How to make Android child friendly

Apps and tweaks to improve Android's parental controls

Easy steps to making your Android tablet child-friendly

1. The Go Theme

A range of Android Launchers enable you to customise the look of Android. We still recommend Go Launcher EX that's free and install its Cartoon Theme as a starting point. This makes things a lot prettier and you can use its Preferences to increase the default icon size, but you'll need to reduce the Grid Size under Appearance to avoid them overlapping.

Get a new theme

Get a new theme

2. Lock down

Our main worry is to block access to all apps that we don't specify. As a matter of course you should fire up Google Play, press menu and select Settings. Make sure you enable Content filtering and add a PIN for purchases. Next grab App Lock it's free and will PIN or Pattern protect all the apps that you want it to.

Keep inquisitive hands away from troublesome apps

Keep inquisitive hands away from troublesome apps

3. Setting profiles

With the apps locked down, it's time to turn our attention to the internet, phone access and more. One option is to disable these within the Settings > Networks and lock Settings access. The alternative is to use something like Setting Profiles Lite, which offers a way of configuring a host of settings including data connections, sounds and notifications from a single place.

The Lite version only offers a single profile but that's enough. Tap Menu and New profile. Once you've given it a name you're able to control the wireless, data and volume settings amongst other things. With that created, make a rule about when those restrictions should apply - all day is one - and you can activate the profile via the status menu.

Quickly create profiles for different users

Quickly create profiles for different users

4. Safer browsing

Offering web access is a huge worry but finally there is a good safe-browsing solution in the form of Ranger Pro Safe Browser. It's free and quick to create a web account from which you can monitor and manage allowed web site content at We're surprised at just how comprehensive, customisable and secure the system actually is, though no system can be 100 percent foolproof unless you only use whitelisted sites and block everything else, which is as an option.

You shall not pass

Use the Ranger Pro browser