How to Setup Android Parental Controls and Content Filtering

When it comes to using smartphones and tablets or surfing the internet these days one can never be too careful. If you’re a parent or family member that bought your children or siblings a new Android smartphone or tablet this holiday season, setting up parental controls and content filtering on Android is something you should look into.

We were all kids once and probably watched a few too many rated R movies, or did some things we shouldn’t have. For concerned parents wanting to make sure their kids get the most of their new Android device, while doing so safely, below is a quick guide explaining how to quickly and easily setup both parental controls and content filtering for Android.

Read: How to Setup Parental Controls on Windows 8.1

Whether you just want to add a password to the Google Play Store to prevent unauthorized purchases by your children, or want full control of the type of content being displayed on their new device, we have you covered below. Read on for the few quick and easy steps required to get full control any Android smartphone or tablet.


Everything from a shiny new Samsung Galaxy S5, LG G3, Nexus 9 or even a Samsung Galaxy Tab, they all have similar options for parental controls. Thankfully manufacturers have also started adding and integrating their own advanced features, but we’ll go over the basics below. Android 5.0 has a new guest mode (multi-user account) option for kids, and any new Amazon Kindle Tablet has this all built-in with Amazon Freetime.

It’s important for parents to setup restrictions on a new Android smartphone or tablet, so we’ll start with content filtering, then get into setting a password and a few other steps you can take to ensure the best, yet safe experience.

Content Filtering on Android

Obviously Google doesn’t let anything and everything into the Google Play Store, even if they’re more relaxed than say, Apple, regarding what all is available for download. That said, they still have good quality control, but you can take things a step further by following the instructions below.


Start by heading into the Google Play Store app from the application tray and tapping the 3 lines (menu) button on the top left, then navigating to settings. This is where you can control everything from when apps update, enable a password for purchases, and of course the content filtering.


Once in settings simply head to ” User controls” you’ll see Content Filtering. Tap here and you’ll see the popup shown below. This isn’t the most advanced tool and won’t prevent everything from slipping through the cracks, but you’ll be able to disable it from showing all apps and select: Everyone, Low Maturity, Medium Maturity, High Maturity, and of course the show all, which is enabled by default.


As we said above, this won’t stop everything from getting through but it’s the first step many parent should take. For more details on Google’s content and privacy policy click here. Once enabled if you see something that is inappropriate you can flag it and Google will check it, and possible remove it or contact the developer to set proper content controls.

Add a Password for Purchases

The second step parents will want to take is adding a password to the Google Play Store to prevent unauthorized purchases. This can simply protect you from kids buying tons of apps (or in-app purchases) without your consent, and also prevent them from downloading things you wouldn’t want them getting their eyes on.

Read: How to Add a Password to the Google Play Store

The full set of instructions for adding a password can be found in the link above, but essentially navigate to the same settings menu in the Play Store as mentioned above, and just under the content filtering option is “Require authentication for purchases”. This can be set to ask for a password for all purchases, which is recommended and the default option, or there’s also the choice to ask every 30 minutes. Meaning if you give it out once, your children can buy apps for 30 minutes before requiring the password again.


There‚Äôs plenty of great content and games from the Play Store, not to mention tons of music and movies worth spending a few dollars on. Just make sure your children are safe and protected from unwanted purchases, or content that isn’t suited for them. Thankfully Google makes this all easy and just a few taps away.