How to Enable Parental Controls on Chrome

Google Chrome used to have a ‘supervised account’ feature. You could access this mode via Chrome’s Settings, and set up a separate profile with various limitations for your child.

How to Enable Parental Controls on Chrome

However, Google canceled this feature in 2018 and introduced a new app that covers parental controls of all Google’s apps and devices, including Chrome.

This article will explain how to use this app and show you a new way to enable parental controls on Chrome.

Step One: Create a Google Account

If you don’t have a Google account, you need to create one before enabling parental controls. The following steps will show you how to do so. If you already have an account, you can skip this section.

  1. Open your browser.
  2. Go to the Google official page.
  3. Tap the sign-in button at the top-right of the screen. Google will display a list of previously used accounts.
    sign in
  4. Click ‘Use other account’.
    use another account
  5. Select ‘Create account’ at the bottom of the dialog box.
    create account
  6. Click ‘For myself’ from the dropdown menu.
  7. Follow the on-screen instructions.

Once the account is created, you can focus on enabling parental controls.

Step Two: Download the Google Family Link App

The Google Family Link app is basically a replacement for the discontinued ‘supervision’ feature. With this app, you can remotely manage and customize the settings of your child’s device and account.

The Family Link app lets you customize the Google Play settings (such as limiting or completely restricting certain content), block websites, adjust filters on Google Search, and various other options.

To set up the Family Link app, do the following:

  1. Download the app from the Play Store (Android) or the App Store (iPhone).
  2. Click ‘Next’ when the install is complete.
  3. Select ‘Done’.

When you install the app, you’ll need to connect it to your child’s Google account. You’ll learn more about it in the following section.

Step Three: Setting Up the Supervision

Before you start supervising your children’s account, there are two things that you should know. First, your child needs to agree that their device will be under your supervision, and second – the child needs to be in the same country as you.

Follow the instructions below to enable the supervision:

  1. Open the ‘Settings’ app on your child’s device.
  2. Select ‘Google’.
  3. Tap ‘Parental Controls’.
    parental controls
  4. Choose between Child or Teen, depending on the age of your kid.
  5. Tap ‘Next’.
  6. Choose your child’s account (or make a new one if they don’t have it).
  7. Select ‘Next’.
  8. Sign in to your Google account.
  9. Follow the on-screen instructions to enable the supervision of the device.

Now that the device is supervised, you can manage everything through the Family Link app.

Step Four: Manage Your Child’s Browsing on Chrome

The Family Link app allows you to block or allow certain websites, check your child’s browsing history, and change website permissions.

Children can’t access Chrome Web Store or download extensions, they can’t use incognito mode, and Chrome will automatically block any inappropriate content. Other than these limitations, the child’s experience on Google Chrome will be similar to yours.

If you want to manage your child’s browsing through the Family Link app, follow the steps below:

  1. Open the Family app from your device.
  2. Choose your child’s account.
  3. Tap the ‘Settings’ tab.
  4. Select ‘Manage settings’.
  5. Choose ‘Filters on Google Chrome’.
  6. Select the appropriate option.

The ‘Allow all sites’ option will allow your child to visit any existing website besides the one that you block. On the other hand, the ‘Try to block mature sites’ option will use Chrome’s integrated web filter to try and recognize explicit content. The ‘Only allow certain sites’ option limits your child only to the websites that you’ve allowed.

How to Stop Supervision?

If you want to stop the supervision of an account, you can do it via the Family Link app.

  1. Launch the Family Link app on your device.
  2. Choose the child account that you want to make unsupervised.
  3. Tap ‘Manage Settings’.
  4. Select ‘Account info’.
  5. Choose ‘Stop Supervision’.
  6. Go through the on-screen instructions once more so you fully understand the process.
  7. Choose ‘Stop Supervision’ again.

Keep in mind that you can’t disable the supervision of the account if the child is younger than 13. Only after the child reaches the applicable age may you disable it.

Your kid can disable the supervision by themselves if you enabled it via their existing account. If that happens, you’ll get an alert and their device will lock temporarily.

Watch Out for Computer Usage

Although the Family Link app offers a lot in terms of parental controls and features, it’s still not as effective as Google’s supervised account was.

If your child uses your PC or a device that’s not linked with their Google account, they can bypass the restrictions and limitations that you’ve set. That’s why you should keep your eyes open when your child is using Google Chrome outside of the supervised device.

Which method do you find more effective – Google’s supervised account or Family Link app? Share your thoughts in the comments section below.

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