7 Best Parental Control Apps for Android in 2023

As parents, keeping our children safe while they use technology is a top priority. With the prevalence of smartphones and tablets, it’s more important than ever to have the right parental control tools to monitor and control your child’s device usage.

Here are 7 best parental control apps for Android to consider:

  1. Canopy – Best for all-around protection
  2. AirDroid
  3. OurPact
  4. Google Family Link
  5. Norton Family
  6. ScreenTime
  7. Kidlogger

Check out an overview of each of these apps in our comparison table below.

Feature Comparison Chart – All 7 Apps at a Glance

best parental contorl apps android comparison

7 Best Parental Control Apps for Android

Here is my ultimate list of the best parental control apps for Android, based on my extensive research and testing:

1. Canopy Parental Control

Sarah from Family Tech reviewed Canopy’s parental control app beautifully below. Click the video play button to get an introduction to the benefits and features of Canopy:

Rating:  ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

Let’s recap Canopy’s features and functionality:

Canopy is easy to install and works across every type of device: mobile, tablet, and computer.

With Canopy, you can keep your children safe online with simple website blocking, activity monitoring, location tracking and more.

Compared to other apps I reviewed, Canopy has some really unique benefits:

  1. Inappropriate adult content is automatically blocked across every single website. Canopy uses technology that filters content, even if your child is on TikTok, YouTube, Twitter (or any website) so the parental guidance doesn’t depend on your knowledge of where they’re browsing. Even partial nudity, like lingerie or swimsuit photos, can be blocked automatically.
  2. Sexting prevention stops your child from sending explicit images that could harm them. Canopy will send real-time alerts and force your child to get a review from you before they can send the text.

Key features include:

  • Location Tracking: Track your child’s location. Keep them safe wherever they are.
  • Smart Filtering: Block inappropriate content in real-time on every website.
  • Website Blocking: Block specific websites, apps & content categories.
  • Prevent Tampering: Your child cannot outsmart the control features.
  • Sexting Prevention: Intervene before images are sent.
  • Screen Time Management: Set healthy limits.

Android version compatibility:

  • Android 5.0 or higher

Pricing:

  • 7-day free trial
  • Pricing plans from $7.99 – $15.99/month (annual plans with over 15% savings available)

Pros:

Once again, setting up Canopy was incredibly easy and well-explained, compared to other apps on my list. Its UI is also intuitive and doesn’t leave you scratching your head on where to click or tap next.

Finally, probably the best thing about Canopy is that I can keep my child safe online while also protecting their independence and privacy. I don’t need to know of every single thing my kid Googles when I know for a fact that no inappropriate content will come up. No matter what.

Google Play review example:

CTA: Protect your child from exposure to explicit online content. Try Canopy now.

2. AirDroid Parental Control

Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐

AirDroid Parental Control is a unique parent monitor app in that it can sync the notifications on your child’s Android phone with your own.

This means that you will get the same app and phone notifications that your kid does, for maximum insight into their activities.

Aside from this one, there are a few more interesting AirDroid features to look into, including the option to remotely access your child’s device camera and microphone.

Key features:

  • Remote Microphone and Camera Access: See and hear what’s in your child’s surroundings via their Android device.
  • Sync App Notifications: Receive the same notifications that your child’s phone does, at the same time.
  • Usage Reports: Daily and weekly usage reports from your child’s phone.
  • Screen Time Management
  • Location Tracking

Android version compatibility:

  • Android 7.0 or higher

Pricing:

  • 3-day free trial
  • $9.99/month for 2 devices, or
  • $19.99/quarter for 10 devices, or
  • $59.99/year for 10 devices

Pros and Cons:

I am all for respecting your kid’s privacy, but you should know that AirDroid allows you to see only incoming messages to your child’s phone. You cannot see what they’re writing back.

Furthermore, there is no option to block specific websites, which didn’t work for me.

The remote mic access works nicely but the remote camera access can be a bit buggy. For me, it worked only once and I couldn’t get it started again any other time.

Google Play review example:

3. OurPact

Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐

OurPact is packed with a range of features you might find useful in ensuring your child is safe online, such as automatic screenshots of your child’s device, sexual content blocking, and screen time schedules.

While these features may sound great on paper (screen), I wanted to test out whether they really were worth the hype.

Key features:

  • Schedule Screen Time: Block screen time at the same times each day, such as during school hours, family time, meal time, etc.
  • Gallery Views: Receive regular screenshots of your child’s online activity, even set up an automatic schedule for them.
  • Block Sexual Content: On any browser on any device.
  • Location Tracking
  • App Blocker

Android version compatibility:

  • Android 8.0 or higher

Pricing:

  • 14-day free trial
  • Premium: $6.99/month
  • Premium+: $9.99/month
  • Annual plans available

Pros and Cons:

Okay, the free trial works fine. There are some issues, such as my kid’s controlled apps sometimes freeze even if they aren’t blocked at that moment, but overall it’s not a bad app.

I have not paid for the Premium, however, I’ve been hearing that many users have trouble with setting up the Premium version of the app. So beware that perhaps your money won’t be well spent if you decide to go premium.

Furthermore, it’s only possible to contact their customer support via email (no phone), which isn’t ideal if you need a fast solution to your issues.

4. Google Family Link

Rating: ⭐⭐⭐

Given their already wide range of products for Android, it’s only logical that Google would also have a parental control solution for Android phones.

Google Family Link is the only app on my list that is completely, 100% free. While its features are fairly basic and something I would expect every parental control app to have, it’s still nice to know that you can keep your child’s Android device safe at zero cost.

Key features:

  • Manage Online Data: Manage what happens with your child’s data online.
  • Supervise YouTube Usage
  • Screen Time Management
  • Block Specific Apps
  • Location Tracking

Android version compatibility:

  • Android 7.0 or higher

Pricing:

  • 100% free

Pros and Cons:

On the one hand, this app is completely free. Love that.

On the other hand, the UI can get confusing and, most of the time, I wasn’t sure where I needed to click to get something done.

Furthermore, even though this is a Google app, the location tracking is glitching hard. I understand the app is free, but I really expected more of a tech giant such as Google.

Google Play review example:

5. Norton Family 

Rating: ⭐⭐⭐

Just like Kaspersky, Norton is also a well-known name in the world of antivirus software.

Their parental control solution offers some useful features, such as blocking all but school-approved websites on your child’s device and the option to instantly lock the device if you need to.

The reason it is near the bottom of our list is that, according to user reviews, Norton Family seems to require some more tweaking before it can be called a reliable app.

Key features:

  • Block Content: Block everything except school-required websites, apps, and content.
  • View Search History: View your child’s web search history.
  • Screen Time Management
  • Location Tracking

Android version compatibility:

  • Android 8.0 or higher

Pricing:

  • 30-day free trial
  • Only annual plan: $49.99 per year

Pros and Cons:

One aspect I particularly appreciated was its ability to minimize distractions during school hours (that I could define myself). It helped ensure that my child remained focused on their studies and reduced the chances of them getting sidetracked by unnecessary apps or websites.

One major drawback I encountered was that Norton Family was extremely glitchy – more so than other apps on this list. I experienced frequent disruptions, which affected the overall usability and reliability of the app.

Google Play review example:

6. Screen Time

Rating: ⭐⭐

Right off the bat, this app offers a free tier, but you only get monitoring features, such as monitoring how much your kids spend time online, which apps and websites they visit, etc.

To actually be able to block anything, you have to pay for the Premium version.

However, you also get a seven-day free trial of the Premium version, so naturally, I wanted to test it out.

Key features:

  • Reward System: Set tasks and house chores your kid can complete to earn more screen time.
  • View History: Monitor your child’s web and search history.
  • Schedule Screen Time
  • Website and App Blocking
  • Location Tracking

Android version compatibility:

  • Android 5.1 or higher

Pricing:

  • Free tier
  • 7-day free trial
  • Premium: $6.99/month

Pros and Cons:

So Screen Time has the option of blocking an entire content category (similar to Canopy). Unfortunately, this feature doesn’t work as intended (unlike with Canopy). While Screen Time can block porn on your child’s device to an extent, it cannot block all of it.

Additionally, I’m sad that I only tried this app now, as it seems according to other reviews that it was much less glitchy a year or so ago. Pity.

Google Play review example:

7. Kidlogger

Rating: ⭐⭐

Kidlogger is a bit more specific in that you cannot download the app from Google Play, but rather from the Kidlogger website.

With its powerful monitoring features, you can see what websites your child visits, what messages they send and receive on all major apps, what apps they use, etc.

You can even install Kidlogger on your kid’s PC and record their keystrokes and external devices they plug into the computer (such as USB drives).

However, a major downside to this app is that it is essentially only a monitoring app. There are no blocking features available as of yet.

Key features:

  • Text Monitoring: For Facebook Chat, Viber, Whatsapp, Skype, and more.
  • Website and App Usage Monitoring
  • Regular Device Usage Reports
  • Screen Time Management

Android version compatibility:

  • Android 8.11 or higher

Pricing:

  • Free tier (for up to 5 devices)
  • From $9/3 months to $89/year

Pros and Cons:

Honestly, I was impressed by KidLogger’s monitoring features. It may be a bit too much for me because I choose not to dig into my child’s online activity more than necessary, but it’s really powerful.

At the same time, it’s obviously not a comprehensive parental control app. There are no blocking features whatsoever, so it doesn’t really help protect your kid from anything.

Needless to say, I had to use this app in combination with others from this list if I wanted my kid safe from inappropriate content.

How I Made My Selection

To ensure that our list was comprehensive and unbiased, I followed a rigorous selection process.

First, I researched and compiled a list of the top parental control apps for Android devices.

I then evaluated each app based on the following criteria:

  • Number of useful features – I analyzed each app’s features and assessed how well they meet the needs of modern-day parents. The more special features an app had, the higher it ranked on my list.
  • Affordability – I considered the pricing of each app and evaluated it against its features. I wanted to make sure that my readers got the best value for their money.
  • UI/UX design – I evaluated each app’s interface and user experience, looking for apps that are easy to use and have intuitive navigation.
  • Compatibility – I considered which Android versions the app is compatible with to ensure that the apps can be used on most Android devices.
  • Security and privacy – I looked at each app’s security and privacy features, ensuring that they adhere to industry standards and best practices.

My goal was to provide fellow parents with a reliable list of the best apps available to help them keep their children safe when using technology.

FAQs – Guide to Choosing a Parental Control App for Android

Does Android have a parental control app?

Android does not come with a built-in parental control feature, but Google offers a free app called Family Link that can be installed separately.

Family Link allows parents to set screen time limits, approve or block apps, and monitor their child’s activity on their devices.

However, there are also many third-party parental control apps available in the Google Play Store that offer more advanced features.

What should I look for in a parental control app?

When looking for a parental control app, there are several key features to consider. These include the ability to set screen time limits, filter content, block apps, and monitor your child’s activity.

Other important factors to consider are compatibility with your child’s device, ease of use, and affordability.

How can I monitor my child’s Android phone?

There are several ways to monitor your child’s Android phone. One way is to use a parental control app, which allows you to monitor your child’s activity, block apps, and set screen time limits.

Another way is to manually check your child’s phone for any concerning activity, such as browsing history or messaging apps.

How can I monitor my kid’s Android without them knowing?

It is not recommended to monitor your child’s Android phone without their knowledge or consent. Trust and open communication are essential for building a healthy relationship with your child.

However, if you still feel the need to monitor your child’s device without them knowing, you can use a parental control app that operates in stealth mod

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We built Canopy to empower families to enjoy a safer digital experience.

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