Best Free Parental Control App: Top 8 Best Parental Control Apps To Protect Your Kids From Dangerous Web

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Worried about your kids being on their phones all the time? These days, children have more access to digital technology than any other previous generation.

This is not bad because unrestricted internet use, beyond entertainment, enables children to build a wider range of digital skills. This is backed up by a report from UNICEF, a leading provider of developmental aid to children. 

However, as a parent, I am sure you must be questioning your kids’ online safety. This is why you should learn about how to monitor your children’s phones.

In this post, I decided to to write about some of the free parental control apps, as well as some paid spy apps I have tested. The former are mostly used for parental monitoring. The latter usually have more features allowing you to know exactly how your kids are using their phones.

I’ve compiled a list of 4 paid and 8 free parental control apps, which I tested:

  1. OpenDNS – Versatile app, offering fast, safe browsing with customizable content blocking and extensive device compatibility.
  2. KidLogger – Straightforward app for Android, Mac, and Windows devices, offering basic monitoring of device usage, calls, and texts.
  3. Spyrix Keylogger – Best parental control app with multilanguage support providing remote monitoring, screenshot capturing, device usage tracking, and enhanced features with paid tiers, available on PC and Mac.
  4. Screen Time – Intuitive solution with features like usage monitoring, app control, and location tracking for fostering responsible digital habits, optimal on Android devices.
  5. Parental Control – Screen Time & Location Tracker – Offering features like web filtering, app management, and location tracking, with additional premium tools for responsible internet use.
  6. Google Family Link for Parents – Free parental control app enabling remote access and monitoring of kids’ online activity, app approval, location tracking, and spotlighting of educational content.
  7. Kids Place – Parental Control – Creates a secure environment for kids with selective app access, screen time tracking, and safe browsing, with enhanced stealth features in Premium.
  8. Nintendo Switch Parental Controls – Control gaming time, restrict access to violent games, and track game interests, with a limited screen time control feature.
  9. mSpy – Comprehensive parental control app offering call logs, message tracking, geofencing, app usage control, and content blocking, compatible with iOS and Android.
  10. Famisafe – Offering app usage tracking, internet limiting, website history viewing, cyberbullying detection, and location tracking services for Android and iOS.
  11. uMobix – Overall best parental control app; comes with an invisibility feature, offering comprehensive monitoring of device activity, social media, and location tracking for Android and iOS.
  12. Qustodio  – Intuitive parental control app that offers robust monitoring, web filtering, screen time control, social media tracking, and an SOS feature for Android.

Great Free Parental Control Apps That Stand Out Among The Rest

These parental control apps allow you to manage or even block specific features to better control your kids’ online activity.

I have tested each of these free parental control apps and paid spy app alternatives to ensure that they are indeed the best solutions.



OpenDNS is a solid all-around web filtration free parental control app that blocks phishing websites. Children aren’t really conscious of downloading files from suspicious websites. This makes them susceptible to phishing scams, according to Internet Matters, a team of parents and online safety experts working to ensure children’s online safety.

That’s why I decided to test OpenDNS. It has 50 different web filtration categories, so parents can block a lot of parts of the internet from their children to access. For this alone, it’s definitely one of the best parental control apps out there.

OpenDNS helps websites that are deemed safe load faster. It cuts down on the delay between resolving a domain name and getting the IP address so your kids can have with a seamless online experience. 

OpenDNS has two free versions: OpenDNS Home and OpenDNS Family.

After testing both OpenDNS Home and OpenDNS Family, the only difference I found was that the latter comes pre-configured to block adult content. Both tiers provide free email support. 

The VIP Home package is a paid tier and it offers more functionality. You can use VIP Home to track online activities for a year and restrict access to specific white-listed domains, providing your kids with a closed and safe online environment. 

The Prosumer version is more expensive and can be used by up to five users. After getting it, you will obtain built-in protection from malicious malware domains. 

Once you set up the OpenDNS free parental control app, it will automatically protect your laptop, smart devices, and game consoles. It offers great cross-platform compatibility and it works on PS4, XBOX1, WiiU, Kindle devices, Apple TV, in addition to Android and iOS devices.

This parental control app comes with a guide, which makes it easy to set it up and is quite reliable.

However, if you use a free plan, you will be seeing Google ads on your OpenDNS web page. The ads will disappear once you upgrade to the premium app tier. Apart from that, this is definitely one of the best parental control apps I tested.

50 different web filtration categories.Ads on free plans.
Helps safe websites load faster.Requires paid subscription to remove ads.
Known for its reliability.

Get it here: OpenDNS



If you’re looking for a basic and simple parental control app, check this one out. The free version is designed to monitor up to five devices and keeps the log history for nine days. It’s available on Android, Mac, and Windows devices. 

On Android devices, you’ll be able to monitor your child’s online activity while they’re browsing. You can limit the time spent on games, gain access to SMS, monitor calls, and block certain applications. 

If your child has a Windows device, you can record Skype chats and monitor who is using the device upon startup. You can also set your Mac device to take a screenshot if the person using the device types a predefined keyword. 

Paying for the Standard and Premium services provides you with bigger disk space and keeps the log history for 30 and 60 days, respectively. 

The Premium service allows you to monitor 10 devices at the same time. However, the Standard version isn’t available for Android devices

Compared to other parental control apps, KidLogger seems a bit outdated. While its features are great, its UI could be modernized compared to the other parental control apps I tested.

It doesn’t limit your kid’s access to dangerous websites, but you can set predefined specific keywords, and this parental control app will take a screenshot of the screen or block the website when this keyword is typed. Moreover, you can’t limit screen time which is one of the key features of a parental control app.

User-friendly UI.Doesn’t block access to unsafe websites.
Provides keyword-triggered screenshots on certain platforms.Doesn’t have screen time limit.
User interface may seem less modern.

Check it out here: KidLogger

Spyrix Keylogger for PC

Spyrix keylogger homepage

The Spyrix Keylogger is a comprehensive application that offers a variety of services, from recording keystrokes to taking screenshots.

This software is more than just a keylogger, though. It also offers more advanced features that allow seamless and holistic monitoring. I found out it can take screenshots of the programs that are active on your child’s PC at specified intervals, giving you a visual overview of their activities.

Spyrix offers a free version, exclusively for Windows users, known as the Spyrix Free Keylogger. This free app offers a variety of features that are sufficient for basic parental monitoring, including remote monitoring via a secure web account.

Additionally, the software can track a child’s device usage by recording the overall time the computer is used, as well as active and inactive periods. This can help you to understand how your child is using their device.

If you’re looking for more extensive parental control features, you can pay for the Spyrix Personal Monitor version, which allows you to access social media activities on Facebook, Twitter, Whatsapp, etc. 

The Spyrix Personal Monitor gives parents the ability to record the webcam, view users’ activities in real time, monitor the microphone, block websites by category and much more.

The Spyrix software is available for Windows, and Mac users. But you can remotely access the recorded data from any device via your secured web account. 

I personally tested Spyrix Personal Monitor to track my brother’s online conversations, and I can say that it is a powerful tool for detecting cyberbullying in games and apps. This way, you can take swift action to protect your child. 

Remote activity monitoring and app uninstall.Antivirus software may flag it.
Offered in a wide range of languages.No money-back guarantee for Premium version.
Helps identify potential cyberbullying.

Give it a try here: Spyrix

Screen Time

Screen Time

Too much internet usage can lead to internet addiction according to the Center for Parenting Education, a non-profit dedicated to helping parents raise emotionally healthy children.

The Screen Time parental control solution allows you to control the time your kids are spending online. A feature that really stood out when I tested this app was the ability to pause my kid’s device instantly, so they can get on time to the dinner table or out for school. I haven’t found a similar feature in any other app I tested, so it’s definitely a big plus!

The Free version allows you to keep an eye on app usage and will send daily reports. However, it’s more suitable for Android users as you can monitor YouTube, social media activity, and URLs visited. 

The Premium version allows disabling the device for homework and sleep time, so your kids won’t be able to use their device, even when you’re not around. 

At the same time, you can use Screen Time to encourage positive habits by allowing more usage when they finish their homework on time. Some features, like disabling apps, accessing web history, and search history, are only available for Android users. 

The Geo-Tracking and Geo-Fencing parental control features allow you to locate your child at all times. It’s available for PCs, Kindle, Android, and iOS. The Premium version of Screen Time gives you a seven-day free trial. 

Geo-Tracking, Geo-FencingFree version lacks some important features.
Can be used to reward good behavior with more screen time.Some features are available on Android only.
Free version sends daily reports and monitors app usage.

Give it a try here: Screen Time

Parental Control – Screen Time & Location Tracker

Parental Control - Screen Time & Location Tracker

This is the mobile version of Screen Time that you can use on any Android phone. It’s also available for iOS phones, Android tablets, and iPads. 

It offers such a parental control feature as web filtering that allows you to control the time your kids are likely to spend browsing the internet or playing online games. 

Using your device, you can block apps on your kid’s device and approve app downloads. Out of everything this parental control app has to offer, the homework and tasks feature really stood out during my testing. Basically, with this option, you encourage healthy usage of the internet because you can allow extra screen time when your kid finishes their homework and other chores. 

The Free version will notify you when your kid is trying to install a new app, in addition to allowing you to see which videos your kids are watching. You can upgrade to the Premium version to get more parental control tools such as accurately determining your children’s location, and allowing or preventing all websites according to pre-set categories. 

You will also receive a daily summary of your children’s activity. Purchasing the Premium version will grant you 7 days of a free trial. 

Certain apps blockage.Free version offers limited functionalities.
Offers extra screen time as a reward for good behavior.
Provides daily summaries of online activities.

Download it here: Parental Control – Screen Time & Location Tracker

Google Family Link For Parents

Google Family Link For Parents

Google Family Link is an excellent free parental control app that allows you to monitor your kids’ online activity when they’re using Google. 

It’s one of the top free parental control apps on our list.

You can access your kid’s device remotely, and receive daily, weekly, or monthly reports to see the websites they’re visiting, in addition to their overall online time spent. 

It’s a practical free parental control app that approves or blocks the apps that your child is trying to download from the Google Play Store. Plus, this app comes with location tracking. As long as your kid is using their Android device, you will be able to track their location. I tested this out on my kid’s Android phone, and I was, indeed, able to track their location at any point.

At the same time, this parental control app won’t bother your kids because they won’t need permission to receive updates to the games and apps you’ve previously approved. 

If you live in the U.S., the app will help highlight teacher-recommended apps that will help feed their curiosity with useful content, under your supervision. 

This app doesn’t offer text or call parental control features. Moreover, it doesn’t offer Geo-Fencing and other advanced features. 

Downloaded apps monitoring.No text or call monitoring.
Provides daily, weekly, or monthly activity reports.No Geo-Fencing.
Highlights teacher-recommended apps with educational content (U.S. only).

Get it here: Google Family Link For Parents

Kids Place – Parental Control

Kids Place - Parental Control

Kids Place allows you to create a safe online environment, which your child can safely navigate without being exposed to inappropriate content. Your kids will be able to have fun in the safest way, as you monitor their online activity.

If you’re lending your phone to your kids, the Kids Place free parental control app can be used to limit access to specific apps, while allowing access to the apps and games you find appropriate. This is a pretty neat feature, and when I tested it out, it worked great. My niece wanted to play a game on my phone, so I used this parental control app to limit access to my social media apps.

You can also use it to prevent your kids from buying credits for games without your consent. This is a much more common occurrence than you might expect. According to a survey by Lending Tree, an online lending marketplace, 46% of parents have caught their kids using their cards without asking.

Kids won’t be able to access public Wi-Fi for more safety, and you can also monitor their online screen time

Even if you’re worried that your kids are too smart and might delete this parental control app, you can rest assured because they won’t be able to do that after you have set a secret password. 

Upgrading to the Premium version allows you to change the name of the parental control app and run it in the background without being noticed by your kids. 

This is an excellent feature to prevent your kids from feeling monitored or too controlled. It’s available for Android phones and tablets.

You need to have access to your child’s device to make the necessary changes. Kids Place offers limited monitoring features compared to other parental control apps. 

Specific apps access limiting.Requires physical access to target device.
Blocks buying in-game credits.Offers fewer control features compared to other parental control apps.
Premium version can be hidden on target device.

Get it here: Kids Place – Parental Control

Nintendo Switch Parental Controls

Nintendo Switch Parent Control

Nintendo Switch Parental Controls is a free parental control app that allows you to monitor the time your kid is spending playing games and can even suspend playing when the time limit is reached. 

The app works with the Nintendo console to help you monitor the games played by your kid, so you can see what interests them the most. 

Admittedly, I wanted to ensure that my kids weren’t playing any violent games on their new Nintendo Switch. So a parental control app was necessary. If you’re worried about your kid playing these games, you can restrict access to them and other console features. 

You can also activate a warning feature to notify your kid before the game is suspended, so they can have time to save the last played game. However, the PIN is displayed, so kids can still change it to gain access to forbidden features. 

Also, it does not offer the screen time control feature.

Suspends playing games when a set limit is reached.PIN is displayed, allowing to change it and gain access to restricted features.
Enables access restriction on violent games and other features.No screen time control features.
Notifies the player before the game is suspended.

Check it out here: Nintendo Switch Parental Controls

More Features With Premium Parental Control Apps

These parental control apps aren’t free, but they’re totally worth the price, thanks to their amazing features. I’ve thoroughly tested several parental control software before, and these are the apps that truly stand out from the bunch.


mSpy Phone Tracker

The mSpy  parental control app has everything you need in order to monitor and control your child’s device activity. I have tested mSpy before, and I still use it today as it’s one of my favorite parental control apps.

It can see all call logs, read emails and instant messages, access photo and video files, and view browsing history. You can also use this parental control app for location tracking and to set up geofencing, which imposes restrictions based on location.

If you’re worried that your child may be accessing inappropriate apps or websites, you can easily block them from doing so with just one click. You can even restrict app usage during specific hours of the day.

This parental control app is available on all iOS and Android devices, regardless if they’re not jailbroken or rooted. You can check to see if your target device is compatible here. As long as the device is connected to the internet, you’ll be able to access all data via your online mSpy dashboard.

There are two plans available, the Basic Plan and the Premium Plan, both of which can be availed on a monthly, quarterly, or annual basis. 

If you want to use mSpy on more than one device at a time, you can also avail of the Family Kit package, which allows installation on up to three devices.

Take a look at it here:

Call logs, emails, instant messages, photos/videos, and browsing history monitoring.Plans are quite expensive.
Includes geo restrictions setup for the device’s usage.Requires extra payment to use on more than one device.
Enables blocking of apps and websites and app usage restriction during certain hours.

You can also take a look at mSpy alternatives, both free and paid.


Nintendo Switch Parental Controls

The Famisafe  parental control app will help you track the time your kid spends using specific apps, in addition to installed and deleted apps. 

You can also block specific apps, and set limits to allow your kid to use the internet safely. Although you can limit screen time, you can also allow your kid to use the internet for a little more when they finish their homework tasks. 

It will give you permission to view the history of websites visited, so you can block inappropriate websites. Moreover, you will be able to read suspicious texts and check social media activity

This way, you can learn if your child is sharing harmful content, or if they’re having suicidal thoughts. Plus, you can find out if your kid is being subjected to some kind of cyberbullying. You can learn more about what classifies as cyberbullying on, a non-profit organization helping people who learn and think differently thrive. 

You will also receive alerts when your kid has accessed any porn photos. Knowing the whereabouts of your kid is easy, as the location tracking and fencing services will allow you to know where they are. You can connect all devices using the Famisafe dashboard

There are monthly, quarterly, and yearly subscription plans. This parental control app is available for Android and iOS devices. But, after testing it on my iPhone, I noticed that the features are rather limited compared to Android.

App usage, installed/removed apps, web history tracking.iOS functionality is restricted.
Allows blocking apps and websites, setting time limits, and activity alerts.
Has Geofencing.


uMobix home page

When it comes to ease of installation, affordability, and ease of use, uMobix is a fantastic option. 

I always waffle back and forth between recommending uMobix and mSpy as the best parental control app. I’ve tested both apps and their alternatives numerous times, and I have to say that they’re equally amazing feature-wise, with uMobix having the upper hand price-wise.

In my opinion, uMobix is the best parental control app, allowing parents to know what their children are up to without them knowing. It has an invisibility feature that hides the app icon from the home screen and prevents uninstallation.

More than that, it has a wealth of features you can use to keep your children safe.

For example, one of uMobix’s primary features is that you can monitor the target device’s digital activities. In the uMobix dashboard, you can see the target device’s text messages, contacts, call logs, browser history, calendar, apps, and even email. This allows you to stay up-to-date about your children’s life.

In addition to this, you can also monitor all of their activities on popular social media sites such as Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. It’s one of the best Instagram spying apps according to our research.

Most of our children’s socializing is online, so there will undoubtedly be lots of things happening there, and not all of it is necessarily good.

Lastly, uMobix features a strong GPS location tracking function that will let you know where the target device is at all times. With this feature, you won’t ever have to worry about not knowing where your children are, ever again.

All-in-all, this is a parental control app that is easy to install, easy to use, and runs on all kinds of Android and iOS devices. Prices start at $29.99 a month for both platforms. If you want to learn more, check out our review here.

Digital activities, social media interactions monitoring.Extensive monitoring might raise privacy concerns.
Includes GPS location tracking.
Hides the app icon from the home screen.



This parental control app has a free tier for iPhone and Android devices. There is a catch, however. Once I downloaded the free version, I found thatthe app limits access to a single device and keeps data for just seven days.

Regardless, one of the best things about it is that it’s an intuitive free parental control app that you can use to watch your kids, even if you’re not tech-savvy.

Qustodio is compatible with several platforms; Android, iOS, Mac OS X, Windows, and Kindle, and this makes it a versatile app that you can use on any phone, laptop, or tablet. I personally tested it on my Android phone and my Windows PC, and it was one of the best free parental control apps I’ve used.

One of the things you can do is to see the content your little one is browsing. You can also block specific content that you deem to be unsafe, so you can rest assured while your child is exploring the web. If you sign up for the Premium tier, you’ll be able to do even more.

The Premium tier of this parental control app will allow you to limit screen time, monitor time spent on social media platforms, and block specific games. You will also have access to phone calls, read SMS, and activate the family locator.

One of the best features of Qustodio is that it takes only a few minutes to get started.

Due to its high compatibility, it offers cross-platform support and can block ads on the majority of mobile devices and computers.

However, you should know that there are some limitations since the SOS button is only activated on Android devices. On top of that, the premium version of this parental control app is a bit too expensive compared to some of the other free parental control apps I tested. 

User-friendly interface, suitable for less tech-savvy parents.SOS button feature only on Android.
High compatibility across multiple platforms.No money-back guarantee for premium version.
Extra premium features like screen time limiting, game blocking, family locator.

Free Parental Control Apps Comparison Table

For your convenience, I have compiled a table with the free parental control apps I reviewed.

NameKey FeaturesCons
Comprehensive web filtration categories
1. Extensive web filtering and phishing protection
2. Enhanced website loading speed
3. Pre-configured adult content blocking
4. White-list domain restrictions (VIP)
5. Wide-ranging device compatibility
Google ads in free version
Keyword-triggered screenshot capture
1. Simple, user-friendly interface
2. Activity monitoring across platforms
3. Call and SMS tracking on Android
4. Skype chat recording on Windows
5. Customizable keyword-triggered actions
Can’t limit screen time
Spyrix Keylogger
Stealthy remote monitoring capabilities
1. Undetectable remote monitoring features
2. Keystrokes monitoring
3. Device usage tracking
4. Capture screenshots
5. Remote uninstallation
The free Keylogger plan is limited to Windows
Screen Time
Encourage positive habits with rewards
1. Control and monitor screen time effectively
2. Disable device during homework/sleep time
3. Encourage positive habits with reward system
4. Geo-Tracking and Geo-Fencing for child safety
5. Comprehensive daily reports on app usage
Limited features for iOS users
Parental Control – Screen Time & Location Tracker
Accurate location tracking and monitoring
1. Web filtering and app control
2. Encourages healthy internet usage
3. Monitors video watching habits
4. Accurate location tracking
5. Daily activity summary and reports
More features require Premium upgrade
Google Family Link For Parents
Remote app approval and blocking
1. Monitor online activity with detailed reports
2. Approve or block app downloads remotely
3. Real-time location tracking on Android devices
4. Automatic updates for previously approved apps
5. Access to teacher-recommended educational content
No text or call monitoring
Kids Place – Parental Control
Prevent public Wi-Fi access
1. Create customized safe online environment
2. Restrict access to specific apps and games
3. Monitor online screen time and Wi-Fi access
4. Password-protected app deletion prevention
5. Stealth mode in Premium version
Limited parental control features
Nintendo Switch Parental Controls
Track games played and interests
1. Monitor gaming time and auto-suspend
2. Track and analyze games played
3. Restrict access to violent games
4. Activate pre-suspension warning feature
5. Control console features access
Lacks screen time control
Efficient screen time management
1. Intuitive, user-friendly interface
2. Multi-platform support and versatility
3. Effective content filtering and blocking
4. Advanced screen time and app controls
5. Robust call, SMS, and location monitoring
SOS button Android-only

Best Free Parental Control App for iPhone and Android: What’s Your Choice?

Have you enjoyed this list? These parental apps will help you detect and control your kids’ online activity to guarantee their safety. 

My list of the best parental control apps for iPhone and Android offers multiple parental apps, so you can pick the right one for your kid’s most used device.

If you need more paid and free parental control apps that work on mobile, check our posts with top cell phone spy apps for Android and iPhone.

Let us know what you think of our list!

About The Authors

  • Michael Duong

    Tech editor and senior writer Michael Duong is passionate about technology and innovation. He codes open-source projects and plays quiz games in his free time. An expert in his field and an avid learner, always seeking to expand his knowledge and skills in the ever-evolving world of technology. His specialization is mobile security and mobile data safety. Follow Michael on Twitter and Github.

    View all posts
  • Mubarak Akingbolu

    Meet Mubarak, a tech enthusiast since childhood who turned his passion into a career. Mubarak possesses a Bachelor's Degree in Computer Science and specializes in tech and marketing. Mubarak's writing journey began early, and he has honed his skills as a technical writer with contributions to platforms like Hacker Noon and Geeky. Combining his knowledge and love for technology, he creates engaging user guides and product reviews to help others navigate the tech landscape. Beyond tech, he enjoys learning new stuff online. Follow him on LinkedIn and Twitter.

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  • Adam Hughes

    Adam Hughes is a senior technical editor who holds a Ph.D. in computational chemistry and has a passion for helping people make the most of technology. He has spent more than 25 years as an IT professional, from writing code and building systems to leading large teams of programmers and engineers. Along the way, Adam has written and edited hundreds of user guides, white papers, and architectural documents across a wide range of technologies and industries. Connect with Adam on LinkedIn.

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Michael Duong

Tech editor and senior writer Michael Duong is passionate about technology and innovation. He codes open-source projects and plays quiz games in his free time. An expert in his field and an avid learner, always seeking to expand his knowledge and skills in the ever-evolving world of technology. His specialization is mobile security and mobile data safety. Follow Michael on Twitter and Github.

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