Set Play Store app time limits for your child on Chromebook

This article is for parents.

Parents can set specific time limits for Android apps through the Google Play Store for their child’s Google Account managed with Family Link.

What you need to set app limits

To set app limits for your child, you need a Chromebook with ChromeOS version 83 or higher. Learn how to update your Chromebook’s operating system.

How screen time limits work

When you set a limit for your child's screen time on their Android device or Chromebook, they get a notification when:

  • Screen time is set for the first time on their Android device.
  • Their device is about to be locked.

When the device is locked, your child:

  • Can't get notifications
  • Can't unlock the device
  • Can’t use any apps except for ones you choose as Always allowed apps when you have Always allowed apps turned on
  • Can answer phone calls and tap Emergency to make a call if the Android device has a calling plan
Tip: Time limits apply to apps installed on all of your child's Android and ChromeOS devices.

Set daily device limits

With a parent's device

  1. Open the Family Link app Family Link.
  2. Select your child.
  3. Tap Controls and then Daily limit.
  4. Follow the on-screen instructions.

With your child's device

  1. On your child's device, open Settings .
  • On Android versions 8.1 (O) and later, tap Digital Wellbeing & parental controls.
  • On other Android versions, tap Google and then Parental controls.
  1. To find the current settings, tap Daily limit.
  2. To edit Daily limit settings, sign in or use your Parent access to verify that you're a parent.

Tip: Daily limits apply to each Android device or Chromebook your child uses. For example, if you set a daily limit of 2 hours, your child gets 2 hours of time on each device.

Set downtime

With a parent's device

  1. Open the Family Link app Family Link.
  2. Select your child.
  3. Tap Controls and then Downtime.
  4. Follow the on-screen instructions.

With your child's device

  1. On your child's device, open Settings .
  • On Android versions 8.1 (O) and later, tap Digital Wellbeing & parental controls.
  • On other Android versions, tap Google and then Parental controls.
  1. To view the current settings, tap Downtime.
  2. To edit Downtime settings, sign in or use your Parent access to verify that you're a parent.

Limit screen time for specific apps

You can set limits on how long your child can use specific apps each day. You can do this on Android devices with Android N (7.0) and up and Chromebooks with OS versions 83 and up.

  1. Open the Family Link app Family Link.
  2. Select your child.
  3. Tap Controls and then App limits.
  4. Select your desired app.
  5. Tap Set limit Set limit.
  6. Select the amount of time you want to allow your child access to the app.
  7. Tap Done.

Tips:

  • Time limits apply to apps installed on all of your child's Android and ChromeOS devices.
  • System apps aren't supported by the app limit functionality.

Select your Always allowed apps

Important:

  • Always allowed apps are supported for children signed in to Android 7+ devices except those that use Google Kids Space. Check which version of Android your child has.
  • Some system apps required for your child’s phone to operate can be used when the phone is locked if Always allowed apps are available.
  1. On your device, open the Family Link app Family Link.
  2. Select your child.
  3. Tap Controls and then App limits.
  4. Select your desired app.
  5. Tap Always allow always allow and then Done.

Edit your Always allowed apps

Important: Always allowed apps are only supported for children signed in to Android 7+ devices except those that use Google Kids Space. Check which version of Android your child has.

  1. On your device, open the Family Link app Family Link.
  2. Select your child.
  3. Tap Controls and then App limits.
  4. Select your desired app.
  5. From here you can select an option to:
  • Always allow always allow.
  • Set a time limit Set limit.
  • Block an app Block.

Tips:

  • Always allowed apps don't count toward your child’s screen time limits and aren't available when your child is in downtime.
  • If parents tap Lock now, Always allowed apps aren't available unless you change this setting from the device lock card. To allow Always allowed apps under Lock now:
    1. From the device lock card tap Settings .
    2. Tap Allow ‘Always allowed’ apps and then Save.

Update or turn off screen time limits

Lock or unlock your child's Android device or Chromebook

  1. On your device, open the Family Link app Family Link.
  2. Select your child.
  3. Tap Controls.
  4. At the top, tap your child’s device and then Lock or Unlock.

Tip: You can also use your Family Link parent access code to unlock your child's Android device or Chromebook if it isn't connected to the internet.

Give your child bonus time

You can let your child spend more time on their device for the day without changing their daily limit or downtime schedule. You can add bonus time while your child’s Android device is locked or soon to be locked.

  1. On your device, open the Family Link app Family Link.
  2. Select your child.
  3. Tap Controls.
  4. At the top, select your child’s device and then Bonus time Bonus time.
  5. Follow the on-screen instructions.

Change time limits for apps your child uses

  1. On your device, open the Family Link app Family Link.
  2. Select your child.
  3. Tap Controls and then App limits and then Select your desired app.
  4. Tap Change the app limit and then Done.

Disable screen time limits

  1. Open the Family Link app Family Link.
  2. Select your child.
  3. Tap Controls and then Screen time.
  4. Turn off Daily limit for today.
    • To turn off daily limits on multiple days or altogether:
      1. Tap Weekly Schedule.
      2. Follow the on-screen instructions to turn off daily limits altogether.

Tips:

  • Whether or not your child can control their own account settings doesn't change the settings themselves. We recommend parents make sure the settings are correct after they change this control.
  • You can also manage your child's account when you click on your child's name at g.co/YourFamily.

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