How to make parental controls on your phone

Parental controls on your Android phone

A parental control is an app that is installed on a child’s and parent’s mobile device so that the adult can limit certain actions.

Thanks to the tool presented, a parent can do the following:

  • Block any content that could have a detrimental effect on a child;
  • Prohibit the installation of paid or unreliable apps on your mobile gadget;
  • Limit the time the child spends playing;
  • Control the child’s location.

Enabling Android parental control with Family Link

First, about the requirements that must be met so that you can follow up on the parental control setup:

  • Your child’s phone or tablet must have Android 7.0 or a newer version of the OS. The official website reports that there are some devices with Android 6 and 5, which also support the work, but specific models are not specified.
  • The parent device can have any version of Android starting with 4.4, it’s also possible to control from an iPhone or iPad.
  • Both devices must have a Google account set up (if the child does not have an account, create one beforehand and sign in with it on their device), and you will also need to know the password for it.
  • Both devices must be connected to the Internet (not necessarily the same network) when setting up.

If all of the above conditions are met, you can start setting up. For it, we need access to two devices at once: the one that will be monitored and the one that will be controlled.

The configuration steps will be as follows (I skipped some minor steps like “click next” or there would have been too many):

  • On your parent’s device, install the “Google Family Link (for parents)” app, you can download it from Play Market. If you install it on your iPhone/iPad, there is only one Family Link app in the App Store, install it. Launch the app and take a look at a few screens of parental control options.
  • When asked “Who will be using this phone,” tap “Parent.”. On the next screen. Next, and then, at the prompt “Become a family group administrator” tap “Begin”.
  • Answer “Yes” when asked if your child has a Google account (we agreed earlier that he or she already has one).
  • The screen will ask “Take your child’s device”, press “Next”, the next screen will show the setup code, leave your phone open on this screen.
  • Get your child’s phone and download Google Family Link for Kids from the Play Store.
  • Launch the app, when prompted “Select a device to control” tap “This device”.
  • Specify the code displayed on your phone.
  • Enter the password for your child’s account, click “Next” and then click “Join”.
  • On the parent’s device, at this point you’ll be asked “Do you want to set up parental controls for this account?”? Answer in the affirmative and return to the child’s placement.
  • Review what the parent will be able to do with parental controls and, if you agree, click “Allow”. Turn on Family Link Manager profile manager (the button may be at the bottom of the screen and invisible without scrolling, like mine in the screenshot).
  • Set a name for the device (how it will appear to the parent) and specify the allowed apps (can then be changed).
  • This completes the setup as such, after clicking “Next” one more time, a screen will appear on the child’s device with information about exactly what parents can monitor.
  • On the parent device, on the “Filters and Control Settings” screen, select “Configure Parental Controls” and click “Next” to configure basic locks and other settings.
  • You will find yourself on a screen with “tiles,” the first of which leads to the parental control settings, the rest. report basic information about the child’s device.
  • Once set up, the parent and child will receive a few emails describing the basic features and operation of Google Family Link, I recommend reading.
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Despite the abundance of steps, the setup itself is not difficult: All steps are described in Russian in the application itself and at this stage are fully understandable. Here are the main available settings and what they mean.

How to turn off parental controls on your phone in the YouTube app

The YouTube mobile app allows you to set parental controls without any additional software. This way you can restrict viewing videos on your smartphone. This restriction applies to videos that are marked for viewing by 18.

Installed parental controls in the YouTube app can be removed. You will not need to enter a password here. It is enough to follow the instructions:

  • Open the YouTube app on your smartphone.
  • Go to “Home”. To do this, click on the house icon, which is located in the lower left corner.
  • Go to your personal account by clicking on its logo in the upper right corner of the screen.
  • Select “Settings” from the list.
  • In the opened window you will find the “Safe Mode” parameter. To disable parental control, you must move the slider to the “Off” value. All changes are saved automatically.


You can install or remove parental controls in the YouTube app at any time. However, this option does not guarantee that all inappropriate content will be blocked. But your child won’t have access to most of it.

How to limit the Internet on your child’s phone in the browser

Let’s look at the installation process using Google Chrome as an example.

  • All settings are in the user account, so you have to create and log in to a personal account.
  • The block you’re looking for is “Users.
  • There, activate the “Add new user” function.
  • Use “Create New Account” to select the “Controlled Profile” option.

This filtering option allows you to fence off output for certain search queries, as well as automatically block materials with age limits.

YouTube Safe Mode

In addition to the previous options it can be recommended to enable the safe mode in YouTube application, which can be source of unwanted content. To enable this mode, you need to open YouTube and go to “Settings. General”. Here, at the very end of the list, the “Safe Mode” option will be available

It should be noted that unlike parental control in Play Market, here there is no protection using PIN code, and this option can be enabled or disabled by one click. You can install the YouTube Kids app to solve this problem. This is the children’s version where safe mode is enabled by default and not disabled.

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How to set parental controls through Play Market on your child’s phone

We have the option to set up the Google Play mobile market separately, where kids often look for games, music and other content. Any movies, games, and music in the market have age restrictions. Once we set up the Play Market app, it will not allow children to download content that is not allowed for them.

Before installing and setting up parental controls on your phone, make sure that your device is logged into your child’s account and not yours:

    Open the market and press the menu button. It is located at the top of the screen on the left;

How Parental Controls Work

Before considering how to set parental controls on a child’s phone, we should consider how this feature works. Its features are several things:

  • Monitor the amount of time your child can spend in apps.
  • Content restriction. Search engines, official app store divides all content by age restrictions.
  • Some programs allow you to monitor your child’s phone from your phone.
  • You can determine the position of the gadget on the map due to the built-in GPS tracker.

To enable parental control, you need to set the appropriate Android options or download the appropriate program with further configuration. In this case, the cell phone or tablet will not show the information that the child mode is on.

Built-in parental control features Android

Unfortunately, at the time of writing, the Android system itself (as well as the built-in applications from Google) is not very rich with the really popular parental control functions. But there are some things you can set up without resorting to third-party apps. Update 2018: Google’s official parental control app is now available, I recommend using: Parental Controls on your Android phone in Google Family Link (although, the methods described below still work and some may find them preferable, also third-party solutions have some additional useful features to set restrictions).

Note: the location of the features is specified for “pure” Android. On some devices with their own launchers, settings may be in other places and sections (for example, in “Advanced”).

For the littlest ones. lock in app

In-app lock allows you to launch one app full screen and prevent it from switching to any other app or the Android desktop.

To use the feature, do the following:

In the end, your Android use will be limited to that app until you disable the lock: to do this, press and hold the Back and Browse buttons.

Parental controls in Play Store

Google Play Store allows you to set parental controls to limit the installation and purchase of apps.

  • Press the “Menu” button in Play Store and open the settings.
  • Open the “Parental Controls” item and set it to “On”, set the pin code.
  • Set restrictions on filtering Games & Apps, Movies, and Music by age.
  • To prohibit buying paid apps without entering your Google account password in the Play Store settings, use the “Authenticate When Buying” option.

Parental controls in YouTube

YouTube settings allow you to partially limit inappropriate videos for your children: in the YouTube app, click on the menu button, select “Settings”. “General” and enable the “Safe Mode” item.

Also, in Google Play there is a separate application from Google. “YouTube for Kids”, where this option is enabled by default and can not be switched back.

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Android allows you to create multiple user accounts in Settings. Users.

In the general case (with the exception of restricted profiles, which are not available in many places), you can’t set additional restrictions for a second user, but the feature can still be useful:

  • App settings are stored separately for different users, i.e.е. For the user who is the owner you can not set parental control options, but just lock it with password (see. How to set a password on Android), and allow a child to log in only as a second user.
  • Payment information, passwords, etc. are also stored separately for different users (t.е. you can limit your purchases in Play Store simply by not adding payment data to a second profile).

Note: when using multiple accounts, installing, uninstalling or disabling apps is reflected in all Android accounts.

Restricted user profiles on Android

For quite some time Android introduced the feature of creating a limited user profile, which allows you to use the built-in parental control features (e.g., banning the launch of applications), but for some reason it has not been developed and is currently only available on some tablets (on phones. no).

The option can be found in Settings. Users. Add User/Profile. Restricted Profile (if there is no such option and immediately starts creating a profile, it means that the function is not supported on your device).

Additional protection

Safe Kids provides multifaceted parental control, and the app recently added another important feature. limiting access to smartphone settings. This is to prevent your child from changing the system time, adding an untrusted Wi-Fi network, or anything else like that. In general it is better to lock your settings to avoid any harm. I used to recommend to use a separate app for this. Smart Applock, but now I won’t do it, since Safe Kids can do this too.

To protect your phone from the naughty pens of classmates, you should turn on the lock screen and set a pin-code or a graphic key. This is done through the Settings → Security. In case you lose your smartphone, it will be useful to display information about the owner on the lock screen. It is better to fill it out in a practical way: “Vanya Petrov’s phone. If you find it. call your parents 212-8506 (conditional)”.

That’s pretty much it. the phone can be given to the young owner. However, it is important to understand that all the programs and settings do not cancel the live conversations with your child. Children are inventive and grow up very quickly, so that the system built for sure will find flaws, and in any case it will have to change, adapting to the trends of the time, fashion class and the new needs of his child. It is better to do this together with your child, reviewing the rules at least once a year and explaining what, why and how you set up.

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