Parental controls guides

Step-by-step guides for safe online experiences

Help set your child up for safe online experiences with parental controls and privacy settings on the networks, devices, apps and sites they use.


mother and child using technology

What are parental controls?

Parental controls are settings available across devices, apps and networks. They let you manage screen time, in-game spending, content, communication and more.

We know how hard it is to navigate online safety across all the tech your child interacts with. That’s why we’ve created a range of step-by-step parental controls, safety and privacy guides.

For younger children, these parental controls guides can help you customise their digital experiences and learn online safety. For older children, these guides can help lead conversations around safety settings on social media, in video games and beyond. Showing them how to use safety tools can help them take ownership of their safety.

Will parental controls keep my child safe online?

Parental controls are an important part of online safety. They work like a safety net for when your child spends time online — like the helmet they wear while cycling.

However, they work best if you also take other actions. Having regular, casual conversations about their online experiences is one way to do this.

Learn how to talk about children’s digital lives.

Additionally, learning about common online safety issues and staying up-to-date can help you catch any potential harms.

Explore our online issues hubs to learn more.

It’s also important to consider whether your child is ready for whichever device, app or game they express interest in.

See our guidance on children’s first connected devices.

See online safety checklist

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4 in 5 parents use at least one parental control.

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Only 12% of parents are aware of all the different types of parental controls.

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53% of parents who don’t use parental controls say it’s because they don’t feel like they need them.

How to set parental controls on…

With so many apps, platforms, devices, video games and networks to choose from, there are a lot of options for online safety.

Parental control apps like Google Family Link, Screen Time and Microsoft Family can help make online safety easier. These apps let you set limits across devices, apps and platforms without needing to access these spaces separately. You can manage screen time, app access, inappropriate content restrictions and more.

Learn more about parental control and monitoring apps.

You can also start with parental controls on your broadband and mobile networks to keep your family safe at home and on the go.

Whichever safety controls you want to use, our step-by-step guides can help make it simple and straightforward.

Simply choose a category and use the dropdown menu to find the guide you need.

Smartphones & other devices

Select the smartphone, other device or OS from the dropdown list:

Broadband & mobile networks

Select your network provider from the dropdown list:

Social media

Select the social media app or platform from the dropdown list:

Video games & consoles

Select the video game or console from the dropdown list:

Entertainment & search engines

Select the streaming service, app store or other apps from he dropdown list:

Other ways to keep kids safe online

Parental controls and privacy settings are useful tools to help minimise online risks your child might face. However, they cannot work alone.

It’s really important to teach your child skills like critical thinking and digital resilience to help them recognise harms. Always encourage them to talk to you about anything they find upsetting online.

Here are some additional resources to help.

Talking digital with kids

Have regular conversations to help children deal with online issues and share their digital lives.


Learn about the issues

Read up about the issues they may face online and the best way to approach the subjects with your child.


Get tailored advice

Use this tool to get a personalised online safety toolkit to help children benefit from the online world.