How to use parental controls in your Google, Apple and Microsoft
Depending on your particular mix of computers and gadgets, you probably use one or more Apple, Google, or Microsoft accounts, or maybe all three. In each case, the credentials you sign in with can also be used to manage the credentials of younger family members, limiting their screen time in apps and protecting them from inappropriate content. Here’s how to set it all up.
Apple’s one-stop-shop for managing family accounts is Family Sharing-In addition to yourself, you can add up to five other people, kids or others, and then share everything from Apple Music to purchased apps to iCloud storage. Children 13 and older can have their own Apple ID. For the younger ones, you can create and manage an Apple ID for them.
To get started with Family Sharing, open Settings on an iPhone or iPad, tap your Apple ID name, then choose Family Sharing and Configure your family. If you’re on a Mac, open System Preferences, then choose Family Sharing. Follow the instructions to invite people to your family or set up the necessary Apple IDs for your kids.
With your created family, services such as Apple TV Plus, Apple Music, Apple News Plus, and Apple Arcade are shared automatically if you subscribe to them. Any iCloud storage you’ve purchased is shared among family members, and Photos automatically creates a shared album that anyone can use. Most of this is effortless on your part – when your family members sign in to their Apple accounts, they’ll see the same apps and services available as you.
When it comes to looking after your kids, there are a few key tools that come with Family Sharing. You can search for their location on a map at any time. To do this, open the Find My app on iOS or macOS and select the people you want to share your location with. You can also make sure that the apps, movies, music, and other purchases your kids are trying to make go through you first: After tapping your Apple ID in Settings on iOS or opening System Preferences on macOS, choose Family Sharing then Ask to buy to set this up.
You can use the same Screen Time feature that tracks your own device usage to monitor what your kids are doing and set limits if needed. Open up Screen time from Settings on iOS or System Preferences on macOS, and as long as you have a Family Sharing plan in place, you’ll be able to select each of your kids and see what they’re doing and set up restrictions.