Short on time? Here’s the best parental control app for Android:
Qustodio. Comes with outstanding web and app filtering features to block potentially concerning websites and Android apps, helps you easily manage how much time your child is spending on their device, and allows you to view your child’s location in real-time. It also includes extra features like YouTube monitoring, a panic button, and uninstall protection. Qustodio provides a great free plan, offers affordable paid plans, and comes with a 30-day money-back guarantee.
I tested as many parental control apps as I could to determine the best ones for Android. But it wasn’t easy. Not all Android parental control apps are good — most are missing important features, are too complicated to use, or are too easy to disable or bypass.
But all of the parental control apps I’ve listed here are good for Android users. They have industry-standard parental control features to monitor and limit what your child is exposed to online, have easy-to-use apps to help you keep up with how your children are using their Android devices, and offer affordable plans for families of all sizes.
My top choice is
Quick summary of the best parental control apps for Android:
Qustodio— Best overall parental control app for Android in 2023.
Norton Family— Best for families with lots of Android devices to monitor.
Bark— Best for older children you trust (with excellent social media monitoring).
FamiSafe— Best for parents of teens who drive (with good location tracking).
Mobicip— Great for setting custom schedules on Android.
- Plus 4 more!
- Comparison of the Best Parental Control Apps for Android in 2023.
Qustodio — Best Parental Control App for Android in 2023
Qustodio has all the parental control features you’ll need to ensure your child is safe online (and offline), including:
- Web & app filtering — choose which websites and apps your child can access.
- Screen time management — limit the amount of time your child is allowed to use their device each day.
- YouTube monitoring — view YouTube search and watch history.
- Location tracking — find out where your child is and where they’ve been.
- Call and SMS monitoring — monitor your child’s text messages and call history.
- Panic button — allows your child to send a distress signal to approved contacts.
- Activity reports — view what your child has been doing on their device, including search history, app usage, screen time, and more.
Qustodio has outstanding content filtering — its app filter can block all Android apps, and its web filter works on all popular web browsers and is able to block any unsupported browsers so you can make sure the filtering always works. The web filtering is able to detect and block websites related to 25+ categories of content like porn, gambling, profanity, and more, and it also gives you the option to always allow or block any website you want.
I also like how flexible Qustodio’s screen time management feature is — it not only lets you set limits on how much time your child is allowed to use their Android device, but it also allows you to set limits on specific apps. For instance, you can set a total time limit of 8 hours per day — and at the same time also set a time limit for an app like YouTube so your kids aren’t using all of their daily screen time watching videos.
I’m also a huge fan of Qustodio’s location tracking. In addition to viewing your child’s location in real-time, you can also see where they’ve been. Plus, you can define geofence areas up to 0.12 miles or 200 meters in size and get alerted any time your child enters or leaves that area. That said, it would be nice to see Qustodio increase the range of its geofencing (Norton Family lets you create geofencing areas up to 2 miles or 3,200 meters) and increase the frequency of location updates.
Qustodio has incredibly easy-to-use Android apps for parents and children — its app for parents has an intuitive interface that makes it easy to manage all of your parental control features and view activity reports. Its app for children is also incredibly easy to use and allows your child to quickly send a distress signal to approved contacts via text and email by tapping the SOS button on the app.
Qustodio is the best parental control app for Android in 2023. It has excellent web & app filtering, screen time limits, location tracking, YouTube monitoring, in-depth activity reports, and more. Qustodio has a pretty good but limited free plan, and it also offers 3 annual plans that allow 5 or unlimited simultaneous connections. Qustodio backs all of its paid plans with a 30-day money-back guarantee.
Norton Family — Best for Families With Lots of Android Devices
Norton Family is able to block all Android apps, and its web filter lets you block websites based on 45+ site categories. Both the app and web filters worked perfectly in all my tests, and I especially like how you can change the web filtering rules as you please.
I also really like how functional Norton Family’s location tracking feature is — it allows you to view your child’s location in real-time, choose a specific time to receive an alert about your child’s location, request a check-in, or set geofencing zones that cover up to 2 miles or 3,200 meters and be alerted when your child enters or leaves the zone.
Norton Family lets you set strict total screen time limits, but it doesn’t let you set time limits on specific Android apps. It does, however, include a feature that allows your child to request more screen time directly from the Android app. This is something that Qustodio doesn’t offer.
Also, Norton Family only lets you monitor searches and videos made in specific browsers on Android: the default Android browser, Chrome, and Norton Family’s in-app browser. You can block other browsers and apps like YouTube to ensure you’re able to monitor your child’s activity, but it would be really nice to see Norton Family expand its monitoring capabilities to all browsers.
Norton Family allows you to monitor an unlimited number of devices, making it great for large families. It also has a great app and web filtering, provides excellent location tracking, and allows you to set total screen time limits. It can monitor your child’s YouTube search history and the videos they watch, but only in specific browsers, which is somewhat inconvenient. Norton Family is available as a standalone purchase or as part of
Read our full Norton Family review
Bark — Great for Older Children With More Online Freedom
I like how Bark can monitor texts, call history, emails, 30+ apps, and social media. It lets you easily connect your child’s accounts by entering their login and password into the parents app, or allowing your kids to keep their password private and log in themselves from their device. Once connected, Bark monitors all activity on that account and will alert you if it detects a potential concern.
Bark will only share activity from your child’s device if it triggers an alert — depending on what you’re looking for in a parental control app, this is either Bark’s biggest strength or biggest weakness. With text messages, for example, Bark will show you a potentially concerning text message, but it will not allow you to view all of your child’s SMS history the way Qustodio will.
That said, Bark allows you to block internet access to a wide range of Android apps and has a flexible scheduling feature, but it can’t block offline apps. It also doesn’t track how long your child uses their device, so it doesn’t allow you to set time limits on how long they have access to their device or specific Android apps.
When it comes to location tracking, Bark lets you request a check-in from your child, but this requires your child to then open the child app and manually check in, meaning you’re not able to view your child’s location in real-time (Qustodio and Norton Family let you do this).
Bark has two monthly and yearly plans,
Bark has a powerful content monitoring feature that can monitor your child’s social media accounts, texts, and emails and alert you of any potential concerns. It encourages trust over invasive monitoring, so most of its features aren’t as functional as top competitors. All of Bark’s paid plans allow you to monitor an unlimited number of devices, but none of them include a money-back guarantee.
FamiSafe — Great for Parents of Teens Who Drive
FamiSafe can monitor your child’s driving safety to help you make sure they’re developing healthy habits on the road. It can give you detailed driving reports, including information about how often they suddenly brake, how often they speed, whether they follow traffic rules, and more. It will even let you receive an alert any time your child is driving dangerously.
FamiSafe also includes industry-standard parental control features like web and app filtering, screen time management, location tracking, and activity reports. Most of its features work really well, but its app filtering is supposed to be able to block Android apps like YouTube and TikTok, which it failed to do in all of our tests.
When it comes to location tracking, FamiSafe’s allows you to view your child’s location in real-time and set up geofenced areas of up to 0.62 miles or 1,000 meters. This is more than Qustodio (0.12 miles or 200 meters) but much less than Norton Family (up to 2 miles or 3,200 meters). Something that makes FamiSafe stand out is that its location tracking feature works both ways and allows your child to request your location as well. This can be useful if your child is driving and meeting you somewhere they’ve never been.
FamiSafe offers 3 paid plans starting at $10.99 / month, but the only difference is how many devices each plan will allow you to monitor. Its monthly plan allows you to monitor 5 devices, while its quarterly and annual plans can monitor up to 10 devices. FamiSafe offers a 7-day money-back guarantee on all its plans, but this isn’t very good when Qustodio offers 30 days, and Norton Family offers a generous 60-day money-back guarantee.
FamiSafe offers a unique driving safety monitoring feature. It can give you detailed alerts about how safe your child is driving and alert you if they’re excessively speeding. FamiSafe comes with all industry-standard parental control features, and it also includes a great two-way location tracking feature. All of FamiSafe’s plans include a 7-day money-back guarantee.
Mobicip — Great for Setting Custom Schedules on Android
Mobicip is an excellent option for creating custom schedules for your child’s online activities, like school, homework, studying, and entertainment. The app lets you create different web and app filters for specific days and certain times of the day, so you can prevent your kid from accessing their favorite game app when they’re at school and only allow them to use apps like Zoom when they’re talking to their tutor.
Mobicip’s Android app also has a Vacation Mode and Family Mode. Vacation Mode lets you set rules that are more lenient when your children for a set amount of days, and Family Time allows you to pause all device features for a certain amount of time.
Mobicip has great web and app filtering. The Android app lets you blacklist and whitelist 15+ content categories, and you can restrict access to apps by 3 pre-defined categories (Social Media, Entertainment, and Games). I like that Mobicip allows you to block specific apps from the Google Play Store so your child can’t download them, but I’d like to see it add more content categories to its web filtering — competitors like Norton Family offer 45+ categories.
I really like that Mobicip allows you to monitor Facebook, Instagram, and Snapchat, and it alters you for anything that’s inappropriate or concerning in your child’s social media texts or images. I still recommend Bark since it works with 30+ social media platforms.
Mobicip has 3 plans that are backed by a 7-day money-back guarantee. The Lite ($2.99 / month) and Standard ($4.99 / month) plans include device monitoring for 5 and 10 devices, respectively, while the Premium plan ($7.99 / month) allows up to 20 devices and adds features like social media monitoring. Mobicip also has a free plan too, but it allows you to monitor 1 device only.
Mobicip offers great customizability in terms of scheduling and time limits, which is great for parents that want to limit their kids’ time online to develop healthy screen habits. The Android app has great web and app filtering, very good app filtering, good social monitoring, and reliable locating tracking and geofencing features. Mobicip comes with a 7-day money-back guarantee. There’s also a free plan that only lets you monitor 1 device.
Kaspersky Safe Kids — Good App Filtering On Android
Kaspersky Safe Kids has advanced app filtering that allows parents more control over which apps their kids use and how long they use them. On Android, you can black and whitelist 15+ app categories (including Games and Online Shopping), restrict access to apps based on public age-appropriate ratings, and manually block and whitelist apps. You can also set time limits for individual apps.
It’s also great that the kid’s Android app lets them ask for access to a blocked app or site. This is very convenient if a certain app or site that they need has been unintentionally blocked by the filters.
I really like that you can allow apps to bypass the daily time limits. This means your kids will be able to join Google Meets for an extra lesson or a conversation with their tutor after they’ve reached their screen time limit.
It also has good web filtering. You can filter content by 10+ predefined site categories, including Video Games, Profanity, and Violence, which is convenient, but it’s a lot less than Norton Family’s 45+ content categories and Qustodio’s 25+ categories.
Kaspersky Safe Kids’ subscription costs $22.99 / year and is backed by a 30-day money-back guarantee. You can get a free 1-year subscription if you get the Kaspersky Premium plan, which includes one of the top antivirus programs. Whichever you choose, you’ll be able to monitor unlimited devices, which is great for large families.
Kaspersky Safe Kids provides advanced app filtering and convenient control options for parents who want more control over their kid’s online activities. It has great web content and app filtering, customizable time limits, and the option for kids to request access to blocked apps or sites. Kaspersky Safe Kids has an affordable paid plan that comes with a 30-day money-back guarantee.
Read our full Kaspersky Safe Kids review
mSpy — Great Supervision Tools on Android
mSpy comes with top-notch monitoring capabilities, making it ideal for supervising your children’s online activities on any Android device. The app lets you view shared images, read messages and emails, and monitor conversations across a wide range of social media apps — all without your child’s knowledge. You can also view bookmarked sites and track their browsing history.
One of the best features that mSpy includes is the screen recorder, which captures screenshots when a change occurs within an app (like when someone sends your kid a message) and sends them to you. The feature currently works with Snapchat, Facebook Messenger, Telegram, Instagram, and WhatsApp. If you want less invasive social media monitoring, I suggest Bark as it works with more apps and it only sends you notifications when it detects something inappropriate or concerning.
mSpy also offers a keylogger that tracks everything your child types on their phone, whether it’s in their messaging apps or in browser search bars.
I was impressed to see that mSpy offers web filtering, but I’m not a huge fan because it requires manual input for blacklisted websites. Plus, apps like Qustodio and Norton Family let you filter content by categories, which is much more convenient.
One significant drawback is the need to jailbreak or root the child’s phone to access many of mSpy’s features. mySpy also doesn’t let you set daily limits or track how long your child uses their phone.
mSpy has 3 subscription plans: Basic, Premium, and Family Kit. The Basic ($26.99 / month) includes the basic features and allows you to monitor 1 device only. The Premium ($48.99 / month) adds all features and 1 device monitoring, and the Family Kit ($50.00 / month) plan lets you monitor up to 3 devices. Unfortunately, none of its plans are backed by a money-back guarantee, and the provider doesn’t offer a free plan or a free trial.
mSpy has excellent monitoring features that are great for overseeing your children’s online interactions on Android. The app has a keylogger that tracks everything your child types into the device and a very good screen recorder that captures screenshots of your child’s conversations on the most popular social media apps like Facebook Messenger and Snapchat. The only downside is you’ll have to jailbreak or root your child’s device to use some of these features. mSpy’s doesn’t have a money-back guarantee, a free trial, or a free plan.
Net Nanny — Best For Filtering Apps & Websites on Android
Net Nanny has one of the best website & app filters on the market — it automatically monitors websites your child visits for 10+ categories of potentially concerning content and even allows you to create your own categories and list any number of keywords to monitor for. Net Nanny can detect and block any app on Android, including the phone and camera apps.
Net Nanny is also able to monitor websites your child visits with real-time text analysis and can determine the difference between a word like “breast” being used in a medical context or a more mature context. It also includes a feature that can censor profanity on any pages your child visits.
I like Net Nanny’s screen time management, but it could be better — Net Nanny lets you set strict limits on the amount of time your child is allowed to use their device, but it can’t set time limits on specific apps like games or YouTube (Qustodio can do this). When your child reaches the screen time limit, you can either disable the internet or pause the device. Choosing to pause the device will block all apps except the phone and messaging apps so your child can still contact you.
Net Nanny’s YouTube monitoring is also good, but it can’t monitor the YouTube app. It’s able to monitor your child’s search and watch history on YouTube, but only when they’re using a browser. While it would be easy enough to block the YouTube app and force your child to use it in a browser, Qustodio is able to monitor all YouTube activity whether your child is using a browser or the YouTube app.
You can choose from two Family Protection Pass plans that allow you to monitor 5 or 20 devices simultaneously, depending on the plan you opt for. Net Nanny only offers annual plans, which start at $39.99 / year, and all plans include a 14-day money-back guarantee.
Net Nanny has an incredibly flexible web & app filter that scans websites your child visits in real-time and is able to block all Android apps. It also has screen time management and YouTube monitoring features, but they’re not quite as functional as the same features offered by Qustodio. Net Nanny has 3 annual plans and offers a 14-day money-back guarantee.
Read our full Net Nanny review
Eyezy — Good for Monitoring Your Kids’ Texts and Emails
Eyezy allows you to monitor your kids’ email and texts on Android, as well as their messaging apps, which is great if you have serious concerns about your children’s online interactions. Like mSpy, Eyezy also allows you to view everything on your kids’ phones without their knowledge.
You can also view their browsing history, including what sites they’re visited and when, all photos, videos, and apps on their Android device (via a feature called Files Finder), and you can even see available Wi-Fi networks and block those that look suspicious to you.
Eyezy has a screen recorder feature that snapshots your kid’s activity on messaging apps like Snapchat, and it has a keylogger that tracks and records your children’s keystrokes. What I found impressive is that Eyezy can alert you if your kid uses any keywords that you’ve flagged in the app.
Eyezy has decent web filtering — you can blacklist and whitelist apps, but you can’t filter by content categories, which is a lot easier. Competitors like Qustodio and Norton Family let you block and whitelist websites by categories.
Eyezy also requires jailbreaking your kid’s Android phone to use some of the features it offers, which isn’t safe, and it requires some technical knowledge. Another downside is that it takes a while for all the changes you’ve made in the parent app to take effect, which is a shame since most parental control apps apply all changes immediately.
Eyezy offers a mobile and a desktop plan that start at $7.99 / month, and only the desktop plan gives you full access to all features, which means you’ll have to log into your account on your Android from a browser. Unfortunately, it doesn’t have a free plan/trial, and there isn’t a money-back guarantee. Plus, you can only cover 1 device per subscription, which isn’t ideal if you have more than 1 kid.
Eyezy offers good monitoring options that give you full access to everything your kid is doing on their Android. You can view their browser history, photos, videos, and apps, and read the conversations they have on several social media apps. Eyezy has a mobile and a desktop plan, buty it doesn’t back its plans with a money-back guarantee.
Comparison of the Best Parental Control Apps for Android in 2023.
|Parental Control App||Starting Price||Web Filtering||Time Limits||App Filtering||Number of Devices||Money-Back Guarantee|
||$54.95 / year||✅||✅||✅||5 or Unlimited||30 days|
||$49.99 / year||✅||✅||✅||Unlimited||60 days|
||$5.00 / month||✅||❌||✅||Unlimited||❌|
||$10.99 / month||✅||✅||✅||5–10||7 days|
||$2.99 / month||✅||✅||✅||5-20||7 days|
||$22.99 / year||✅||✅||✅||Unlimited||30 days|
||$26.99 / month||✅||❌||❌||1-3||❌|
||$39.99 / year||✅||✅||✅||5–20||14 days|
||$7.99 / month||✅||❌||❌||1||❌|
How to Choose the Best Parental Control App for Android in 2023.
- Look for industry-standard parental controls. The parental control app should allow you to block apps and websites, limit screen time, and track your child’s location.
- Check for additional features. All parental control apps are different, and many have unique features to stand out from the competition. Good parental control apps will have useful features that go beyond standard monitoring. Qustodio has more extra features than any other parental control app on this list, including excellent YouTube monitoring, SMS monitoring, and a panic button.
- Test for ease of use. All of the parental control apps on this list have easy-to-use apps or web-based dashboards for Android that make managing your child’s online activities easy, even if you’re not the most tech-savvy person in the house.
- Choose a parental control app that provides good value. Look for features that meet your family’s needs and ensure it supports the number of devices you want to monitor. Qustodio and Norton Family both offer unlimited device monitoring.
Top Brands That Didn’t Make the Cut
- Google Family Link. Google Family Link is a free parental control app for Android and Chromebook, but its web filtering, screen time limits, and location tracking don’t work nearly as well as the top parental control apps for Android in 2023.
- KidLogger. KidLogger has an easy-to-use app for Android that allows you to monitor your child’s browser history, screen time, and messages, but it takes screenshots of your child’s screen, which is just too invasive.
- AirDroid. AirDroid provides pretty good app filtering, screen time management, and location tracking features, but it doesn’t include web filtering to keep your children from visiting mature or concerning websites on their Android device.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is the best parental control app for Android?
In my opinion, Qustodio is the best parental control app for Android in 2023 — it has excellent web and app filtering, screen time management, location tracking, and YouTube monitoring features, and it also provides in-depth activity reports.
Are there free parental control apps for Android?
Yes, there are free parental control apps, but they’re usually pretty limited. Free parental control apps might not have the features you need to effectively monitor your child’s Android device, and they could also sell your data to third parties.
I always recommend using a premium parental control app like Qustodio that includes all industry-standard features as well as extra features like YouTube monitoring and a panic button.
Can my child uninstall parental control apps from their Android device?
It depends on the parental control app — top parental control apps like Qustodio have uninstall protections that require your account password in order to delete the app on Android.
Bark, on the other hand, is unable to prevent your child from bypassing or disabling features. Your child can simply turn off Bark’s VPN, and access the web with no limits. Disabling Bark’s VPN is really easy, and your child can disable it with just 4-5 taps in the settings menu of their Android device.
Will my child know I’m monitoring their Android device?
Very likely, yes, and I think that’s a good thing — having open conversations with your child about how to be safe online is the only way to make sure they grow up with healthy online habits. Not many parental control apps will be able to monitor your child’s Android device in total secret, so it’s probably best to talk to them about why monitoring their device is necessary.