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Chromebook Settings for Parents

January 19, 2023

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Chromebooks are becoming very popular lately. They are already the most popular student devices in schools. But Chromebooks are different and they have a different operating system. Since they are so popular in schools, parents need to learn about the Chromebook settings and how to use them to keep their kids safe.

Since Chromebooks are browser-based, parental controls have to be handled a little differently.  Google gives you a few tools you can use to keep your child safe.  You can use Google’s Family Link app to monitor and control your child’s use of a Chromebook or Android cell phones. The parental app runs on both Android and iPhones.  The app is available in both the iTunes and Google Play stores.  The app can control accounts on Chromebooks and Android devices.  Family Link allows you to view their activity, keep an eye on apps and screen time.
Click Here to visit Google’s Family Link Website

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Important Chromebook Settings for Safety

Here are some more settings you want to put in place to help your student stay safer when using Chromebooks.

  1.  You (the parent) should be the first one to sign in to the Chromebook for the first time.  The first person to sign into a Chromebook becomes the owner’s account.  The owner account controls who can sign into the Chromebook. You must use a Gmail account to sign into a Chromebook.
  2. Click on the system tray where the clock is in the bottom right corner and choose the settings gear.
  3. In settings, scroll down to the Security and Privacy section and then click on Manage other People.
  4. Turn off Enable Guest Browsing since Guest Browsing does not save any settings or history. Some kids use Guest Browsing to get around parental controls.
  5. Turn on Restrict sign-in to the following users.
  6. Click Add People and type in your child’s school Google account.  This is to keep them from signing in with accounts they may have created that you may know nothing about.

What if your child signed in with their account first and is already the owner of the Chromebook? You can fix the problem by Powerwashing the Chromebook. This will erase the Chromebook back to factory settings allowing you as the parent to be the first to sign in with a Google account. Don’t worry about your child’s existing data. Unless they have downloaded something, everything is stored in the Google cloud and will not be erased. It will be there when they log back in. Here are the steps to take to Powerwash the Chromebook.

  1. Click on the system tray where the clock is in the bottom right corner and choose the settings gear.
  2. Scroll all the way to the bottom and click Advanced.
  3. Scroll all the way to the bottom to the Reset settings and click the Reset button.
  4. A pop up will come up saying you have to restart the device. Click Restart.
  5. When the Chromebook restarts, it will then erase the device and set it back to factory settings.
  6. You can then be the first person to log into the Chromebook with a gmail account and follow the above steps to restrict accounts.
Chromebook Settings for Parents

Schools are required to filter their campus WiFi networks and you will want to find a way to filter your home network.  We have used the Circle with Disney device at my house with great success.  It is a device that you plug into your home network router and then control it with an app.  It filters every device connected to your home network.  I wrote a blog post that covers Circle Home Plus as well as some other options for monitoring devices. Check out that blog post HERE.

We recently switched from using the 1st generation Circle with Disney to the Gryphon Mesh WiFi Router when we moved into a new house. We chose the Gryphon because our boys are gamers and needed something that was faster than Circle with Disney. As a bonus, the Gryphon does everything that Circle does and also protects your Smart Home Devices from hacker intrusion. With the Gryphon Router, our network is filtered and we have parental controls to help keep our kids safer while using the Internet. Check out my blog post about the Gryphon Mesh WiFi Router HERE.

If you also want to monitor your child’s emails, texts, and social media accounts, I recommend using Bark software. After you set up Bark with all of their accounts, Bark will send you an alert if anything concerning or inappropriate is found in any of the accounts. If you want to learn more about Bark, check out this blog post HERE. You can try a seven day free trial of Bark and then get 20% off for the life of the subscription by using this link:

Chromebooks can be great devices for education, but we still need to take a few steps to keep our children safe while they use them.

The best-rated Chromebook is, of course, the Google Pixelbook that was created especially by Google to run Chrome OS.  It is a bit pricey for a Chromebook but is one of the best.  You can purchase one from Amazon by clicking the picture to the left.         (Amazon Affiliate Link)

One of my favorite Chromebook brands is CTL Chromebooks. I have purchased around 50 of them for the school where I work and they have been very reliable. In over two years, I have only had to send back two for repair when students broke them so they are also well made. Check out the CTL Chromebooks at this website:

As promised, my son would love it if people would visit (and subscribe) to his YouTube channel:  AwesomeGuy 1o1 YouTube Channel

Need help keeping your kids safer while online using their devices? Here are some great options:

Chromebook Settings for Parents

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