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How Can I Remotely Control My Child’s Phone (Tested 2022)

Published by Shauli Zacks on February 24, 2022

I’ve tried many different solutions over the past few years to control my kid’s phones remotely, but nothing worked for an extended period of time. My first idea was to turn off the Wi-Fi. This was effective but really annoying for everyone else in the house. The same could be said for changing the Wi-Fi password and only giving them the updated password when they finished their homework and chores.

I looked for a solution that made it easy to remote control my child’s phone without inconveniencing everyone else. That’s when I started testing parental control apps. After buying and installing over 20 apps, I determined that with an Instant Lock feature, powerful web filters, and time management tools, Norton Family gave me the best tools to remote control over my kid’s phone.

Best of all, you can try Norton Family for free for 30 days with its free trial, which means that no credit card or payment information is needed.

Try Norton Family – Free for 30 Days

Quick Guide: 3 Easy Steps to Control Your Child’s Cell Phone Remotely

  1. Create a parental control account: I recommend Norton Family, which gave me remote control over when the phone can be used and what websites the kids can visit.
  2. Download the app on your child’s device: Don’t skip the admin rights request, without it, the parental control feature won’t work correctly.
  3. Remote control your child’s phone: Log in to the parent dashboard. This is where you can lock your child’s cell phone, manage the web filter, and get reports on their online activities.

Try Norton Family today!

Is Google’s Family Link Good Enough?

I was hoping to find a free solution to my problems, and so the first app I tried was Google Family Link. I’d heard good things from friends, so I had pretty high expectations. Unfortunately, it didn’t take long for reality to set in.

Family Link doesn’t have any remote control tools to help monitor or restrict which websites kids can visit. While it seemed like it had the remote control screen time features I needed, it was very easy for my kids to find ways to get around the restrictions. After two weeks, I realized I needed a better solution, and so I uninstalled the app and started testing real parental control apps.

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How Can I Remote Control my Child’s Phone?

The easiest way to get remote control hold to your child’s phone is to download a parental control app. Before you can control your child’s phone, you will need to create a profile for each child and then download the app on the kid’s phone as well.

You’ll have to give the app admin rights on the phone, which prevents the child from disabling or deleting its features without permission.

After the app is installed and set up on the child’s phone, you can log in to the parent account from a mobile phone or desktop. Every app that I recommend below has a parent dashboard that acts as the nerve center for the monitoring. From there, you can remotely control which websites the child can visit by creating web filters that block websites based on the content of the text, images, and metadata.

This will also give you control over how much time your kids can be on the phone, either by setting a schedule or a daily time limit. The really good apps, like Norton Family, also have an Instant Lock option. This works much like a remote control for a TV, just press a button, and it will lock the device.

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The 3 Best Parental Control Apps for Controlling Your Kid’s Cell Phone Remotely

1. Norton Family – Complete Remote Control Feature to Monitor When Your Kids Can Use Their Phone

Key Features

  • Remotely control when and how long your kids can be on their phones
  • Instantly lock the phone from anywhere
  • Create comprehensive web filters
  • Kids can’t disable or block parental remote control feature
  • Free 30-day trial

I came away very impressed with the remote control capabilities of the Norton Family app. I used their free 30-day trial and tested it on my 16-year old’s Android phone. After installing the app on his phone, I was able to manage his phone from anywhere via the cloud-based parent dashboard.

The dashboard has a very intuitive layout, and in just a few clicks, I set up a daily and weekly schedule. It also has a Lock Now feature, which allows me to lock the device at any time and from anywhere instantly. There is an option for the kids to request more time, and I can accept or decline remotely, which is nice if he’s at a friend’s or I’m not at home when he needs the extension.

Norton Family also comes with a smart, customizable web filter that assigns every website into at least one of 47 categories. From the dashboard, I can block, warn, or allow my kids to visit the website based on its categories. I like that if my son believes that the webpage is appropriate, he can send a request, which instantly appears on my dashboard, and I can whitelist the page if I agree.

Norton Family comes with a special feature for remote learning. When activated, I can create a whitelist of the specific websites that my child needs for their homework, and everything else will be blocked. Using the remote schooling feature won’t count against their daily screen time use.

I like that there is one comprehensive subscription plan that includes unlimited child profiles and devices. What’s even better is that Norton Family has a 30-day free trial that you can get without having to give any payment or personal information. If you decide that this isn’t the right app for your family, the account will automatically switch to the basic free plan without you having to do anything.

Try Norton Family – Free for 30 Days!

2. Qustodio – Create Powerful Web Filters Remotely from the Parent Dashboard

Key Features

I had a very good experience with Qustodio when I tested it out on my kids. After installing the app on their phones, I was able to control all the different monitoring features from my phone and computer.

I started out by creating individual web filters for each of my kids, giving my oldest son more freedom and stricter restrictions on the younger kids. Next, I set a daily screen time limit and created a usage schedule. Lastly, I enabled the location tracking to keep track of where they are with the click of a button.

I was also able to create different time limits for each app that is installed on the kids’ phones. I found this helpful because my daughter can spend hours on YouTube enjoying unlimited content, so I could limit that, but she could still view messages on WhatsApp or check her email.

I purchased the Small Plan, which includes protection for five devices, and installed it on a Windows computer and 3 Android devices. It came with a 30-day money-back guarantee, which I tested by requesting a refund after two weeks. I sent an email to the customer support team, and within 5 days, I received a full refund.

Try Qustodio for Free for 30 Days!

3. mSpy: Complete Remote Control Over Every Action Completed on the Device

Key Features

  • Block Wi-Fi connection to specific networks
  • Control which apps can be used from anywhere
  • Create a blacklist of websites you don’t want your child to visit
  • 30-day money-back guarantee

While mSpy is best known as a phone tracker that monitors every keystroke, phone call, and text message, it also has powerful remote control features for parents.

One of the most unique remote control features I’ve seen is the Block Wi-Fi option. It’s useful if you want to block your child from connecting to a Wi-Fi network somewhere specific. For example, when they’re visiting grandparents or friends, and you prefer they don’t spend the entire day staring at the phone. You can block the Wi-Fi connection remotely, and the phone will lose its internet connection until you remove the block.

mSpy creates a list of every app that is installed on the device, and you can block it from anywhere through the parental dashboard. Just click on the Block Apps section of the dashboard and block as many apps as you want. When you’re ready for your child to use their apps again, you can remove the block.

While mSpy doesn’t have a content filter, it does give you the option of creating a blacklist of websites to block. Enter the URL under the Block Website section, and if your child tries to visit the website, they will see an error message that the site couldn’t be reached.

In addition to controlling the phone remotely, mSpy gives you remote insights to everything that happens on the device. You can track all your child’s interactions on social media, see what website they visit, who they’re talking with, and track the phone’s GPS.

mSpy has 3 subscription options, all offering the same remote control features for a single device. They only differ in the length of the contract, as you can subscribe for 1, 3, or 12 months. While mSpy has a 30-day money-back guarantee, it reserves the right to try and fix any issues or problems you’re having before you cancel the account.

Try mSpy with a 30-Day Money-Back Guarantee

How to Turn Kids’ Phones Off at Night (or Anytime, Really)?

I’ve reached the age where I go to sleep before some of my kids. This made it even more important that I found a way to turn off their phone remotely; otherwise, they’d never go to sleep.

I found that there are two ways that the Norton Family app gave me control over when my kids can be on their phones.

  1. Create a Schedule: Norton Family has two screen time management tools, allowing me to create a daily or weekly screen time schedule. This gave me the flexibility to shut down the phone during school hours, homework time, dinner, and bedtime, while also setting an overall time limit. .
  2. Instant Lock: This is a great feature for shutting down the phone at any time. This way I was able to shut down the phone for any reason, and it can be done from anywhere.

Get control over your kid’s phone with Norton Family

Get a Remote Control on Your Child’s Cell Phone

There are many benefits to having remote control hold over your kid’s cell phones. It gives them the freedom to use their phones, but you can still stay in control without constantly bugging them about when to get off the phone or letting you know what websites they’re visiting.

Norton Family proved to be the best option throughout my testing process, with an Instant Lock feature, flexible screen time management tools, and a web filter the kids couldn’t get past. Don’t take my word for it, you can try Norton Family for yourself for 30 days with its free trial, and see how it works for your family.

Try Norton Family Free for 30 Days!

Summary — The Best Parental Control Apps to Control Your Kid’s Mobile Phone in 2022

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