How to prepare a Chromebook for your child with family link controls

Chromebooks are ideal starter computers for kids. They’re easy to set up, affordable,  durable enough to survive messy use, and the no-frills web experience means there’s no learning curve whether your kid wants to watch YouTube videos or do schoolwork.  

More importantly, Chrome OS’s parental controls allow you to precisely manage what your kid does on their computer, for how long they do it, and monitor their activities remotely. If you’ve just bought a Chromebook or already have one, here’s how to prepare it for your child. 

Set Up Parental Controls on a Chromebook

If your kid already has a dedicated profile on a Chromebook, visit the Settings > People section and click the “Set Up” button next to “Parental controls.” Follow the on-screen instructions to configure parental controls for your child’s Google account. Here, you will be asked to enter your (the parent’s) email address for supervision access.  Once you’re through this process, the Chromebook will restart, and when your child logs back in, parental controls will be active. 

(Image credit: Laptop Mag)

In case you haven’t configured your kid’s profile yet, go ahead and add a new person to the Chromebook from the login screen. Pick the “Child” option on the next page and enter the required details to set parental controls in motion. 

Personalize and Monitor Your Child’s Chromebook Access

Now that your child’s Chromebook account is under supervision, your next step is to personalize and monitor their experience with Google’s Family Link app. It’s available for both Android and iOS devices. Since it’s compatible with Android, you can install it on your Chromebook as well. 

(Image credit: Laptop Mag)

Think of the Family Link app as a dashboard for managing all your child’s activities on their Chromebook. From here, you can approve or reject any new app install requests your kid sends, monitor for how long they’ve been on an app, and more. 

Censor the Content Your Kid Can Browse on a Chromebook

Family Link’s highlight is the series of controls it lets you apply remotely on your child’s Chromebook account. This includes the ability to censor what they can search and view on the Chrome browser. 

(Image credit: Laptop Mag)

At the top of this app, you’ll find a section called “Settings.” Tap the “Manage” button underneath it. With these preferences, you can restrict the content your kid sees on services like the Google Play Store, YouTube, Google Chrome, and more. 



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