Spending time in front of the screen can be detrimental to your kids’ well-being. It’s not just about the content they can stumble upon, but it’s also the amount of time they spend on social media or playing games. It’s hard to let it go because this stuff’s made to make you go back to it all the time. However, having a balance is important.
You might be getting overly concerned and asking yourself, “How do I lock my Android phone down for kids?” You don’t have to lock it down completely, but you can put restrictions on all your Android devices.
Parental Controls in Google Play
One of the easiest and most efficient ways to restrict what your child can download, purchase, and access on your Android device is to enable parental controls in Google Play. The system is based on age restrictions.
How Does It Work?
One of the most important things to remember here is that parental controls only work on the device you set them on. If you need to activate parental controls on other Android devices, you will have to go through them again. If there are multiple users on one device, you’ll have to set up the restrictions on each user profile separately.
Also, the person who is setting up the parental controls will be able to create a PIN. This PIN will be requested every time you want to change the settings.
Setting up Parental Controls
When you’re ready to go through the setup of parental control on Google Play, all you have to do is follow these steps:
- Open the Play Store app.
- Tap on the Menu button (three horizontal lines).
- Select “Settings” and then turn on “Parental controls.”
- It’s time to create the PIN. That will ensure that people who don’t know the PIN can’t change the parental control settings. Make sure it’s not a PIN that your child already knows.
- Select the content you want to filter.
- Choose how you want to filter and restrict access.
When you’re done setting up parental controls on Google Play, you can turn them on and off as you please. Once you turn them back on and create a new PIN, the old settings in your Android phone will come back. This feature makes it simple to manage the settings when the device has multiple user accounts with different restrictions.
Family Link App
Another way to stay in the loop with what your kid is doing on their Android device is to use the Family Link app from Google. The app doesn’t filter or block inappropriate content, though. What it does is help your family create healthy digital habits.
You can use Family Link to view their online activity. You will get to see exactly how much time your child has spent on each app. You can also manage their apps by getting notifications about which app your child wants to download. You can either deny or approve the download. That applies to in-app purchases, as well.
Family Link app also lets you set limits to how much time your child is allowed to use the phone or tablet. You can also set bedtime, and by doing so, avoid endless scrolling while they should be sleeping.
The app also allows you to lock their device. When it’s time to take a break, do chores, or go outside, you can remotely lock the device. Here is how you set up parental controls on Google Play with Family Link:
- Download and install the Family Link app.
- Select your child.
- Select “Manage Settings” and then “Controls on Google Play.”
- Select the kind of content you want to filter.
- Choose how you want to filter and how much access you want to restrict.
Parental controls in Google Play let you set the highest content rating when it comes to apps and games. The same applies to movies, books, and TV. When it comes to music, this means that your child won’t be able to purchase music that’s marked Explicit by content providers.
But remember that parental controls only apply for music from the Play Store app. They won’t affect the Play Music app or uploaded tracks.
Are there any other options? How do I lock my Android Phone for kids?
You can use the restricted profile feature. Unfortunately, this option is not available on Android phones for now, but it is available on Android tablets. And when it comes to playing games and consuming online content, kids are often using tablets more than phones.
If your family shares an Android tablet, creating separate profiles can be immensely practical. So, how do you create a restricted profile for your child? Follow these steps:
- Open your tablet’s Settings.
- Select “Users & Accounts,” and then “Users.”
- Select “Add user or profile.”
- Select “Restricted profile.” The new profile will open with a list.
- Select “New profile” to name it. Type in the name and tap OK.
- To select which apps, options, and settings the restricted profile can see and use, select the “On/Off” switches and Settings.
- Now go back and select the new profile you created.
- If the user is with you, they can type in the Google Account details right away. If they are not, they can set it up next time you select their profile.
You can always go back and change your profile. And you can also delete it when you feel it’s time your child doesn’t need any more restrictions. You can also use this feature to create guest mode on your Android device.
Locking Your Phone Down
There are other ways you can keep your kids away from your devices. You can lock them completely and never tell them your passcode or PIN. But if you’re wondering, “How do I lock my Android phone down for kids but still let them use it sometimes” there’s a solution to that.
If you think they’re ready to have their own phone or tablet, or they’re just borrowing yours, it’s only natural that you want to protect them. And you don’t want too much screen time for them either. Android doesn’t offer a perfect solution to this issue, but you can still do a lot.