I became curious about setting up parental controls in Android after I wrote an article describing how to set up parental controls on Apple devices. After researching it, I found the Android controls just are not as good as those found on their iPhone counterparts… at least, in my opinion. As I mentioned in the previous post, your specific phone carrier may have more options available to you, so be sure to check with them.
Parental controls can be extremely important. You cannot watch what your child or teen is doing at every moment, yet you do not want them to play, watch, read or listen to certain types of content. We know how kids are: if you just tell them not to do something, they will definitely do so at the first opportunity presented to them. It does not matter how well you raise them or how much they behave, kids are kids. They are curious and are going to push limits and test boundaries.
This is why Parental Controls were created. Setting them up on an Android phone is pretty straightforward.
NOTE: Any games and apps downloaded prior to setting up these parental controls will still be able to be seen and used by the child/ren. If there are any you do not want them to have access to, you must uninstall them prior to beginning this process.
With movies, TV and books, the children may still be able to see things that are not within the Play Store or Play TV/Movie/Book apps. For instance, if they follow a direct link from a website, the Android Parental Controls will not kick in.
Music works a tad differently than the other things. The kids will not be able to purchase music through the App Store which has the explicit rating. However, it ONLY works within the Play Store app. This will not apply to music already purchased or anything that is sitting within the Play Music app. Therefore, I suggest going through each of these apps before you start setting up controls and deleting anything you do not want them having access to.
How to Set up Parental Controls on an Android Phone or Tablet
First, you will need to open up the Play Store app on the device you need controls to be set on. In the top-left corner, tap the choose ”Settings”.
From here, choose ”Parental Controls”. It will be set to the off position when you begin.
Toggle the feature “On” at the very top. As soon as you do, you will be prompted to enter a unique pin number and confirm it. Again – make sure it is one that the kids do not know!
Now it is time to get down to the nitty gritty and make your choices of restrictions for each type of content. First up is “Apps and Games“. I will not presume to tell you what you should set this – or any – limits to here. Only you know what is best for your child and your comfort level and parenting style. As soon as you have set the slider where you want it to be, tap the green ”Save” button at the bottom.
Next up we have the movies category. All of the choices are again self-explanatory and you need to move the slider where you need it and tap Save again.
Follow this step again for our next category, which is TV. For some who may not know for sure, ”TV-Y” is basically little kid (think toddler and preschooler) types of shows. ”TV-Y7” is suited more towards 7 to 9 year old’s. Then we move to the regular rated G and up. Be sure to Save your choice at the bottom!
The ”Books” category is a tad different. The only option you are given here is whether or not you wish to “Restrict sexually explicit books.” Select the box if desired, then Save once again.
Last, we come to music. Like with books, you have just the option to “Restrict music marked explicit by the content providers.” This is the same as seeing that warning label on a CD in your local Target. Click that box and Save one more time.
You’re all done! As I mentioned earlier, you may have more controls you can set via your phone carrier, so be sure to check with them.