Fixing Ask to Buy Not Working on Mac and iPhone: 6 Solutions

Many users are facing the Ask to Buy not working on their MacBook, iPad, and even iPhone. Ask to Buy is an important feature, especially if you have a family of Apple users. It comes in handy to keep your child’s purchase attempts in check. However, the trouble begins when your child sees the “Unable to Ask Permission” error on their screen while making a purchase. Here’s what to do when Ask to Buy is not working on iPhone or Mac.

1. Check Content Not Supported

If your child has been facing Ask to Buy permission error, it could be because the feature does not support the content they are trying to purchase.

Ask to Buy does not apply to apps or content from educational institutions. You can only use the Ask to Buy feature for purchases made within the App Store or iTunes Store such as apps, in-app purchases, movies, TV shows, books, and music.

2. Check Family Sharing Settings

An easy and quick way to solve the Ask to Buy permission error on iPhone or Mac is to check the Family Sharing Settings and ensure it is turned on. You can apply the same steps to your iPad, iPhone, and MacBook.

Here is how you can do it on all your devices.

On Your MacBook

1. Go to the Apple menu and click on System Settings.

2. Choose Family.

3. Then, go to Purchase Sharing.

4. Now, make sure you have enabled Purchase Sharing.

5. Again, go back to Family and click on your child’s name.

6. Now, enable Ask to Buy.

Once done, you can restart the MacBook and use the feature again.

On your iPhone or iPad

1. Open Settings and go to Family.

2. Then, select Purchase Settings and make sure it is enabled.

3. Now, get back to Family and choose a Family member’s name.

4. Click on Ask to Buy.

5. Then, enable Require Purchase Approval.

Do the same for all your family members. Then restart your device to save the settings.

3. Change the Approver

If any member of your family is unable to ask for permission, you can try changing the approver or the guardian. Here is how you can do it.

On MacBook

1. 1. Click on the Apple menu and choose System Settings.

2. Then, open Family.

3. Click on any family member’s name and choose Parent/Guardian.

4. Now enable the option for Set as Parent/Guardian.

Once approved, the Ask To Buy or purchase request will be sent to this ID.

On iPad or iPhone

1. Go to Settings and open Family.

2. Choose the family member from the list.

3. Click on Parent/Guardian.

4. Now, enable the option Set as Parent/Guardian.

You can now choose multiple parents/guardians for the child user in the family to accept or reject purchase requests.

4. Check Apple ID

Ask to Buy might not work on iPhone or MacBook if you use different Apple IDs across different devices. Make sure that you are using the same Apple ID on your App Store, Family Sharing, and using the same for making all other purchases.

You can follow the steps below to check your Apple ID.

On MacBook

1. Click on the Apple logo and go to System Settings.

2. Now open Family and open your name.

3. Check your Apple ID here. You will see an email id here which is your Apple id.

4. Now, go back to System Settings and click on your Name in the left sidebar.

Make sure you double-check both the Apple IDs and ensure they are the same.

5. Update macOS and iOS to Latest Version

You need to ensure that iPhone or Mac, wherever you are not getting the Ask to Buy pop-up, are running the latest software version. Outdated software can sometimes cause compatibility issues leading to permission issues.

Let’s look at the steps to update your devices.

On MacBook

1. Go to System Settings.

2. Open Software Update and wait for the system to look for updates.

3. Click on Update Now to update your macOS.

Wait for the system to restart and check if the Ask To Buy is working again.

On iPad and iPhone

1. Open Settings.

2. Go to General.

3. Now, choose Software Update.

If you find the latest software version to update, simply choose Download and Install. It will take a few minutes, and your device will restart. Make sure to check if the Ask To Buy feature is working well.

6. Try Restarting

The most basic method and fix you can try with any error that you might face on your iPhone or Mac is simply restarting them. Whether it is your MacBook, iPad, or iPhone, you can go to System Settings on your MacBook and choose Restart.

Or else, you can keep pressing the Home and Volume (Up) button to restart your iOS devices. The Ask To Buy feature may not work due to some bug that might resolve once you restart everything.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. How do I allow Ask To Buy?

If you are looking to enable Ask To Buy option for your child, open the Settings on your device and go to Family. Here, choose your child’s name and go to Ask To Buy. You can then enable the feature from this section.

Ask Before Buying on iPhone

Ask To Buy not working on your iPhone can lead to crazy creadit card bills. Make sure to try all the fixes mentioned above before contacting Apple support. Preparing to buy an iPhone? Know the difference between USB-C 2.0 and 3.0 and how it affects data tranfer and charging speeds because not all iPhones are created equal.

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is Senior Writer DZ-TECH, where he covers the world of technology, hacking, cybersecurity, surveillance and privacy.

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