Chromebooks just got tighter parental controls including screen time limits

Google has introduced new features to Chromebooks to allow parents to be able to limit the time their kids are spending using the devices.

Google’s parental control app, Family Link – originally crafted for Android devices – was introduced to Chromebooks a few months back, and now has added functionality in the ability to set screen time limits for kids, dictating how long the laptop can be used.

Bedtime hours can also be specified, meaning that the Chromebook can’t be used past a certain time at night. These settings only apply to the child’s account.

During these off-times, when they try to sign in, kids will be reminded to ‘take a break’, and will be informed of the time at which their Chromebook will be usable again.

All of which should help parents manage their offspring’s Chromebook usage to a greater degree, and ensure an unhealthy amount of time isn’t being spent staring at notebook screens.

App activities

Further benefits include the ability to manage which Android apps are available to download from Google’s Play store (on supported Chromebooks), and activity reports that show parents which apps their children are using the most (and exactly how much time is spent on each).

Note that Family Link already had the ability to block certain websites and police the web surfing of youngsters.

Google is asking for further ideas or feedback for ways in which to develop the Family Link software going forward, so feel free to inform the company of your thoughts and suggestions via its feedback form.

Via 9 to 5 Google

Darren is a freelancer writing news and features for TechRadar (and occasionally T3) across a broad range of computing topics including CPUs, GPUs, various other hardware, VPNs, antivirus and more. He has written about tech for the best part of three decades, and writes books in his spare time (his debut novel - 'I Know What You Did Last Supper' - was published by Hachette UK in 2013).