Back in 2017, Google’s Family Link app made its debut on Android and iOS devices. Whether you have children of a young age, the app allows you to take control of your child’s smartphone usage, track activities, and locate the child’s smartphone.
With Android 10, Google integrated Family Link in the operating system so that users utilize the Family Link features directly from the settings menu of their devices. For those who don’t have a device running Android 10, the Family Link app is available for free on the Google Play Store.
The Family Link setup process is currently a bit complex. However, the granular controls over your child’s smartphone let you manage your child’s digital habits. This guide will show you how to set up the Family Link app properly and use parental controls.
- Your child’s device has to be running Android 7.0 Nougat or higher. It also works on Android 5.0 Lollipop and 6.0 Marshmallow, with a few limitations.
- Parents can use the Family Link app on devices running Android 5.0 or higher. It will also work on Apple devices running iOS 9 or higher.
- Create a new Google account for your child or add your child’s existing account to Google Family.
- Your child’s device should only have one Google account connected. If there are several Google accounts connected, Family Link will remove it in the set-up process.
Guide to Set Up Family Link
If you meet the requirements, then prepare for the set-up process. As the process includes steps for both the parent’s and child’s device, we will mention which device you need for each step.
- Both: Install the Google Family Link for parents app on your device and Google Family Link for children & teens on your child’s device.
- Parent: Launch the Google Family Link app and tap Next until you get a prompt to select your Google account.
- Parent: Now select your child’s Google account, then tap Next. A code will be generated for the linking session.
- Child: Launch the Family Link app, and select This Device. Select the Google account that you requested for supervision from your device.
- Child: Enter the code that shows up on the parent device, then verify your child’s email address.
- Parent: Tap Next, and move over to your child’s device.
- Child: Tap Allow for all the permissions that the app requests.
- Child: Select the apps you want your child to use, and tap Next.
You have successfully linked your child’s device with Google Family Link. You can now proceed to use the Family Link app on your device to add different parental controls.
Guide to Use Family Link’s Parental Controls
Now that you have set up Family Link, let’s see what parental controls and features you can use to curb your child’s smartphone usage.
Limit Screen Time
With Family Link, you can set limits on screen time of your child’s Android device. Simply select your child’s Google account from the Family Link app, tap the Daily Limit tab, and then tap Set up. You can now set the daily limit to your preference.
You can also limit the screen time for individual apps. Select the Today’s activity tab, tap Set limits, and tap the hourglass icon next to the app. Finally, tap Set limit to set a daily time limit for the app, and tap Set. Note that this feature works only if your child’s device runs Android 7.0 or higher.
In case you want to update the time limit for an app, tap the blue hourglass icon next to the app, and select Edit limit.
Track Your Child’s Smartphone Usage
Today’s activity tab shows you a list of all the apps used by your child, with a graph of how long they use it. This feature is useful, especially if you want to put time limits on an app or game.
Locate Your Child’s Device
From the Location tab, tap Set Up. Follow the on-screen instructions, and tap Turn On. This feature is handy in case your child’s device is lost. You can also play a sound on your child’s device from the Settings tab to locate it.
Additional Parental Controls
There are several parental controls in the Settings tab, which lets you put search filters on Chrome, YouTube, and Play Store on your child’s device. If your child wants to install an app from the Play Store, you can grant permission or deny the request.
Google Family Link is the best tool for parental controls. The set-up process might seem like a lot of hassle to go through, but it is straightforward to use after you successfully set up Family Link by following this guide. We have also included a few features of the Family Link to help you manage your child’s Android device.
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