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How to Properly Set Parental Controls from Google Play

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Google Play’s Parental Controls for Play Store are very useful for you if you have kids. This feature, if set properly, will prevent your children from making unauthorized transactions from your account. Moreover, it works across the entire Play Store, i.e. games, apps, books, music, movies and TV. You can set it up from the Play Store app, as well as via the Family Link app. Let’s do it.

Enabling Google Play Parental Controls

You can access the Play Store on your child’s phone and set everything there. This is the easiest way to do it. This is an optimal way, because you have to set it only once.

  • 1. Open the Google Play Store on your child’s mobile phone and go to the Settings menu.

  • 2. Scroll down, find Parental Controls option and click on it.

  • 3. Find the toggle saying Parental controls are off and turn them on.

  • 4. Type in the PIN code your child doesn’t know.

  • 5. To confirm your selection, type the PIN once again.

  • 6. The text in the menu will change to Parental controls are on.

How to Configure Google Play Parental Controls

When parental controls are on, you should configure them. The Play Store default settings to not blocking any content so you have to do this next section at least one time in order to actually block content on your child’s device. Let’s get those settings configured.

  • 1. Tap the Apps & games option in the parental controls’ menu; you’ll see a list of ratings (ESRB style).

  • 2. This is where it gets a little tricky. Choose and tap the maximum rating you want your child to access. For example, if your son or daughter is a teenager, you most likely don’t want them to access adult content. So, choose the Teen setting, so that your kid will access everything intended for kids and teens, but not for adults only.

  • 3. Click Save button.

  • 4. Configure Parental Controls for Movies, TV, Books, and Music - in the same way.

Now your child has access to the content only with the ratings up to the one you specified. The search results in Google Play will include only content with these ratings.

How to avoid unauthorized in-app purchases

There is one more thing highly recommended for everybody who has kids: disabling in-app purchases. It will prevent your child from buying anything from their phone without entering your password. Here is how to enable a PIN code for any purchase from the Play Store.

  • 1. Open Google Play Store application, go to Settings.

  • 2. Scroll down and find the option ‘Require authentication for purchases’ and tap it.

  • 3. Select the option ‘For all purchases through Google Play’.

  • 4. When prompted, enter your password for Google account. After you enter the password, the setting will change.

Now your child won’t able to make any in-app purchases without entering your Google account password. This will prevent unauthorized in-app purchases as long as your kids doesn’t know your password.

Setting Parental Controls via Google Family Link

You can do the same in one more way - through Google’s Family Link app available from Google Play. This is a bit more complicated, and please bear in mind that if you let your young child use your phone, such setting will be useless. Here is how to enable parental controls and set it up via Google Family Link.

  • 1. Download and install Google Family Link app on both devices - yours and your child’s.

  • 2. Open the app. Connect your and your child’s devices by following the appropriate steps.

  • 3. After the set-up, please access the Manage Settings card from your device. You get full access to all of Google Play’s parental settings there. Set them up.

Using Google Family Link will give you some extra benefits. You will be able to see what apps your kid downloads with the dashboard. Also, you will be able to apply restrictions to screen time, app usage, etc. If you want to get more control over your child’s phone use in addition to the parental controls, Family Link is a good choice. If not, you can just set up parental controls on your kid’s phone directly.

Both these methods work equally well, so choose the one suits you better.

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