Joinsubscribers and get a daily digest of news, geek trivia, and our feature articles. Google has added more and more parental control-style features to Android over the years.
You can give a kid his or her own restricted user account, lock access to a specific app, or restrict what websites kids are allowed use. Depending on the version of Android you have and your device manufacturer, you may not have some of these options — or they may look a little different.
How to Pin Screens in Android 5. If your device has Android 5.
Android Lollipop offers restricted profilesa feature that arrived in Android 4. Restricted profiles are only available on tablets — not smartphones.
With a restricted profile, you can create a special user account that only has access to specific apps and content you allow. Google added multiple user accounts to Android in Android 4. However, restricted profiles are still only available on tablets.
You can then lock down the profile and switch between the restricted profile and main user account from the lock screen. Switching back to the main user account will require your PIN or whatever other unlock method you use. Theoretically, restricted profiles allow you to restrict access to specific content in some apps.
In practice, app developers have to implement this. If you want to do this, you have two options.
You could visit Google Play on your Android device and install a parental-control or web-filtering app. Or, if the Android device will just be using your Wi-Fi network to access the web, you could configure parental controls on your router. They may also require paid subscriptions.
The Google Play Store has its own parental control features. Enter a special parental control PIN here and you can set age restrictions for what types of apps, movies, videos, music, and books a device can download. However, these restrictions only apply to the Google Play Store — uncensored content is still available through the web browser.
Trusting your kids with their own smartphone is a big step. Trusting them with a metered data plan is…well, a bigger step. You can read more about how it works here. Or, if you prefer, you can set data limits with your carrier. T-Mobile allows you to restrict data access at certain times of day for free from the Family Allowances pageas does Sprint from its Limits and Permissions page.
These will allow you to set up a special application launcher that can only launch approved apps for a child, for
If you do have access to the built-in Android parental control features above, the main reason to Restrictions on android phone a separate app is to restrict access to websites. You could also use the guest account built into Android Lollipop for this, or create a separate user account on tablets with Android 4.