If you have an Alexa, you need to set up parental controls to curb your kids from using the device out of control. So, in this guide, we will discuss how to set parental controls on Alexa at home or office.
It has always been easy to set parental controls on the Alexa device, except you don’t know how-to. And, if you have kids at home, you’d want to turn on the parental control on the Alexa to ensure that the Alexa device isn’t tampered with or misused when you are not around.
Therefore, in this article, we will discuss in detail how to set parental controls on your Alexa.
How to Enable FreeTime on Alexa
The steps below apply to the free, built-in parental controls available for all Echo devices. Here’s how to enable FreeTime on Alexa:
- Set up your Alexa app.
- Click on the Menu button (the three parallel lines located at the top-left corner).
- Select Settings, then click on Device Settings.
- Click on the name of the device you want to enable FreeTime on.
- Scroll down and select FreeTime.
- Turn on FreeTime.
- Click on Setup Amazon FreeTime (in case you already set up FreeTime on other devices, then your child’s name will be displayed here; click on Continue).
- Select Add child.
- Ensure to follow the on-screen instruction by adding your kid’s name, gender, and birth date, selecting an image, and clicking Add Child.
- Select your child’s name under Who will use FreeTime? Then click Continue.
- This process automatically turns off voice purchasing, enables the explicit filter for music, links your available music services, and enables drop-in, calling, and messaging (this feature can be turned off in your kid’s profile).
Now to adjust your kid’s profile settings, go into your Parent Dashboard and follow the steps below:
- From the Home screen, click on Menu (the three parallel lines at the top-left corner).
- Click on Settings, and scroll down to Freetime.
- Choose your kid’s name under Parent Dashboard Settings.
- Here you can freely add content like audiobooks, Alexa Skills, and apps, you can set daily time limits and pause devices.
- That’s it! You have successfully enabled FreeTime on your Alexa device.
How to Disable FreeTime on Alexa
Once FreeTime has been enabled on your device, you will be able to toggle various Alexa features on and off, depending on what you want to allow your kids to do on their Alexa speaker.
To do this, follow the steps below:
- Go to parents.amazon.com. (Devices you have set up with FreeTime enabled will be listed there).
- From the Menu, you can change the age filter, disable access to smart home devices and manage what music services they can access.
- Disable Calling & Messaging, Drop-In, and Amazon Music, or enable an explicit filter to block songs or the entire music services on that specific device.
In case your kid tends to continue using the Alexa speaker after bedtime, you can pause the device from anywhere between one and twelve hours.
Another helpful feature is the Daily Time Limits, which allows you to set parental control on Alexa with the maximum allowed time for things like apps, Audible, reading books, or watching videos.
Particularly for Alexa devices, you can manually approve content, like skills you have formerly enabled or Audible books. For Kindles, Fire tablets, and other Amazon devices, you can manually control the particular content to be approved, like individual apps, videos, and books.
You can as well keep track of your kids’ usage and view call and message history. That’s it!
The Amazon Echo Parental Controls
There are different ways to make an Amazon Echo secure for families. One of such ways is to switch off specific features in the Alexa App (for instance, explicit song lyrics, etc.). The second way is to make use of Amazon Kids+ (formerly known as FreeTime) to make the Echo super kid-friendly.
The Amazon Kids parental controls offer the most powerful authority over an Echo device. In case you have a Kindle, you might recognize FreeTime, which has been available on Kindles for years.
Amazon Kids can be used on any Echo device and it involves a monthly subscription of $2.99/month. However, Amazon Kids comes with a free subscription for just a month, but the subsequent subscription will be paid for.
How to enable Amazon Kids on any Echo device:
- Launch the Alexa app on your iOS or Android device.
- Click on Devices at the lower right corner of the screen.
- In case you have Device Groups set up, choose the Group that has the device where you want Amazon Kids to be added or simply click on “All Devices” at the top.
- Choose the individual device that you want to apply Amazon Kids on.
- Scroll down under GENERAL and search for Amazon Kids, where you can enable the service.
- You will see a toggle next to Disabled right at the top, once you turn it on, the app will lead you through a series of steps to create an account for your kid. Just follow the steps.
After Amazon Kids has been enabled, to disable the service on the device, all you need to do is disable the toggle at the top at any time. That’s it!
How to Set Parental Controls on Alexa
Parental controls on Alexa can be controlled via FreeTime. This is an app feature that can be validated on any Echo device, including the Echo Dot Kids Edition.
FreeTime allows you to control what your kids have access to and for how long they can access it. You can also set what content they can hear or watch. You can eventually stop them from buying anything without your consent.
- Set up the Alexa app on your smartphone.
- Click on the Devices button (This icon is shaped like a house, and it’s located at the bottom right corner of your screen).
- Choose your Alexa Device (You will see a list of your connected devices).
- Select one from the list.
Note: For each of the devices you want to set parental controls for on Alexa, you need to repeat the following steps below:
- Scroll down and click on FreeTime on the next screen.
- Switch FreeTime on. Once the slider turns to blue, then FreeTime has been enabled.
- Click on Setup Amazon FreeTime.
- Provide your child’s information and click on Add Child.
- Click on Continue and log in with your Amazon password (In case you want to add more than one child, click on the Add Child button under Continue and repeat the process above again).
- Click on Sign in. Verify your password when prompted via two-factor authentication.
- Tap I Agree on the Parental Consent page.
- Turn on and off the switch on the Alexa services you want to control.
- You can enable or disable calling & messaging, Alexa’s drop-in feature, or Switch on Explicit Filter for music.
- Click on Continue to finish the process. You can close the FreeTime settings by tapping the X at the top right corner.
You can as well train Alexa to recognize the sound of your voice, so she will attune her responses to you and not your kids. Now, you have successfully set parental controls on Alexa.
Other Parental Controls on Alexa
Apart from FreeTime and the Parent Dashboard, Alexa has various built-in parental features that can be helpful. The following are some of the other parental controls on Alexa:
Voice purchasing Control
Do you already have voice purchasing enabled on your Alexa devices? Then, there are some precautions you should take to stop your kids from shopping with Alexa.
You can always secure voice purchasing with a private PIN that has to be spoken before an order can be carried out. You can also disable voice purchasing altogether, this will still allow you to add items to your Amazon cart and track orders. Although, you won’t be able to complete a purchase using your voice.
“Do not disturb” Control
Having notifications enabled on your Alexa speakers can be quite frustrating and annoying. You can however enable a Do Not Disturb schedule to save you the stress of repetition due to the distractions caused by the notification updates.
You can do this by following the steps below:
- Go to Settings >> [Device Name] in the Alexa app or at alexa.amazon.com and click on the toggle to the right of Do Not Disturb.
- Tap on Scheduled, switch it on, and edit the daily start and end times.
Following the steps above, will help prevent notifications, and other possible sounds from the Alexa speaker even for hours. In case you suspect your children are chatting with one another via their Alexa speakers when they should be asleep, a Do Not Disturb schedule on both should settle this issue. Now, you have successfully set parental controls on Alexa.
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