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Manage your child's Google Play apps

When you use Family Link to manage your child’s Google Account, you can choose to limit the apps your child can use on certain devices.

To manage your child’s apps, your child must be using one of the following devices:

  • An Android device (running Android 5.1 or higher)
  • A Chromebook (running Chrome OS version 71 or higher)

Important: System apps can't have app limits placed on them. You can set limits for Android 7 and up devices.

Choose which apps from Google Play your child can use

Block or unblock an app

The app will be blocked or unblocked in about 5 minutes, or once the device is connected to the internet. If your child is using the app at the time you block it, they'll get a 1 minute warning to finish up before the app is blocked. The app should be blocked on all of your child's Android devices or Chromebooks.

Important: Some apps can't be blocked because they're required for parent supervision settings to work, or for your child's device to work.

Family Link app

To go to the child's account settings that you last visited in the Family Link app, tap the button below:

Block or unblock an app on Family Link
  1. Open the Family Link app Family Link.
  2. Select your child.
  3. Tap Controls and then App limits.
  4. Select the app you want to allow or block.
  5. Tap Block Block and then Done.

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.

Select your Always allowed apps
Important: Always allowed apps are only supported for children signed-in on Android 7+ devices except those running Google Kids Space. Check which version of Android your child uses.
  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 Always allow always allow and then Done.

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 you tap "Lock," Always allowed apps aren't available, unless you change this setting from the device lock screen.
    1. Select Devices and then the device you want to update.
    2. Tap Lock screen settings and then Always allowed apps.
Edit your Always allowed apps
Important: Always allowed apps are only supported for children signed-in on Android 7+ devices except those running Google Kids Space. Check which version of Android your child uses.
  1. Open the Family Link app Family Link.
  2. Select your child.
  3. Tap Controls and then App limits.
  4. Select your desired app.

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 you tap "Lock," Always allowed apps aren't available, unless you change this setting from the device lock screen.
    1. Select Devices and then the device you want to update.
    2. Tap Lock screen settings and then Always allowed apps.
Help prevent your child from downloading mature apps

You can set up parental controls to restrict the content your child can download or purchase from Google Play.

  1. Open the Family Link app Family Link.
  2. Select your child.
  3. Tap Controls and then Content restrictions and then Google Play.
  4. Under "Content restrictions," choose your filters:
    • Apps, Games, Movies, and TV: Choose the highest maturity level of content you want to allow for download or purchase.
    • Music and Books: Choose whether you want to restrict downloads or purchases of explicit content.

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.

Flag inappropriate content

Google Play

First, check if the content has the "Teacher Approved" badge Family star badge. If you find the "Teacher Approved" badge, skip the steps below and report a problem with family content. Otherwise, follow the steps below.

Play, apps, games & music

  1. On your child's device, open the Play Store app Play Store.
  2. Tap the inappropriate music, app or game.
  3. At the bottom of the page, tap Flag as inappropriate.
  4. Choose the reason you find the content inappropriate.
  5. Tap Submit.
Change your child’s Play Games profile permissions

Important: When you turn on your child’s Play Games profile, your child gets signed in automatically when they open a supported game.

  1. On your device, open the Family Link app Family Link.
  2. Select your child.
  3. Tap Controls and then Content restrictions.
  4. Tap Google Play and then Google Play Games.
  5. Select Approve child’s Play Games profile or Delete child’s Play Games profile.

Tips:

  • The Play Games setting only displays on your parent device once your child requests consent.
  • Supervised account profiles can’t record and share their gameplay.
  • Supervised account profiles can’t have friends on Play Games.
  • Supervised account profiles will be given an auto-generated gamer tag.
  • Not all games support automatic sign-in with a Play Games profile for children.

If you haven’t done so yet, you can make a Play Games profile:

  1. On your child’s device, go to Android Settings Settings.
  2. Tap Google and then All services and then Settings for Google apps.
  3. Tap Play Games and then Create a profile.
  4. Select your gamer name and avatar.
  5. Tap Save.
  6. To approve the new profile on the child’s device, tap Ask in person.
  7. Enter your parent password.

To switch to another Play Games profile:

  1. On your child’s device, go to Android Settings Settings.
  2. Tap Google and then Settings for Google Apps.
  3. Tap Play Games and then Sign in account.
  4. Change your profile for:
    • All games
    • A subset of games
Set parental controls on Play Games

Parental controls don't change the games you see in the Play Games app, including games you've bought or recommended games.

If you try to install a game using the Play Games app, you’ll be taken to the Play Store app where your parental controls settings may restrict access.

  1. Open the Family Link app Family Link.
  2. Select your child.
  3. Tap Manage settings and then Google Play.
  4. Tap the type of content you want to filter.
  5. Choose how to filter or restrict access.

Tip: You can also manage this setting by clicking on your child's name at g.co/YourFamily.

Check your child's app activity

You can check how much time your child spends on apps on their Android devices or Chromebooks. Time is tracked when the app is open and shown on the screen, but not when the app runs in the background.

  1. Open the Family Link app Family Link.
  2. Select your child.
  3. Tap Highlights and then Screen time.

Troubleshoot problems

My child is using an app from Google Play that I don't want them to have

If your child has access to an app you don't want them using, follow the instructions above to block the app.

If you want to approve each app your child downloads or purchases, change your child's purchase approval settings.

Important: Apps that you previously installed or approved, or those available through your Play Family Library will not require additional approval to download.

I want to share apps with my family

You can set up Google Play Family Library to share eligible paid apps with your family.

Important: If you set up parental controls for your child, they won't see any apps that exceed the parental control settings you chose.

"This app isn't available for kids at this time" error

Your child will see this error if they try to download a Google app that isn't available for children under 13 (or the applicable age in your country).

I don't want to track my child's app activity

If you don't want to monitor your child’s app activity, you can turn off the additional Family Link app activity setting.

Important: If you turn off this setting, your child's Family Link app activity data will be deleted.

  1. Open the Family Link app Family Link.
  2. Select your child.
  3. Tap Controls and then Account settings.
  4. Tap Privacy settings and then Family Link app activity.
  5. Follow the on-screen instructions.

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