Setting up Google Play Store Parental Controls for Kids

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The Google Play Store offers so many apps. It’s not an exaggeration when they say there is an app for everything. As a parent, you could be concerned that your child will have access to apps or other content that is not appropriate. Another worry could be that your child may go on a spending spree on games and apps. Rest assured, the Google Play Store does have great parental controls that can be set up to prevent those kinds of situations from happening. At Twigby, we feel it is important that parents are informed about the Google Play Store parental controls.

How Google Play Store Parental Controls Work

When parental controls are turned on for the Google Play Store, you are able to restrict what can be downloaded and purchased from the Store. The way parental controls work varies across Apps & Games, Movies, Music, TV, and Books. Continue reading to learn more about each section.

Apps & Games

When setting up parental controls for apps and games, you choose the highest content rating (Everyone, Everyone 10+, Teen, Mature 17+, Adults only 18+, Allow all including unrated) you want to allow for downloads or purchases. You may still be able to see apps and games outside of your filter when you search or visit using a direct link to the app’s page. Also, any apps or games downloaded before the parental controls were added will still be seen even if the app is outside of the rating you set.

Movies

When setting up parental controls for movies, you choose the highest rating (G, PG, PG-13, R, NC-17, Allow all including unrated) you want to allow for purchase, playback, and rental. You may still be able to see movies outside of your filter when you search or visit using a direct link to the content’s page. You will not see movies already rented or purchased if the movies are restricted because of parental controls. Simply turn parental controls off to see the rented and purchased movies again.

TV

When setting up parental controls for TV shows, you choose the highest rating (TV-Y, TV-Y7, TV-G, TV-PG, TV-14, TV-MA, Allow all including unrated) you want to allow for playback or purchase. There is a chance that you may still be able to see TV shows outside of your filter when you search or visit using a direct link to the content’s page. You will not see TV shows already purchased if the TV shows are restricted because of parental controls. You can turn parental controls off to see the TV shows again.

Books

When setting up parental controls for books, you won’t be able to read or purchase most sexually explicit books. You may still be able to see books outside of your filter when you search or visit using a direct link to the content’s page. While setting up parental controls won’t catch all of the sexually explicit books, it will help avoid most of the mature content.

Music

When setting up parental controls for music, you won’t be able to purchase music that is marked Explicit by content providers. You may still be able to see books outside of your filter when you search or visit using a direct link to the content’s page. Parental controls for music only apply to the Google Play Store app. The parental controls don’t change the music already purchased, uploaded, or subscribed to.

How to Set up Google Play Store Parental Controls

To set up parental controls:

  • On the smartphone you want parental controls on, open the Play Store app
  • In the top left corner, tap Menu (3 lines icon)
  • Tap Settings
  • Choose Parental controls
  • Tap the slider to turn parental controls On
  • You will be prompted to create a PIN. The pin must be 4 digits
    • This PIN prevents people who don’t know the PIN from changing the parental control settings. If you are setting up parental controls on your child’s phone, choose a PIN they don’t know.
  • Next, tap on the type of content you want to filter
  • Choose how to restrict or filter access
  • Tap Save

Require a Password or Authentication for Purchases

Requiring a password for purchases made in the Google Play Store will prevent your child from going on a spending spree on apps. This also includes preventing purchases that can be made in apps. Below are instructions on how to turn authentication for purchases on or off. If you use your Google Account on more than one device, repeat the steps below for each device. If you use multiple accounts on your smartphone, repeat the steps below for each account on your smartphone.

To turn authentication on or off:

  • Open the Google Play Store
  • In the top left corner, tap Menu (3 lines icon)
  • Choose Settings
  • Tap Require authentication for purchases
  • Choose a setting
  • Follow the on-screen instructions

Now that you are familiar with the Google Play Store parental controls, we hope you feel informed and comfortable about a smartphone being in the hands of your child. Please remember that the parental controls mentioned are for the Google Play Store which is only available on Android smartphones. You can see the selection of Android smartphones Twigby has available here.

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