How to Setup Android Parental Controls and Content Filtering

When using a smartphones or tablet to surf the internet one can never be too careful. Whether you just bought the kids a device or just want to be safe, we have you covered. Here we’ll go over Android parental controls and content filters. Including everything you need to know to keep your kids under wraps.

Kids will be kids and eventually they might do something they shouldn’t. Thankfully there are countless tools available for parents. Follow our instructions below to keep things safe and under control on your Android devices.

Read: How to Setup Parental Controls on Windows 8.1

Below we’ll share helpful information like adding a password to the Google Play Store. Preventing unauthorized purchases by your children. Give you control over the type of content being displayed on their device, and much more. These are the Android parental controls you need to know about.

googlestore-content

Any Android device has parental controls or some type of content filtering. Whether that’s from Google or the manufacturers. A shiny new Galaxy S8, or even an old LG tablet for the kids. Even manufacturers have their own tools. Here we’ll focus on the basics, which is a good place to start. Android 5.0 and above features a guest mode (multi-user account) option for kids. Although it only works on tablets. Not to mention all Amazon Kindle tablets have controls in Amazon Freetime.

It’s important for parents to setup restrictions on an Android smartphone or tablet. We’ll start with content filtering, then get into setting a password and a few other steps you can take. This will offer the best experience that’s safe and secure.

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 is available for download. That said, they still have good quality control that improves every day. Take things a step further though, by following the instructions below.

Instructions

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 navigate to settings. This is where you can control everything from when apps update, enable a password for purchases, and of course content filtering.

play-store-filter

Once in settings simply head to the ” User controls” menu. One of the first options is 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 it’s a start. Parental controls can be added with ease and secured by a pin code. We can even choose which content is controlled. Like apps or games, movies, TV and music.

Parents can disable select apps from being shown based on maturity. Show all is enabled by default, but there are countless options. This was recently updated to be even more useful. With groups consisting of: Everyone, Everyone 10+, Teen, Mature 17+, Adults only, or Allow All.

playstore-filtering

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 for possible removal. Parents can even contact the developers and inform them of parental controls for potential app updates.

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 protect you from kids buying tons of apps (or in-app purchases) without your consent. Or 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. Essentially navigate to the same settings menu in the Play Store as mentioned above, and 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. Additionally, there’s a 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. We’d recommend setting it for every purchase.

playstore-password

There’s 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.

4 Comments

  1. Lilith Rothschild

    12/30/2014 at 4:14 am

    iPhone Find feature, users aiming to ensure the highest security apple company – allowing them to be victims users satisfaction by rendering the over 7-10 days of account activation if the phone is paid thousands of dollars for the state waste products purchased by preventing the bill, although passport non-telephone assistance for 1 year products even users with obligations to sell the phone support an unhappy user inserting into to ensure the decline of the market to have I think that it is doing its best – precisely be the world’s best performance, but a product of the product e-mail address for the agent to the extent menu to stand for 10 days which allows you to touch all the time and all life I wrote that the bottom of each post news all over the world for 7 days, I hope that these comments will change his mind.

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  2. asdfasdfa

    05/17/2016 at 6:00 pm

    Can you

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    07/03/2017 at 3:03 am

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  4. Micah

    07/18/2017 at 8:21 pm

    I hope you will correct me, and I will discover that I have missed something. At this time, I believe that Android phones are essentially not safe for kids with impulse control problems. At least on our Moto phones (X Pure and Z Play), the guest feature cannot be turned off. Once a child learns how to enter guest mode, he can briefly duck out of parental software (e.g., Qustodio) at will and not leave a trace.

    Also, Android’s effort to force google integration with a persistent search bar means that kids are constantly on the web’s doorstep. Even young children know how to undo the easily-defeated filters. Nova Launcher is an option (for hiding the persistent search bar), but kids pretty quickly learn to circumvent it. But make no mistake, the #1 reason that Android is not an option for kids = guest function.

    For some kids, a strong history of parental involvement and a strong set of self-regulation skills might make it possible for them to avoid the temptations presented (almost pushed) by Android.

    For other kids, the best (really only) current option is: an iPhone with restrictions set behind a password combined with parental software like Qustodio. I personally prefer the Android environment and am disappointed that developers are so insensitive to the needs of children. Android’s parental options are often lauded in articles like this, but the reality is that those options are token at best and easily overcome by kids in the real world. Truly, though, I’d love to find out that I have missed something.

    Reply

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