5 Best free parental control apps

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As a parent, it can be difficult to keep your children safe online. With the rapid growth of technology and its increasing use among kids, parents are looking for ways to monitor their children’s internet activity. Fortunately, there are many free parental control apps available that provide an effective way to keep your kids away from inappropriate content and manage their time spent on digital devices.

These apps help you block dangerous websites, limit screen time, track app usage and more—all without having to spend money on expensive software or hardware solutions. In this article, we will look at some of the best free parental control apps available today so that you can make sure your child is safe when they're online.

Best free parental control app

Here are five of the best free parental control apps available today. From detailed activity logs to filtering content and monitoring screen time, these apps provide everything you need to make sure your kids are safe online without breaking your budget.

Parental control appsBest forFree trialDiscountPrice
1. mSpyBest overall parental control appNo30% OFF$48.99/monthly
2. QustodioBest for filtering content & appsYesNo$99.95/year
3. BarkBest free parental control app for iPhoneYesNo$99/year
4. Kaspersky Safe KidsBest for big familiesYesNo$14.99/year
5. Google Family LinkBest free parental control app for AndroidFreeFreeFree

1. mSpy – Best overall parental control app

mSpy is the best app for parents to use to control their child's phone. It helps parents see what their child is doing on their phone and how they are using it. mSpy can block websites, monitor messages, track location, and more so that parents can keep an eye on their kids. It is a powerful and affordable way to keep an eye on your children.

mspy control panel

With mSpy, parents can monitor their child’s phone usage and be aware of any potential dangers. They can also use the app to limit the amount of time their child spends on particular apps or websites. Parents can set up alerts for when their child uses specific keywords or does something inappropriate on the phone.

mSpy is easy to use and it offers an effective way for parents to keep their child's phone activities in check, so they can be sure their kids are staying safe online. It's the best tool for keeping your children safe from all kinds of dangers that may come with using a smartphone. Parents can rest assured that their children are being monitored and protected. With mSpy, parents can have peace of mind knowing that their kids are safe online.

With mSpy, parents can be sure that their children are safe and secure. It is a reliable app for monitoring your children's phone usage and ensuring their safety online. mSpy is the best parental control app on the market today, offering an easy-to-use solution for keeping tabs on your child’s online activity. So, if you're looking for a reliable and affordable way to monitor your child's phone usage, then mSpy is the best choice for you.

Pros and cons of mSpy


  • Easy to use and setup
  • Has a great range of features for parents to monitor their children's online activity
  • Includes real-time location tracking and geo-fence alerts
  • Compatible with most devices and operating systems
  • Block access to inappropriate websites or apps.


  • Can be expensive if you purchase multiple licenses at once.
  • May not be as reliable if the device has limited connectivity.
  • It is possible for users to delete the app or disable its features, reducing oversight on the monitored party's activities.

2. Qustodio – Best for filtering content & apps

Qustodio is an excellent choice for parents looking for a comprehensive and reliable parental control app. Developed by a dedicated team of experts, this tool provides numerous features that allow parents to monitor, track, and restrict their children’s online activity. With Qustodio, parents can easily filter content, block access to certain websites and apps, set time limits on device usage, review reports on their children’s online activity, and even set up geolocation tracking.

The app is easy to install and use and offers a free version that includes basic features like web filtering, app blocking, time control and more. The premium version also offers additional tools, like detailed reports and real-time alerts. With both versions, parents have the ability to customize settings on a per-user basis to ensure each child has the level of protection they need.

Qustodio is an integrated solution for all major platforms, including Windows, Android, MacOS and iOS. The team also provides 24/7 customer support, so parents can get help with any questions they may have. All in all, Qustodio is an excellent option for families looking to protect their children from the potentially harmful content and inappropriate apps that are available online.

Pros and cons of Qustodio


  • Comprehensive monitoring of online activities
  • Variety of features including web filtering, app blocking, and time restrictions
  • Includes reports for parents to review activity logs
  • Easy-to-use user interface


  • Expensive compared to other parental control apps on the market
  • Can't monitor activity outside the home network such as away from WiFI or mobile data
  • Does not allow for real-time communication between parent and child devices

3. Bark – Best free parental control app for iPhone

Bark is the best free parental control app for iPhone. It helps parents monitor their child's online activity, enabling them to keep their kids safe from potential online risks such as cyberbullying, sexting, and exposure to inappropriate content. The app offers a range of features including web filtering, keyword alerts for text messages and emails, and the ability to set limits on when and how much their child can access certain websites.

bark app

Parents can also use Bark to review their child's online activity, receive notifications if an issue arises, and even talk with a professional counselor if needed. This makes it one of the most comprehensive parental control apps available for iPhone users. With Bark, parents don't have to worry about their kids' online safety and can ensure that they are protected from potential online dangers.

Bark is easy to use, with a user-friendly interface and intuitive controls. The app's dashboard allows parents to manage multiple profiles easily, while its powerful filters allow them to turn off certain sites if necessary. Additionally, Bark includes detailed reporting, so that parents can keep track of their child's online activities and easily identify any potential threats. As a bonus, it also offers tools to help kids stay safe while they browse the web, such as blocking malicious websites or setting up safe searches.

Pros and cons of Bark


  • Comprehensive and detailed parental controls, including app blocking, time limits, content filtering, and more.
  • Access to real-time location tracking for kids.
  • The ability to view call logs on your child's phone.
  • Bark can monitor text messages as well as social media platforms like Twitter and Instagram.
  • Easy installation process; no need for physical access to the device.


  • Some features are restricted to premium plans with monthly fees.
  • Not compatible with all devices or operating systems.
  • Limited customer support options available outside of their knowledge base articles and FAQs page

4. Kaspersky Safe Kids – Best for big families

Kaspersky Safe Kids is the best free parental control software for large families with multiple devices. With its comprehensive and powerful protection features, parents can ensure their children are safely accessing the internet at all times. Kaspersky Safe Kids has a variety of features, including age-appropriate content filters to block inappropriate websites and content, time management tools to set usage limits, and activity reports to monitor the websites visited and time spent on the internet. It also features an advanced system for managing multiple devices in one place, allowing parents peace of mind when their children are online.

Kaspersky Safe Kids

Kaspersky Safe Kids creates a safe environment so that families can enjoy the benefits of technology without worrying about potential dangers. Its parental control tools give you control over the apps and websites your children can access, as well as when they are allowed to use each device. You also have the ability to set up safe search settings so that your kids won't accidentally stumble upon inappropriate content. Additionally, Kaspersky Safe Kids allows for flexible scheduling of internet usage – parents can set a specific time limit for each device and receive notifications when those limits are reached.

Pros and cons of Kaspersky Safe Kids


  • Comprehensive parental control features
  • Real-time monitoring and alerts for suspicious online activity
  • Easy setup process
  • Ability to block inappropriate content quickly
  • Cross-platform coverage of devices
  • Includes location tracking feature with geofencing ability
  • Available on Mac, Windows, Android, and iOS platforms


  • Limited options for managing internet time usage on Android devices
  • Price is a bit expensive compared to competitors
  • No call or SMS blocking is available on Android phones
  • GPS tracking has inconsistent accuracy in rural areas

5. Google Family Link – Best free parental control app for Android

Google Family Link is an incredibly useful free parental control app for Android that helps parents keep track of their children's activities and manage the content they access on their mobile devices.


The app provides a secure gateway to Internet usage, allowing parents to set restrictions on apps and websites that their kids are allowed to access. It also includes a feature to set time limits, so that parents can limit the amount of time their kids spend using certain apps or websites. Furthermore, it allows parents to approve any new app or game downloads from Google Play before they are installed on their child's device.

Google Family Link also features an activity log that allows parents to monitor their child's usage of apps, websites, and games. It also includes a location-tracking feature that allows parents to view their child's current location on a map. This helps ensure the safety of the children by making sure they are where they should be.

In addition, Google Family Link provides detailed reports on device usage which can help parents identify any issues early on, as well as offer helpful tips on how to manage their kids' digital activities.

Pros and cons of Google Family Link


  • Easy setup and use for parents.
  • Can be used on both iOS and Android devices.
  • Reasonably priced with no added cost beyond the app download fee.
  • Ability to monitor screen time, apps, and Internet usage.
  • Includes sophisticated filters that can help protect children from age-inappropriate content.


  • Limited control over some features such as location tracking and ability to lock device remotely when it is not in use.
  • Some features are only available when using a Google account or Gmail address. 
  • Only works on certain devices running specific operating systems (not all).

How to choose the best free parental control app?

Choosing the best free parental control app can be a difficult decision, especially with the wide variety of options available. Before selecting an app, it is important to consider the different features and capabilities of each one. The following tips can help parents decide which free parental control app will best suit their family's needs:

First and foremost, consider the age of the children and how it will affect their use of technology. Different parental control apps may be better suited for older or younger children depending on their level of experience and technological sophistication. For example, an app designed for older kids might not have features that are appropriate for younger ones who may not fully understand them.

Next, consider the features offered by each app. Different apps offer different levels of control and protection for parents. Parents should read through the descriptions carefully to make sure that the app includes all of the features they need. Some key features to look for are time limits, content filtering, and activity tracking.

Finally, take into account the user-friendliness of the app. Parents should find an app that is easy to use and understand, so they can get the most out of their parental control experience. Look for user reviews on websites like Google Play and Apple App Store to determine how other users rate the app.

When it comes to choosing a free parental control app, doing research and understanding each app's features is essential. By following the tips listed above, parents can make an informed decision on which one best meets their needs. With the right app in place, parents can ensure that their children are safe and secure while they explore the world of technology.

Parental Control Apps FAQ

Is there a completely free parental control app?

Yes, there are several free parental control apps available. Some of the most popular options include:

  1. Google Family Link
  2. Kaspersky Safe Kids
  3. Norton Family Premier

These parental control apps allow you to manage your child's device usage and set limits on their access to certain content such as websites or games. They also offer a variety of features including monitoring chat rooms and setting time limits for computer use.

What is the best app to control your child's phone free?

The best app to control your child's phone for free is mSpy. OurPact is an award-winning parental control app and family locator that works with both iOS and Android devices. It allows parents to block apps, filter web content, monitor screen time, locate family members, and more. The app is completely free of charge and has been praised for its intuitive design, ease of use, and comprehensive parental control capabilities.

Is there a completely free parental control app for iPhone?

Yes, there are several free parental control apps available for iPhones. Some of the most popular options include

  1. Apple's Screen Time
  2. Bark
  3. Qustodio
  4. OurPact
  5. Kaspersky Safe Kids

The features of each app vary but generally they offer tools to manage web use, block sites deemed inappropriate by parents, schedule device usage times and monitor device activity.

Is there a free text monitoring app for parents?

Yes, there are several free text monitoring apps for parents. These range from ones that allow you to monitor your child's text messages and calls, to ones that allow you to track their location. Some of these programs even offer parental control features such as blocking websites and content filters. Of course, it is important to research each application before downloading it to make sure it meets your needs and is safe for your family.