What is Family Link?
Family Link is a service offered by Google that allows you to create Google accounts for children under the age of 13, which can be managed/monitored by the parent account.
Family Link has been the solution for Android devices for awhile now, and has recently expanded to include Chromebook users.
Sadly, the documentation is still a bit confusing, but luckily I’ve figured it out and have put together this quick and easy tutorial.
This process involves two parts:
1. Creating your child’s account using the Family Link app on your mobile device.
2. Setting up that account on the Chromebook.
Creating your child’s account
This part of the process requires a mobile device. Many Chromebooks actually support Android Apps, and if yours does you should be able to complete this step using your Chromebook. But if your Chromebook does not support Android Apps, you’ll need to get a hold of an Android phone/tablet or an iPhone/iPad for this first step.
Search the Play Store on Android, or the App Store on iOS for Family Link and download/install the app.
Follow the prompts in this app to create an account for your child. Make sure you sign into the app using the Google account you wish to use for managing the child account. Once you’ve done that, make a note of the username and password for the account.
Setting up your child’s account on your Chromebook
This step is just like adding any other account to your Chromebook. Power on your Chromebook, and instead of signing in to your account, click the Add Person button in the bottom-left corner.
You’ll need to enter the username and password, and once you’re finished, your child will now be able to sign into this Chromebook using the account you created for them in step 1.
You’re not done yet. Right now, your child could login as a Guest and circumvent your parental restrictions. They could also create a Google account without your knowledge, and add that account to the Chromebook (my kid tried this. She has an account at school and added that to the Chromebook and was logging into that account completely circumventing Family Link).
The good news is, you can disable guest mode, and the ability to add new users to the Chromebook.
Disabling Guest Mode and Add Person features on your Chromebook
To disable these two features, login to the main account on the Chromebook (the first account ever added to the Chromebook) and navigate to your settings by clicking on the time in the bottom-right corner and selecting the Settings gear icon.
Scroll down to the People section, and click on “Manage other people”
Here you will be able to turn off “Enable Guest browsing”, and turn on “Restrict sign-on to the following users:” and select the users you want to be able to sign in to the Chromebook.
Now your child will not be able to enter guest browsing, nor will they be able to sign in another account. Which means the only way they can use this Chromebook, is to sign-in to the new account that you created for them.
Check back soon for more information about how to manage your child’s account via the Family Link app.
Looking for a great Chromebook for your child? Check these out: