The best free parental control software in 2024

Fact checked by Mike Dane
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Mike Dane


Western Sydney University

Privacy & Security, SEO, Software and Apps, Consumer Technology, Internet & Networking

Mike Dane is a renowned author and expert in the fields of technology and software development, hailing from Sydney, Australia. He received his education at Western Sydney University and has since used his knowledge and skills to make a significant impact on the technology industry. With a passion for making complex ideas easy to understand, Mike has written numerous books and articles on a wide range of topics, from coding best practices to cutting-edge trends in software design. His writing style is clear, engaging, and accessible to readers of all backgrounds, earning him a reputation as one of the most authoritative voices in the industry. Aside from his work as a writer, Mike is also an avid learner and self-taught programmer. He started coding at the age of 12 and has since been passionate about teaching others the skills he has learned. In his free time, Mike enjoys hiking and exploring nature, as well as volunteering at local schools to teach kids about technology. Mike is also a sought-after speaker at technology conferences and events, where he shares his knowledge and insights with audiences around the world. Through his work, Mike has helped millions of people deepen their understanding of the technology that shapes their daily lives. With a commitment to lifelong learning and a desire to make a positive impact on the world, Mike is poised to continue making a significant contribution to the technology industry for years to come.

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Modern Kids are never going to be in a time where the entire world wasn't connected through the internet. The fact is that the new generation has been spending most of the time online when compared to anybody else, clearly much more than parents. If you have kids, you surely understand the issue with illegal, disturbing, and explicit websites and applications that you wouldn't want your kids to face. 

The free parental control software can to an extent help with managing some of the devices that the kids use every day. Before you begin imposing any limitations or restrictions on the kids, it's best to teach some of the ways you can get connected with your children how to use technology to the extreme and gain their confidence.

Some of the best parental software solutions do help in blocking unneeded web content, limiting screen times and restricting users from risky applications, and much more. These are one of the best ways by which you can keep the kids safer over mobile devices and your computer. 

Make sure that you are communicating well with the kids before going ahead with such options as it’s always welcomed that you also have respect for your children’s privacy. This is critical, as they can surely then go ahead and still find ways of going around any such protections, even though you have their best interest in mind. 

7 best free parental control app 

We can see tech addictions have been gradually increasing and becoming an issue and children must understand the value of better device habits. Today we shall take a look at some of the best parental control apps that you can try. 

Kaspersky Safe Kids (Free and Paid Version)

The second on our list for the best free parental control app for iPhone is Kaspersky Safe kids. Again they provide a free and paid version as well. With the free edition, there is also the blacklist that makes sure that the kids are prevented from viewing content online that’s inappropriate. Additionally, the application also provides controls that can help in managing the app as per the duration of use, age restriction, and category. Their tool for the management of screen time will help in overall control of the device usage.

Kaspersky Safe Kids

With the paid variant, some added features are mobile-specific. This includes a battery tracker, that helps you to view in case the phone is about to be dead. This can be very useful in understanding if the kids don't have a way to get in touch with you in case of an emergency. 

You also can keep an eye over the current location via GPS tracking and managing social media usage with alerts in real-time. One of the cons we noticed with the app was that it was taking a bit longer than normal to get into your account if you have a Windows account and the child has been using a PC with Windows 10. So keep that in mind!


As you can understand by the name, mSpy is also an interesting software that provides quality parental control features. The application will help you in looking at the activities being carried on your child's device. And all of this can be done by you making you're off your computer and smartphone, and they won't know about it. The activities do include live, text messages, calls, and locations as well.

You can also keep monitor of all of the social media apps like TikTok, Instagram, and much more. The application comes in two variants, the basic and the other is premium. Both of these applications are easily supporting all mobile devices like Android, and iPhone. One of the good features is that there isn’t a need for rooting. 

All you need to do is download the application and the app is ready for use. However, keep in mind that if you feel like monitoring messaging apps like WhatsApp and Messenger, there will be a need to root the target phone.

Otherwise, the only way by which your kids can know that you have installed the app is when you chose the option that says you would like the icon to be seen. If you don't go with that choice, nothing gets displayed or notified to the user. Once you complete the mSpy software installation on the target device, the icon hides automatically. 

Screen Time (Free and Paid Version)

Now Screen Time is one of the applications that’s mainly focused on monitoring behaviors and also limiting the time your kids spend over the screen. There is also a feature of app blocker and is one of the unique systems that will make sure that any unwanted app cannot get installed in the device in the first place.

Although Screen Time doesn't put a limit over the number of devices that you can go ahead with monitoring, one of the downsides is that there is no feature for location tracking, and is not able to filter websites. 

This is fifth on our list, and one of the best choices that you can go for if you strictly want to go for a free application. Just the fact that Google is the developer of the app, makes it reliable and also compels us to choose it over any other free applications available on the Play store today.


This can be a good device for being used for creating healthy digital habits. You also have the option of setting limits and also locking devices for managing your children's screen time. 

Google Family Link also helps in restricting the online purchases that one goes for through the amazing Play store!

Qustodio (Free to try) 

When we speak of parental control over mobile devices and computers, Qustodio is again amongst the ones that you will like a lot. One of the unique features of the application is that this one is also fairly easy to set up and you can also make use of the schedule for your kids when they are using the devices. There are options for customizing web filters. 

Once all of this gets prepared you can complete the installation over your kid's computer and phone, it silently works in the background. The app is well organized and cloud-based that can be accessed from any location.

One of the liked features that this app offers is creating rules for each app or game that’s present on your kid’s phone. This helps you in limiting the time they are spending over Instagram, Netflix, or YouTube. You can also increase the time of educational apps or the ones that they usually chat on as per convenience.

There are two monitoring tools that Qustodio comes with that can be also immensely helpful. One of them allows daily allowance to be set. For instance, it can be one hour per day and two hours over weekends. Next, you also have the option to keep the phone blocked the entire day, for instance during homework and school time or after kids' bedtime. 

Their web filter comes with 40 categories that allow website customization on what your child can visit. One of the downsides of Qustodio is that the free variant is very limited. The free version can only be used over one device and comes with fewer features. If you want you can try their money-back guarantee of 30 days as you will be able to see all of the features and with no risk. 

Bark (Free to try)

If you had been in search of a cell phone parental control app that's cheap and also provides you with quality monitoring of kids' activities over social media, Bark is the one to go for. You can see the app as one of the safety measures for your kids, similar to how you will like them to keep wearing helmets when they are riding their bikes.

You will also be wanted to provide your children with the right protection while they begin using the phones. Bark also stays to be one of the solutions that are user-friendly for both parents and kids. There are some interesting alerts and tools provided that you can check out on the free to try the package.


Famisafe also allows parents to keep track of the internet browsing history over the phone or computer of their kids. You can easily see the websites they visited and the time they had spent over a specific place. You can monitor the phone usage times and can also set specific keywords that whenever will be searched by your kids, you get the notification.

The app can be downloaded from the App Store and you can go for their three-day free trial offer and see if you like it. The app helps in creating kids' activity reports. One can even block the unwanted websites and applications that you feel are unsafe for kids. 

All of the social media platforms like Whatsapp, Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter get monitored easily. You will be able to track the messages and also posts over these platforms. The app makes use of features linked with geofencing and can help in location tracking. 

Free vs. paid parental control apps 

One thing is for sure that free apps are not anywhere close to the premium paid versions. Most of the time you will notice a vast difference between the two when we speak of ease of use, features, security, and reliability. 

Although, we recommend that you go for a free trial version of the app that provides it. This helps you to see all of the paid features and how they can be useful for you before making a complete investment in a specific app. 

Final thoughts – Which parental control app do we recommend? 

Well, we highly recommend mSpy. Different from other similar category applications, the parental control here is comprehensive. The varied features it provides offer easier control over online activity monitoring of your kids.

The app gives you the capability of looking at the complete call log of the device in focus. Then one can keep a record of VOIP calls as well this includes calls made on Facebook messenger and Whatsapp as well.  With a unique FaceTime spy cam and Ambient recording feature that works for iPad users, you can always be sure that your child is in a safe area. 

The other apps don’t let you see the emails being received and sent, and this makes it one of the unique features that the app has to offer. Then of course we have tracking of live locations through geofencing and checking on history of internet browsing as well. 

mSpy is the best app that assures your child stays safe and under your observation so that no one can harm your kids in any way and let you stay alert at all times!