Google SafeSearch

Google SafeSearch

Google SafeSearch acts as an automated filter for inappropriate online content. Here's how parents can enable it.

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Written by Tech Expert:

Jessica Hill

Last modified May 13, 2022

A recent study has shown that children as young as nine have been exposed to pornography or inappropriate content online; however, the same study also indicated that 71% of the exposure was accidental, usually through online search engine results or pop-ups on gaming sites. Setting up Google SafeSearch is a good step towards ensuring that children don’t inadvertently stumble across adult content while using Google’s search engine.

Setting up Restricted Mode for computers

On the Google Website

  1. Go to Search Settings.

  2. Under SafeSearch filters, check the box next to Turn on SafeSearch.

  3. At the bottom of the page, select Save.

Please note: Restricted Mode works at the browser level; therefore, you must turn it on for each browser that is available on your child's device (Google, Chrome, Safari, Internet Explorer, etc). If the browser supports multiple profiles, for example, siblings profiles, you must enable it for each profile.

Setting up Restricted Mode for iPhones and iPads

Within the Google App

  1. Open the Google app.

  2. At the bottom right, tap More (three horizontal dots) and then Settings > General > Search Settings.

  3. Find the SafeSearch filters section.

  4. To turn on SafeSearch, tap Filter explicit results.

On the Google Website (Browser)

  1. Go to Search Settings.

  2. Find the SafeSearch filters section.

  3. To turn on SafeSearch, tap Filter explicit results.

  4. At the bottom of the screen, tap Save.

Please note: Safe Search works at the browser level; therefore, you must turn it on for each browser that is available on your child's device (Google, Chrome, Safari, Internet Explorer, etc).

Setting up Restricted Mode for Android devices

Within the Google App

  1. Open the Google app.

  2. At the bottom right, tap More (three horizontal dots) and then Settings > General.

  3. Next to SafeSearch, turn the switch on.

On the Google Website (Browser)

  1. Go to Search Settings.

  2. Find the SafeSearch filters section.

  3. To turn on SafeSearch, tap Filter explicit results.

  4. At the bottom of the screen, tap Save.

Please note: Safe Search works at the browser level; therefore, you must turn it on for each browser that is available on your child's device (Google, Chrome, Safari, Internet Explorer, etc).

Setting up Google Family Link

Google Family Link allows parents to control a variety of settings on their children’s Android or Chromebook device. In fact, Google Family Link is mandatory for children under the age of 13. If you are setting up an Android or Chromebook for the first time for a child under the age of 13, you would have had to follow the on-screen instructions and create a Family Link account. This guide is for parents who want to set up Family Link on existing Android or Chromebook devices.

Set up Family Link on your child's Android device

  1. On your child’s device, open the Settings app.

  2. Select Google > Parental controls > Get started.

  3. Select Child or Teen.

  4. Select Next.

  5. Select your child’s account or create a new one for them if you are signed in with a different Google account.

  6. Click Next, then sign in with your (parent) Google account.

  7. Follow the on-screen steps to choose your preferred settings to manage your child’s account. Your child will need to give their consent during the setup process.

Set up Family Link on your child's ChromeOS device

  1. On your child’s ChromeOS device, open Settings.

  2. Click on Advanced on the right hand toolbar to open more options. A dropdown menu should appear.

  3. Click on Privacy and security.

  4. Scroll down to the People section, then select Parental Controls.

  5. Click the Setup button to begin.

  6. Select Get Started > Next.

  7. The next screen will ask "Is this the child you want to supervise?" Select Yes.

  8. Sign in with your (parent) Google account.

  9. Follow the on-screen steps to choose your preferred settings to manage for your child’s account. Your child will need to give their consent during the setup process.