A Step-by-Step Guide to Setting Up Parental Controls for Android

According to Statista, since 2012, Android has had the lion’s share of the mobile operating system market. It’s difficult to find someone who doesn’t know an Android user personally. Your child probably uses at least one Android device and that means Android parental controls need to be enabled. Read on to learn more about how you can set up parental controls on Android phones.


How to Put Parental Controls on Play Store

The Google Play Store is where Android users can purchase and download apps. The Play Store app is installed by default on every Android operating system. The Google Play Store is one place where you can place parental restrictions on Android. If you can enable parental controls on the Google Play Store, you’re effectively controlling what apps can be purchased or downloaded. Follow these steps to figure out how:

  1. On your child’s device, open the Google Play app 
  2. In the top right corner, select the profile icon 
  3. Select “Settings” > “Family” > “Parental controls” 
  4. Turn on “Parental controls” 
  5. Choose a PIN so your child doesn’t change the parental controls 

Screenshot of Play Store settings

Screenshot of entering parental control PIN


Google Play’s parental controls have four different parental settings on Android. Here’s how you can navigate each one. 


Parental Controls for Apps & Games 

Using the parental controls on Google Play, you can choose what apps and games your child can purchase, and download based on their content rating. Keep in mind that the apps and games that you’ve restricted can’t be downloaded but they can be seen through search or by visiting the app’s page directly. 

If your child uses the Play Game app, their searches will be directed to the Play Store where you’ve set the restrictions. Your restrictions don’t affect the apps and games your child has already downloaded on their Android device. 

Screenshot of Play Store Apps & Games parental controls


Parental Controls for Movies 

Google Play allows you to rent or purchase movies. The parental controls allow you to restrict your child’s access to movies based on their age rating. Again, you can’t block the movies from being shown in search results or by visiting the movie’s page directly. Unlike apps, if a movie is restricted based on its age rating, your child won’t be able to watch it, even if they’ve already rented or purchased it. The restrictions are applicable to both the Play Store app and the Google TV app. 


Parental Controls for TV 

The parental controls in the Play Store also work for watching TV shows. Just like in the case of movies, you can decide what the highest age rating your child can watch is and restrict the rest of TV shows. Though the shows can be found through search, they can’t be downloaded or watched. The restriction also works for TV shows that have already been purchased and downloaded on the Play Store app and the Google TV app. 


Screenshot of Play Store TV Movie parental control settings


Parental Controls for Books 

The parental controls for books on Google Play Store block most sexually explicit books. But they won’t be able to block all books that have sexually explicit content, and all sexually explicit books will still be found through the search function. 


How to Put Parental Controls on Android 

The Android operating system is used by multiple phone manufacturers across the world. Usually, each manufacturer provides a certain version of Android on their phone, even though the basic OS is the same. The differences between parental controls on Android cellphones are minor but in general, the parental controls on LG phones won’t be any different from the parental controls on Motorola phones


What is Family Link? 

Almost always, you’ll need to install parental controls on Android devices. No matter the phone manufacturer, when it comes to parental controls on Android, you’ll be instructed to download Family Link, Google’s parental control app. Though the app isn’t installed by default on Android phones, all parental control settings eventually tell users to download the app. Overall, there are no default parental controls on Android, unless you use Google’s own app, Google Family Link. 

Google Family Link is a parental control app developed by Google for the Android operating system. Though you can use Google Family Link on iPhones and iPads, its capabilities shine best when on an Android device. Parental controls on Sony phones, Google Pixel phones, and Xiaomi phones are examples of when the parental control settings lead you to download Family Link. 


How to Set Up Family Link 

To set up Family Link parental controls, you should first download it on the parent device. After you do, follow the on-screen instructions to connect your child’s device and yours through Google’s family account . Your child needs to have a Google account for this. If they don’t, you can create one for them during the process. At the end of this process, you’ll have activated Family Link manager app as a way to enable parental controls. 


What Can Google Family Link Do? 

After you set up parental controls on Android tablets and phones using Google Family Link, there are several features you can use to set app restriction on Android. 


Screen Time Limit 

Maybe the most common feature among parental control apps is the ability to limit a child’s screen time. Using Google Family Link, you can set a limit on the time they can use their device or set a screen time limit for individual apps. 

If their screen time limit on their device is reached, the device is locked for the rest of the day. When the device is locked, your child can’t unlock the device. They can’t even see notifications. Though they are able to answer calls or make an emergency call. 

You can also set a daily device limit. This type of time limit works across all the devices that are connected to your child’s Google account. Your child will be notified the first time that screen time limits are enabled. They will also be able to see how much time is left through the Family Link app. 



Downtime refers to when the device cannot be accessed by your child. This is different from reaching a screen time limit. A screen time limit tells your child how much time they can spend on their device. Downtime is more like a scheduled mode where your child knows that they can’t access their phone at specific hours. For example, you can make it so that your child won’t be able to use their phone from 11:00 PM until 8:00 AM in the morning. 


Always Allowed Apps 

You can specify apps that will be allowed at all times. Such apps won’t be affected by screen time limits or downtimes. You can use this for apps that you think your child needs access to at all times. 


Using Safes on Android Devices 

Google Family Link is a parental control app but not a third-party app, unless you use it on iOS devices. This means that the app has the advantage of working on home-ground. Also, Google Family Link only works for children under the age of 13. But when your child’s age goes over the age of 13, they can opt to have parental controls stay, or they can terminate the process. Finally, Google Family Link doesn’t have many features that other third-party parental control apps have, but instead, it’s free. 

But there’s another option if you want to know how to set up parental controls on Android; third-party apps. Safes is a third-party parental control app available on multiple platforms including Android and iOS devices. The app has all the features available on Google Family Link and more. Some of the features available on Safes, but not available on Family Link, include: 

  • Using Safes, you can filter specific URLs, no matter the web browser your child uses. 
  • With Safes, you can block specific keywords from your child’s web searches no matter what the search engine they use. 
  • You can instantly block your child’s app at the press of a button using Safes 
  • On Safes, you can use the Geo-fence feature, blocking apps in specific geographical locations 

Safes — All-around Parental Control App for Android

How Safes Helps Your Child

Protect from Harmful Content

Safes protects your child from inappropriate and harmful content to ensure their mental well-being.

Form Healthy Digital Habits 

Safes helps prevent harmful routines — i.e., video game addiction and unhealthy sleep patterns — and form positive digital habits.

Keep Track of When & Where 

Safes tells you where your child is and what they are doing with their device in real time.

Pave the Way for Growth 

Safes creates a safe and distraction-free space for your child to expand their mind and broaden their horizon.

Create Customized Safety Plans 

Your child is unique. Our flexible solution helps you create a customized digital safety plan that fits your kid’s unique needs.

Fully Packed for a Safer Digital Journey 

Our parental control app for android offers everything you need to create a safe and distraction-free digital experience for your kids.

• Multi-platform Protection 

Protect your kids’ online and offline presence on major platforms, not just Android. Safes also supports all iOS, macOS, and Windows devices as well.

Detailed Activity Reports  

Learn all about your kids’ digital behavior within seconds. Safes activity reports covers several bases, including screen time, app and social media usage, and blocked content requests.

Screen Time Management 

Set a screen time limit or a smart day-to-day schedule on your kid’s Android device to protect them from sleep disorders, excessive and harmful screen time, and distractions.

• Website Content Filtering  

Block out inappropriate web content like violence, hate speech, and pornography. You can do this by adding specific URLs, content categories, or keywords to the block list.

• App blocker  

Protect your kids from inappropriate, distracting, or addictive apps. You can block or limit your kid’s access to any app — like video games or social media — with our parental control app for Android.

• Location Tracking  

Keep your kids away from dangerous environments by keeping track of where they are in real time.

• Geofence  

Create specific rules for specific places. Geofence lets you block irrelevant or distracting apps in various physical environments like schools. Geofence will also notify you when your kids check in or out of the perimeters.

• Battery Check 

You can know the battery level on your kid’s android device at any time. Safes will also let you know when the battery level gets under 20 percent and needs a recharge.

• Science-based Profiles  

Safes simplifies your monitoring process by suggesting profiles that apply psychologist-recommended rules and limits based on your child’s age.

• Uninstall Protection 

Don’t worry about your kid bypassing your rules. Safes uninstall protection ensures only you can remove the app from your child’s device. 


Since Android is such a popular platform, it makes sense for Android parental controls to be popular as well. Though Google Play Store has its own parental controls, the Android operating systems need an app to enable parental controls. That app is Google Family Link. But Google Family Link doesn’t have all the features that parents might want. That’s why a third-party app like Safes can offer you all the parental control features you need to keep your child safe. 

Join our family

Experience 14 days of all-inclusive digital safety for free

Make up to 10 devices safe for your kids for as low as $3.33 a month (yearly plan)

Frequently Asked Questions

Have any questions? We’re here to help!

No. We’ve covered all the Android issues that let kids bypass parental controls and covered them with Safes. We’ve made sure whatever rules you set stays in place. 

Yes. For example, Google Family Link offers parental control features for free. However, free apps don’t offer all the parental features you need to ensure your kid’s digital safety.

With third-party apps like Safes, you can get a broader range of protection often at affordable prices. For instance, you can buy Safes Premium for as low as $3.33 a month (yearly plan). 

Safes is compatible with all devices that operate on Android 6 and above.

Safes’ App helps you block or limit the use of any app on your kids’ android devices based on time or where they’re at. Features like App Blocker, Smart Schedule, and Geofencing will help you do that.

Safes can block inappropriate searches on Internet Explorer, Microsoft Edge, Mozilla Firefox, and Google Chrome.

Yes. You can do so by using the Google Family Link app and the Safes parental control app. Both apps allow you to specify contacts that your children are allowed to call. On the Safes app, you can even block contacts on behalf of your child so that phone calls with that contact are rejected automatically. 

Family Link can’t see the child’s screen, but it can trace their screen activity. The exact privacy guidelines are prone to change so we advise you to check Google’s privacy page on Family Link to see exactly what it can show you and what it cannot. 

Download Safes Kids for Chrombook

  1. Install the Safes Kids app on your Chromebook from Google Play. 
  2. Pair Safes Kids with parent app. Follow the instructions in the app to pair your child’s device with your parent device.  
  3. Add the Safe Kids Chrome extension. Open Chrome and go to the Chrome Web Store. 
  4. Navigate to the Manage extensions page. Click the three dots in the top right corner of Chrome and select “Extensions”>”Manage Extensions”>”Details”
  5. Turn on “Allow in incognito mode” This will allow the Safe Kids extension to work in incognito mode, which is important if your child uses incognito mode to try to bypass the parental controls.
  6. Select Safes extension and follow on-screen instruction

Download Safes Kids for Android

Download the Android Kid’s app directly to get the full features!

Download Safes Kids App on Play Store

Download Safes Kids App on Play Store

Safe Kids is available on the Google Play Store, but if you download it directly from our website, you will get access to Call and SMS monitoring feature, You can monitor the phone calls of your child’s device, as well as the contacts and messages they have sent and received, including those containing inappropriate content.