As a parent, it’s essential to know what your kids are doing on their phones. But it can be challenging to keep tabs on what your children are downloading and using on their Android phones or tablets.
On the other hand, you may want to block apps you’ve already got from auto-updating or sending unwanted notifications.
Luckily, blocking apps on Android is quick and straightforward to do.
How to block apps:
How To Block Android Apps Via The Play Store
Most individuals that want to block apps from being downloaded are concerned about what their children are downloading and using.
You’ll need to block or restrict download access via Android’s Google Play Store to negate the possibility of your children downloading unwanted apps.
To block these apps, you need to follow these steps:
- Click on the Google Play Store app to launch it.
- Click your profile icon to open the drop-down menu. You should see a small, rounded icon at the top right-hand corner of the homepage. This is your profile icon.
- Once the drop-down menu is open, find and click the Settings tab.
- Under the Settings menu, find and click the Parental Controls tab. This will toggle parental controls and restrictions on your app store.
- The app will prompt you to create a pin. This pin will only allow those who have it to access the parental control settings and change them.
- Type in an easy-to-remember pin and click OK. The app will prompt you once more to re-type your pin. Put it in again and click OK.
- Once your pin is set up, the app should open a menu under the Parental Controls tab. Find and click the Apps & Games button.
- In this new settings window, you will be prompted to choose an age limit for apps and games. The age limit you choose will restrict apps and games over this limit from being downloaded.
- Click Save to lock in your settings.
It’s important to remember that while you can restrict apps and games from being downloaded using this technique, any existing apps and games that have already been downloaded will still be available.
These apps will be available regardless of the app’s age restriction.
To remove these apps from your phone, you can take these additional steps:
- Go back to the homepage of the Google Play Store.
- Click on your profile icon.
- When the drop-down menu opens, click My Apps & Games. This will open the complete list of apps that are already downloaded and installed on your mobile device.
- Uninstall the ones you don’t want to keep.
How To Block Android Apps Via Google Family Link
Google Family Link is an application that is installed on both the parent’s and child’s phones.
This app allows parents to remotely control app downloads and block or restrict certain apps from being installed on their child’s phone.
To block apps using Google Family Link, you can follow these steps:
- Launch Google Play Store.
- In the search bar positioned at the top of the home screen, type in ‘Google Family Link’ and hit search.
- Click on the app and tap the Install button to begin downloading and installing the app. Note: It’s important to repeat this process on your child’s device. The app must be installed on both the parent’s and child’s phones to work.
- Launch the app and sign in using your Google account. Repeat this step on your child’s phone and sign in using their Google account as well.
- On the parent app, follow the prompts to set up one or multiple accounts for your child or children. This will link your parent app to theirs.
- Once you’ve completed the set-up process for each child, go to the app’s main page. Locate the icon with three horizontal lines positioned at the top left corner of your screen. Click this icon.
- A drop-down menu should appear with a list of each account you’ve linked. Click on the account that you want to change.
- A new menu should open under your child’s account name. Find and click the Manage Settings tab.
- Scroll down to the Settings tab and click the Manage button underneath it.
- Choose Google Play from the drop-down list. On some phones, the Google Play settings may already be open.
- Under the Content Restrictions tab, click on Apps & Games.
- Choose the age limit for the apps you want to allow on your child’s device.
Remember to completely exit your app. It’s also important to note that, like the previous method, any pre-existing apps and games that were already installed on your child’s device will still be available to them.
You can uninstall these apps using the same method as before, but by doing it on your child’s device.
How To Block Apps From Updating On Android
When apps update, they can use a significant chunk of your data. In some cases, newer versions of apps are incompatible with some phones.
To block apps from auto-updating, you can follow these steps:
- Launch Google Play Store.
- Click your profile icon.
- Click on Settings.
- Find and select the Network Preferences tab. A drop-down menu should appear.
- Click on the Auto-Update Apps button.
- Under the new menu, select ‘Don’t auto-update apps.’
- If you don’t want to block apps from updating completely but instead want to restrict the updates, click ‘Over Wi-Fi only.’ This will stop apps from auto-downloading using your network data from depleting when you aren’t connected to the Wi-Fi.
When using this method, you may need to remember to manually update your apps from time to time.
You can do this by clicking your profile icon in the Play Store and selecting the My Apps & Games tab. Click on the application you want to update and tap the Update button.
How To Block Android App Notifications
In some cases, you may use some apps more than others. You may want to avoid pop-up notifications from your least-used apps when this happens.
Alternatively, some apps send way too many notifications, which can be disruptive and annoying.
If you want to block apps from sending notifications to your phone, you can take these steps:
- On your phone’s home screen, pull your finger down from the top of the screen. This will open a small menu. At the top of the menu will be a small cog icon which is your Settings. Alternatively, you can navigate to the Settings icon on your phone’s home or app screen.
- Scroll down until you see the Apps button. Click this button to open the apps menu. On some devices, the button may be called Apps & Notifications.
- Click on the application you want to block the notifications for. You can repeat the following steps for as many apps as you want to restrict.
- Find and click the Notifications tab under the app’s menu. There should be a button saying ‘All [app name] notifications.’ Click this button to switch the notifications off. On some Android models, the button may be labeled differently (Block notifications, turn off notifications, or block all are the most common alternatives).