienced with the “Ask to Buy” feature. It can be frustrating and confusing for parents when they receive notifications that their child has requested a purchase, but when they approve it, the purchase doesn’t go through.

One possible cause of this issue is a delay in the syncing of devices. The notification may have been sent before the child canceled the purchase or before the parent approved it, resulting in inaccurate notifications and approvals.

Another potential cause could be a technical glitch or bug in the system. Sometimes, the “Ask to Buy” feature may not function as intended, leading to inaccurate notifications and approvals. If this occurs, it is recommended to update the iOS or macOS versions to the latest available, as this often resolves technical issues.

To address this problem, it is important to check the status of the purchase in the App Store or iTunes Store. Parents should verify if the purchase appears in the child’s purchase history and whether it has been charged to the parent’s payment method. If any discrepancies are found, contacting Apple support can help resolve the issue and provide further assistance.

Dealing with inaccurate notifications and approvals can certainly be frustrating, but by understanding the possible causes and following the troubleshooting steps mentioned above, parents can ensure a smoother experience with the “Ask to Buy” feature.

Issues with Family Sharing and “Ask to Buy”

Troubleshooting “Ask to Buy” Issues

Having trouble with the “Ask to Buy” feature? Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered. In this section, we will address common troubleshooting issues to ensure a smooth experience. From checking settings and permissions to updating iOS or macOS versions, we’ll guide you through the process. Reauthorizing Family Sharing and resetting the “Ask to Buy” feature will also be covered. So, let’s dive in and get your “Ask to Buy” working flawlessly again!

Ensure Devices Meet System Requirements

When troubleshooting “Ask to Buy” issues, it’s crucial to ensure that your devices meet the system requirements. Follow these steps:

  1. Check the minimum operating system version required to ensure that “Ask to Buy” works properly.
  2. Verify that your device meets the specified minimum RAM requirements for the feature.
  3. Make sure your device has enough free storage space available for the “Ask to Buy” feature to function without any issues. You can check the available storage in the device settings.
  4. Ensure that your device’s internet connection is stable and reliable. “Ask to Buy” requires an active connection to function correctly.
  5. If you are using a compatible accessory, such as an Apple Watch, make sure it is running the latest supported software version.

By ensuring that your devices meet the system requirements, you can resolve any “Ask to Buy” issues you may experience. If the problem persists, you can proceed with other troubleshooting steps or reach out to support for further assistance.

Check Settings and Permissions

  1. When encountering problems with the “Ask to Buy” feature, it is crucial to verify the settings and permissions on your device.
  2. Here are the steps to follow:
  3. Open the Settings app on your iOS or macOS device.
  4. Scroll down and tap on “Screen Time” (on iOS) or “Family Sharing” (on macOS).
  5. Tap on your name or choose the “Family Sharing” option.
  6. Under the “Family” section, select the family member you want to examine the settings for.
  7. Scroll down and find the “Ask to Buy” option.
  8. Make sure that the toggle switch for “Ask to Buy” is enabled.
  9. Don’t forget to check the “Parent/Guardian” section for proper permissions.
  10. If necessary, customize the settings and permissions to align with your preferences.

By meticulously following these instructions, including checking the settings and permissions, you will be able to resolve any issues related to the “Ask to Buy” feature. Should problems persist, don’t hesitate to contact support for further assistance.

Update iOS or macOS Versions

  1. Follow these steps to update your iOS or macOS versions to ensure you have the latest features, improvements, and security patches:
  2. First, check the Apple website to confirm that your device meets the specific requirements for the update.
  3. On your iOS device, open the Settings app. On your Mac, go to System Preferences.
  4. Locate and tap on the “Software Update” option.
  5. If an update is available, simply click on the “Download and Install” button.
  6. Make sure your device is connected to a stable Wi-Fi network and has sufficient battery life or is connected to a power source.
  7. Follow the on-screen instructions, which may include entering your passcode, agreeing to terms and conditions, and waiting for the update to download and install.
  8. Once the update is installed, your device will restart, and you’ll be running the latest version of iOS or macOS.

Regularly updating your iOS or macOS versions is recommended to stay up to date with the latest advancements and fixes. It not only enhances the performance and stability of your device but also ensures that you have the latest features, improvements, and security patches. Remember to check the Apple website for specific requirements before initiating any updates.

Reauthorize Family Sharing

  1. To reauthorize Family Sharing, simply follow these steps:
  2. First, open the Settings app on your iOS or Mac device.
  3. Next, tap on your Apple ID located at the top of the screen.
  4. From the menu that appears, select “Family Sharing”.
  5. Once you’re in the Family Sharing settings, choose “Manage Family” to view the list of all family members.
  6. Locate the specific family member for whom you wish to reauthorize Family Sharing.
  7. Toggle off the “Ask to Buy” feature for that member.
  8. Finally, toggle it back on to successfully reauthorize Family Sharing for that particular member.
  9. Remember to repeat this process for any other family members who also need to have their Family Sharing reauthorized.

By going through the process of reauthorizing Family Sharing, you can ensure that the “Ask to Buy” feature functions correctly for all members of your family. This feature grants you more control and oversight when it comes to purchasing and downloading apps, music, movies, and other content. If you encounter any issues with “Ask to Buy” or encounter other problems related to Family Sharing, reauthorizing Family Sharing can serve as a troubleshooting step to help resolve the problem.

Reset “Ask to Buy” Feature

To reset the “Ask to Buy” feature, you can follow these simple steps:

  1. Firstly, open the Settings app on your device.
  2. Now, scroll down and tap on either “Screen Time” or “General“, depending on the type of device you are using.
  3. Tap on “Restrictions” or “Parental Controls“.
  4. If prompted, enter the passcode associated with your device.
  5. Locate and tap on “Ask to Buy” or a similar option.
  6. Toggle off the “Ask to Buy” feature.
  7. To confirm the action, select “Turn Off“.
  8. Wait a few seconds, and then toggle on the “Ask to Buy” feature again.
  9. Finally, exit the Settings app.

By following these steps, you will be able to successfully reset the “Ask to Buy” feature on your device. This can prove to be useful if you are encountering any problems with notifications, approvals, or any other issues related to “Ask to Buy“. Make sure that your device meets the necessary system requirements and that you have the latest iOS or macOS version installed. If the problem persists, feel free to contact support for further assistance with your “Ask to Buy” concerns.

When to Contact Support for “Ask to Buy” Problems?

If you are experiencing issues with the “Ask to Buy” feature, consider contacting support in the following cases:

  1. Technical Malfunctions: If the “Ask to Buy” feature is not functioning properly, such as not sending requests or not receiving notifications, it is advisable to reach out to support. They can help troubleshoot technical issues and provide solutions.
  2. Account-Specific Problems: If the problem is specific to your account, such as being unable to add or remove family members, or encountering errors when managing “Ask to Buy” settings, contacting support can help resolve these issues.
  3. Unexpected Errors: In instances where you encounter unexpected errors or error messages related to the “Ask to Buy” feature, it is recommended to seek assistance from support. They can investigate the issue and provide guidance on how to address it.
  4. Unresolved Problems: If you have attempted to troubleshoot the problem yourself but still cannot resolve the issue with “Ask to Buy,” contacting support can provide further assistance. They have the expertise to investigate more complex issues and offer advanced solutions.
  5. No Access to “Ask to Buy”: If you do not have access to the “Ask to Buy” feature despite meeting the necessary requirements, contacting support can help determine the cause and enable the feature for your account.

Remember, support is available to assist you with any issues you encounter with the “Ask to Buy” feature. Don’t hesitate to reach out for guidance and solutions.

Frequently Asked Questions

Why is Ask to Buy not working on my iOS device?

There could be several reasons for Ask to Buy not working on your iOS device. It could be due to unsupported content from educational institutions, incorrect Family Sharing settings, or a software bug. To resolve the issue, you can follow the troubleshooting steps mentioned in the reference sources.

How can I check if the content is supported by Ask to Buy?

To check if the content is supported by Ask to Buy, you can refer to the list of unsupported content provided in the reference sources. It includes content from educational institutions, iTunes Match, iTunes Gifts, and Donations.

Why am I being prompted to verify my child’s age even after setting up Ask to Buy?

In some countries, such as South Korea, children may be asked to verify their age even after Ask to Buy has been set up. This is a requirement in certain regions before making purchases. Make sure to verify your child’s age if prompted to ensure Ask to Buy functions properly.

How can I access the Notification Center to check for missing Ask to Buy requests?

On an iPhone, you can swipe up from the middle of the screen to access the Notification Center. On a Mac, you can click on the Time/Date reading at the top right corner of the screen or swipe left with two fingers from the right of your trackpad to access the Notification Center.

Why am I not receiving Ask to Buy notifications on my lock screen?

To receive Ask to Buy notifications on your lock screen, make sure that the App Store is allowed to send time-sensitive notifications. You can check this by going to the Settings app, then navigating to Notifications -> App Store, and ensuring that the toggle for Allow Notifications is turned on and the toggle for Time Sensitive Notifications is enabled.

What should I do if my child’s device is not supported for Ask to Buy?

Ask to Buy requires iOS 8 or later for iPhone and iPad, and OS X Yosemite or later for Mac. If your child’s device does not meet these requirements, Ask to Buy may not work. In such cases, you may need to consider upgrading the device or using an alternative method to approve their purchases.

SmartHomeBit Staff