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Manage your child's screen time

When you create a Google Account for your child with Family Link, you can set screen time limits on their Android device or Chromebook. You can set your child's Android device or Chromebook to lock after they've used it for a certain amount of time or when you think they need downtime.

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

How screen time limits work

Important: You can only change the clock on a child's device when you disable screen time limits.

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

  • Screen time is set for the first time (Android devices only).
  • Their device is about to be locked.

When the device is locked, your child:

  • Can't see notifications.
  • Can't unlock the device or use any apps - except for apps designated as Always allowed apps when you have Always allowed apps enabled.
  • Can answer phone calls, and tap Emergency to make a call if the device has a calling plan (Android phones only).

Tip: Time limits will apply to apps installed on all of your child's Android and ChromeOS devices.

Set screen time limits

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

Change daily limits

Set up daily time limits for the first time

  1. Open the Family Link app Family Link.
  2. Select your child.
  3. At the bottom center, tap Controls Controls.
  4. Under “Daily limit,” tap Set up.
  5. Select the hours and minutes you want to set for the limit.

Change today’s limit with a parent's device

  1. On your device, open Family Link Family Link.
  2. Select your child.
  3. At the bottom center, tap Controls Controls.
  4. Under “Daily limit,” tap Change for today.
  5. Select the hours and minutes you want to set for the limit.
    • You can also turn the limit off.
  6. Tap Done.

Edit the weekly limit schedule with a parent’s device

  1. On your device, open Family Link Family Link.
  2. Select your child.
  3. At the bottom center, tap Controls Controls.
  4. Under “Daily limit,” tap Edit weekly schedule.
  5. Select the days you want to limit screen time.
    • You can also turn the weekly schedule off.
  6. Tap Done.

Tip: You can edit the weekly schedule and change the limit on any selected day. Click also apply to to apply the time limit to either "all days" or Monday to Friday.

Set a daily time limit 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.
  2. To view the current settings, tap Daily limit.
  3. To edit Daily limit settings, sign in or use your Parent Access Code 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 would get 2 hours of time on each device.

Set downtime

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

Set downtime

Set up downtime for the first time

  1. Open the Family Link app Family Link.
  2. Select your child.
  3. At the bottom center, tap Controls Controls.
  4. Under “Downtime,” tap Set up.
  5. Select the hours and minutes you want to set for the limit.

Change downtime for today

  1. Open the Family Link app Family Link.
  2. Select your child.
  3. At the bottom center, tap Controls Controls.
  4. Under “Downtime,” tap Change for today.
  5. Select the days you want to set downtime for.

Edit weekly downtime schedule

  1. Open the Family Link app Family Link.
  2. Select your child.
  3. At the bottom center, tap Controls Controls.
  4. Under “Downtime,” tap Edit weekly schedule.
  5. Select the days you want to set downtime for.

With your child's device

  1. On your child's device, open Settings .
    • On Android versions 8.1 (O) and up, tap Digital Wellbeing & parental controls.
    • On other Android versions, tap Google and then Parental controls.
  2. To view the current settings, tap Downtime.
  3. To edit Downtime settings, sign in or use your Parent Access Code to verify that you're a parent.
Limit your child's screen time for apps
If your child's Android device is running Android N (7.0) and up, or Chromebook is running on Chrome OS versions 83 and up, you can set time limits on apps to manage how much time your child can spend on a specific app each day.
  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 given app. 
  7. Tap Done.

Tips: 

  • Time limits will apply to apps installed on all of your child's Android and ChromeOS devices.  
  • System apps aren't supported by the app limit functionality. Limits can only be set for devices with Android N (7.0) and up and Chromebooks running on Chrome OS versions 83 and up.
Select your Always allowed apps

Important: Always allowed apps are supported for children signed-in on Android 7+ devices except those running Google Kids Space. Check which version of Android your child is using. 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. 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 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.

Update or turn off screen time limits 

Lock or unlock your child's Android device or Chromebook
  1. 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. Open the Family Link app Family Link.
  2. Select your child.
  3. At the bottom center, tap Controls Controls.
  4. At the top, select your child's device and then Give bonus time Bonus time.
  5. Select the amount of bonus time you want.
  6. tap Add.

Tip: Once bonus time is added, it can be changed or removed. Tap Give bonus time Bonus time again to access the options.

Change time limits for apps your child uses
To update a time limit on a specific application: 
  1. 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

You can disable screen time limits from the Family Link app on your device.

  1. Open the Family Link app Family Link.
  2. Select your child.
  3. Tap Controls and then under "Daily Limit" tap Change for today.
  4. Turn off daily limits for multiple days:
    • Tap Edit weekly schedule.
    • Turn off daily limits altogether and then Save.

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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