Sign your child in on an Android device

When you use Family Link to manage your child’s Google Account, you can sign them in to most Google services on their Android device. You can also sign your child in on other devices and sign them in with a school account.

What happens when my child is signed in

Sign in on an Android device

If you manage your child’s Google Account with Family Link, you can sign them in on devices with Android 5.1 and higher. Your child can't sign in on devices with Android 5.0 and lower while their account is managed with Family Link.

Important: If you added supervision to your child’s previously existing Google Account, you’ll need their help to sign in or unlock their device. If your child doesn't have a child account, create a child account for them.

Step 1: Remove any previous account on the device
Important: When you remove your child's account from the device, information associated with that account will no longer be on the device. This includes emails, contacts, device settings, and parent supervision settings. If you sign your child’s account back in on the device, the associated information will be available again on the device.

To remove a child's account:

On your child's Android device:

  1. Open the Settings app.
  2. Tap Accounts. If you don't find "Accounts," tap Users & accounts.
  3. Tap the account you want to remove ​and then Remove account.
  4. If this is the only Google Account on the phone, enter your phone's pattern, PIN, or password for security.
Tip: If your child's device isn't connected to the Internet, use the parent access code found in your Family Link app to remove their account.
Step 2: Reset the device

Important: If you want to erase a device so another child can use it, first remove all signed-in accounts from the device. If you don't, you'll need to sign in with the previously signed-in Google Account after the device is erased.

  1. Optional: Back up the data from the device and download it on another device. 
  2. Factory reset the device.
Step 3: Sign your child in

Sign your child in during setup:

  1. Turn on the device.
  2. When prompted, sign in with your child’s Google Account. Verify that you're a parent.
  3. Follow the on-screen instructions to set up the device.
  4. Once setup is complete, your child can use the device.

Sign your child in later:

  1. Open the device's Settings app.
  2. Tap Accounts. If you can't find "Accounts," tap Users & accounts  and then Add account.
  3. When prompted, sign in with your child's Google Account. Verify that you're a parent.
  4. Follow the on-screen instructions to set up the device.
Tip: If you can’t sign your child in to their Android device after a factory reset, you may need to follow these steps.
Step 4: (Optional) Add a second user profile to your child's device

The steps below only work if your child's device allows multiple profiles. Check the device manufacturer’s support page for more information.

Important: 

  • You can only add one child account per user profile. 
  • If you add other user profiles to which your child's account isn't signed in, your Family Link settings for your child's account won't apply to the new user profiles. 
  • Use a password or pin to lock any other profiles. This makes sure your child doesn’t switch users and bypass parental settings.

Step 1: Allow additional users

  1. On your device, open the Family Link app Family Link.
  2. Select your child’s device.
  3. On the card with your child's device, tap View settings.
  4. Turn on Add/Remove user.

Tip: To manage your child's account on the web, click on your child's name at g.co/YourFamily .

Step 2: Add another user to the device

If the instructions below don't work, search your device manufacturer's help center for how to add another user profile.

  1. Open your device's Settings app.
  2. Tap System and then Advanced and then Multiple users.
    • If you can't find this setting, search your Settings app for users.
  3. Tap Add user and then OK.
    • If you can't find "Add user," tap Add user or profile and then User and then OK.
    • If you can't find either option, your device can't add users.

Tip: Add a screen lock for the new profile to make sure your child can’t switch user profiles. 

Step 3: Turn off Add/Remove user

  1. On your device, open the Family Link app Family Link.
  2. Select your child’s device.
  3. On the card with your child’s device, tap View settings.
  4. Turn off Add/Remove user.

Step 4: Switch between users

  1. From the top of the home screen, swipe down with 2 fingers. 
  2. At the top right, tap the user icon .
  3. Tap the user you want to switch to.

Troubleshoot

Fix sign in issues

If you can't sign in with your child’s account, try the steps below.

Step 1: Add your parent account

  1. On your child’s device, open the Settings app Settings.
  2. Tap Users & accounts and then Add account.
  3. Sign in with the parent account you use with Family Link.

Step 2: Update Google Play services

On your child’s Android device, follow these steps to update Google Play Services.

Make sure Google Play services is updated before you move on to Step 3.

Step 3: Add your child’s account

  1. On your child’s device, open the Settings app Settings.
  2. Tap Users & accounts.
  3. Tap your parent account and then Remove account.
  4. Tap Add account.
  5. Sign in with your child’s account.
Fix password errors

"Wrong password. Try again."

This error shows if your username and password combination is incorrect. Make sure there are no mistakes in your username or password when you enter them again.

If you forgot your child's password, learn how to reset it.

"Your username and password don't match."

This error shows if your device has a version of Android that's too old to work with Family Link. If you see this error, update your software.

Sign in on other devices

Important: Family Link’s parental control settings may vary depending on your child's device.

With parental permission, your child can use their Google account to sign in on:

Learn how to sign your child in using their school account.

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