How do I set up Google Family Link?

Google Family Link is a parental control app for children that are using an Android Smartphone. The parent can use this App on either an iPhone or Android phone. With the Google Family Link app, you can set digital ground rules by managing apps, setting screen time limits, locating your child’s phone, and more.

Installation Instructions:

  1. Download the app on the parent’s phone (Google Family Link for parents). Once the app is installed, login with the manager account
  2. Choose if the parent or the child will be using this phone (Choose parent)
  3. Make sure the child’s phone is nearby, tap Next on the parent’s phone
  4. If the Google account shown on the screen is the parent that will be the family manager, tap I’m Ready. If not, tap Switch Account and log in to the correct Google account
  5. Choose if your child has a Google account or not: 
    • No – Create a Google account for the child from the parent’s phone    
      • If the child is under 13, the parent will have to create a Google account for the child and enter the information from the parent’s google account. Learn More
      • If the child is 13+, Google requests that your child create their own account. Then you can add supervision to your child’s account. Learn More
    • Yes – From your child’s phone, open Play Store, install Google Family Link for children & teens app, and follow the steps provided
  6. Agree to the terms and conditions from the parent’s phone
  7. Complete the Family Link manager verification process either by entering your credit card information or by receiving a text code to the parent phone number

 Set Up Instructions:

  1. From the child’s phone, log in to the app as the child first, then enter the parent email info to finish setting up the app on the child’s phone
  2. On the parent’s phone, you can review apps that are already installed on the child’s phone, and review settings such as:
    • Controls on Google Play – Choose what the child can browse on the Play Store. Parental approval is required for new purchases and downloads unless they’re from the Family Library
      • Tap on the arrow on the right next to Controls on Google Play to select the parental control of each category on Play Store (Apps & games, Movies, TV, Books, Music)
    • Filters on Google Chrome – You can allow your child to visit all or some sites when signed into Chrome
      • Tap on the arrow on the right next to Filters on Google Chrome to choose the setting you would like to put into place
    • Filters on Google Search – With this setting on, Google SafeSearch should help hide sexually explicit and violent search results
      • Tap on the arrow on the right next to Filters on Google Search to turn this feature on or off
    • Manage Google Services – such as backup to Google Drive, install updates and apps. The parent can make changes to these and other essential settings at any time with Family Link from the parent phone
  3. The child’s phone will tell you the devices are connected, and the phone is ready for your child. Click Done
  4. The parent’s phone will say that the devices are connected
  5. From the parent’s phone, you can manage the child’s phone settings, location, see app activity, manage screen time (set daily limits or bedtime hours), view apps installed
    • Location – Track the location of your child’s phone
      • To enable your child’s phone to be tracked, from the child’s phone: tap location > Turn on in Phone Settings
      • To enable the parent’s phone to be able to track the child’s phone, from the parent’s phone: choose Manage Settings > Location > tap slider to turn on > choose Turn On

Useful Information:

  1. For Family Link users, Google will notify both the parent and the child before the child’s 13th birthday, “to encourage a family conversation about when the child will be ready to take control over their own account and device.” The child has the option to transition to a regular account or remain under parent management up until their 18th birthday
  2. By default, the person who sets up the account is the family manager and can add another family member. The second family member can serve as a second parent to manage and monitor the child’s device
  3. As the family manager, you can invite up to 5 people to join your family group. You can also remove people from your family group or delete the family group
  4. On the child’s phone after Family Link is connected, downloading an app will require the child to ask for the parent’s permission. The child can choose Ask Now or Ask In A Message
    • Ask Now – Shows parent’s email address and asks the manager to enter the manager account password to approve. The app will download immediately after the password is entered correctly
    • Ask In A Message – Approval request is sent to the parent
      • In the parent’s phone – Section for Approval Request above Manager Settings
      • Tap Approval Request. Tap on the app to view more information about it. Tap Deny or Approve. App requests expire in 24 hours
      • Approved – App will automatically download on the child’s phone
      • Deny – Child will get a notification that the app request was denied
    • If the parent later decides that they want to remove an app from the child’s phone that was previously approved, they can go in and remove access to that app. The app will then be removed from the child’s phone. Access can be re-approved later if desired