The Best Free Parental Control Software for PC, Mac, iOS, and Android

Everything in this world has gone digital, and that includes homework (if you have kids). If your kids are young, you probably aren’t giving them laptops or the free family computer reign. You probably aren’t always able to monitor their screen activity.

This is where parental control software comes in handy. Parental controls keep your kids safe from the dark web, and there’s an untethered version available for all operating systems. Read on to find out more.

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Integrated operating system features

Providing your kids with technology designed for their age group is a great first step towards being safe online. When they have access to more general computing devices, you can take advantage of the parental control features built right into the operating system. Parental Controls for Windows and MacOS provide a convenient and acceptable way to restrictg web access and chat functionality, as well as viewing detailed logs and monitoring e-mail exchanges.

Windows Family Security

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For Windows 10, you need to sign up for a Family Safety account. You can then add a specific child account (or more) to your family account for your children to use.

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This approach can be a bit complicated, but it has many advantages. You get activity reports for all online activity for child accounts and block any apps, games, or sites you want.

To get an idea of ​​what apps are truly beneficial for kids, please take a look at some of our favorite apps.

You can also limit the time they spend on the account and strictly monitor their purchasing activity. There are some real safety features too, including the ability to track your kids’ location as long as you’re using Windows mobile devices.

Parental control built into MacOS

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MacOS offers more than a few parental control options, each accessible through the Parental control shutter housed in the main System Preferences sign. The software includes options to block specified apps and websites. You can also block messages from certain people you think are inappropriate. Users must individually set up accounts, but once done, users can also set time limits.

There are other options as well, such as the ability to hide profanity in most source content and the prohibition of the computer’s built-in camera and disc burning utilities. If there is more than one Mac on the same network, users can even remotely manage said parental controls from a different computer entirely. It’s a reasonably complete solution if you don’t mind spending time in Mac settings to make sure everything is okay. The catch is, you can only manage parental controls on an individual user basis, so you’ll need to set up separate accounts for each child.

Applications and extensions

Windows and MacOS offer a decent selection of parental controls, but they can’t do everything by default. Likewise, parental controls can be a challenge to implement on mobile devices aimed at children. Here are downloadable programs that may be more suited to your particular goals.

Qustodio (Windows / MacOS / iOS / Android)


Qustodio has a very intuitive and easy to use interface that allows you to register for the free version of its software in a matter of moments. You manage everything from the dashboard, including social media monitoring, individual time limits for internet use, games, apps, and even tracking text messages and calls on the right devices. . Real-time internet filter can detect pornography and make sure everything is blocked, even in private browsing mode.

The compatibility options are impressive as the software supports Kindle, Nook, Windows, MacOS, Android, and iOS. However, Qustodio tries to make as much money as possible with this program, so many features (like game blocking, location tracking, etc.) are behind the paywalls. You can also only use the free version on one device, which limits its applicability. Qustodio has a great set of features; we want more to be available for free.

Kidlogger (multiple platforms)

Kidlogger is a great option if you prefer to be discreet rather than proactive. Instead of blocking sites, Kidlogger automatically tracks keystrokes, web history, and program usage (automatically recording all screenshots taken on the computer). When installed on a smartphone, the app automatically records all phone calls made by number and contact name. It’s compatible with popular apps like Instagram and Discord, which parents may want to pay special attention to, and updates continue to add more compatibility for the service.

The free version of Kidlogger is fine, but the premium versions add oomph, although some features are downright intrusive. If you want to monitor your kid’s phone conversations and record WhatsApp messages, Kidlogger can do it. Unfortunately, the app doesn’t have native password protection, so if you have a smart kid, you might end up getting caught. The app is available for Windows, MacOS, Android, BlackBerry, and iOS. Like Qustodio, a free account limits you to one device, while the paid versions offer more protection.

Zoodles kid-friendly web browser (Windows, MacOS, Android)

HTC / Zoodles

Zoodles takes a dramatic step forward by replacing the typical web browser with a browser designed for kids. This software is particularly suitable for very young children who are just starting to access online content. Zoodles combines a filtered online experience with a walled garden of promoted and kid-friendly content.

Available on a variety of devices and operating systems, Zoodles offers games, books, videos, and access to other age-appropriate content, all customizable by parents. There are activity reports to see what your child is spending time doing and an adjustable recommendation engine, which helps parents promote specific learning tools to their children through the app.

The regular free version ends there, but the advanced premium edition – $ 60 per year or $ 8 per month – adds a lot of other features, including time management options, storybooks, blocking of individual site, multiple languages, etc. You can get a free trial of the premium mode if you want, but it will start loading your account automatically. Zoodles is great for young children, but remember older kids will quickly learn to get around it.

FoxFilter (Google Chrome / Firefox add-on)

FoxFilter (Mozilla Firefox extension)

FoxFilter provides users with a block filter score based only on individual keywords and sites. They also offer solutions for adding trusted sites to an organized list of banned content. In addition, the sensitivity settings of the add-on can be changed to analyze body content, title and URL. Users can set notification and alert preferences detailing the type of content underlying each blocked site.

A quick way to implement parental controls is to manage your preferences, which means you can easily block entire categories of websites. If you are new to using parental control software, we recommend that you rely on the software’s default warning word list.

You can unintentionally block all websites by using too many keywords or using the wrong ones. Fortunately, FoxFilter users can access it using a simple email. If you have any issues, contact Inspired Effect for assistance.

And after?

Parental controls should go far beyond just your child’s computer. Nowadays, you have to block some sites from their cell phones. To help you out, we have put together a comprehensive list of the best control apps for your kids. More than likely, you are also wondering about the safety of your child’s game consoles.

Parents, it’s your job to defend the online safety of your children as well as your own. It’s wise to use reliable antivirus software and make sure your passwords are protected with one of the best password managers.

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