• Nathanael Hills

Monitoring and Controlling Device Time

Updated: Jul 1, 2019

As parents, we’ve got the responsibility of teaching our kids how to manage their device time responsibly. This covers not only what they’re doing on the device but how long they’re on there too. I know for my kids that they can get very absorbed in what they’re doing and lose track of time. In cases like this, we need to set hard limits. But if your life is as busy as mine, it’s easy to lose track ourselves of how long they’ve been on there. Today, I want to go over ways that Google, Apple, and Microsoft can help you with managing content and time limits.


Google has family link, which is a resource that allows families to manage and monitor what is happening on android phones and tablets, Chrome, Google apps, and Chrome Books. This includes things such as:

  • Restricting content (e.g. limiting Apps, TV shows and Movie ratings, music and books etc)

  • Applying filters to websites within Google Chrome, such as blocking mature sites or only allowing certain sites.

  • Enforcing Safe Search

  • Setting daily time limits for devices, after which the device will be locked

  • Setting bedtimes, during which devices will be locked.

Link to find out more: https://families.google.com/families


Apple has its own family controls that work over the iPhone, iPad, Mac, Apple Watch, and Apple TV. This includes things such as:

  • Tracking app usage

  • Setting time limits, after which the device will be locked

  • Setting downtime, like bedtime, when apps and notifications are blocked.

  • Choose what apps can be used

  • Restrict what can be viewed in the app store.

  • Restricting content to things such as apps, TV shows, movies, books, etc

Link to find out more https://www.apple.com/families/


Like both Google and Apple, Microsoft have their family group. Microsoft’s offering does not just work on Windows, but also on Android if you’re using the Microsoft Launcher. Some of the capabilities are:

  • Tracking app usage

  • Set screen time limits

  • Restrict what content can be accessed on Windows 10 or Xbox One

  • Require permission to purchase from the Microsoft store

  • See the kids location and app usage on Android

Link to find out more https://account.microsoft.com/family/about

It's worth noting that there are third party apps out there that can also assist with this, but I won't be covering them in this article.


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