How to Block Kids From Downloading Apps Onto an Android

By Andrew Tennyson

Kids like games and often don't have much of an understanding of money, which is a dangerous combination should they get hold of your smartphone or tablet. Before you know it, your bank account is dwindling, and your Android device is full -- possibly not only with games but with apps that feature adult or other content you don't want your child to view. Don't let this happen to you. Add password protection to the Google Play Store app on your Android device to prevent children and other tap-happy folks from downloading apps.

Step 1

Scroll through the home screens on your Android device and tap the "Play Store" icon to launch the Google Play Store app. The Play Store icon resembles a shopping bag with an arrow.

Step 2

Tap the "Menu" icon in the upper left corner of the Play Store to launch the main menu, and then tap "Settings" to load the Google Play Store settings screen.

Step 3

Scroll down to the User Controls section and tap "Require password for purchases" to launch the Require Password prompt. On this prompt, you can choose between three options: always requiring a password for purchases, requiring a password to be entered every 30 minutes and never requiring a password.

Step 4

Tap the "For all purchases through Google Play on this device" radio button to open the Confirm Password prompt.

Step 5

Tap the "Google Password" field and enter the password associated with the email account you used when setting up the Google Play Store. The email address is displayed at the top of the Confirm Password prompt. If you can't remember your password, tap the "Forgot password" link to reset it.

Step 6

Tap the "OK" button to finish applying password protection to your Android device. From now on, no downloads of any kind will be permitted from the Play Store without entering the password.

Tips & Warnings

  • Many newer Android devices come with the Kids Place app already installed. Kids Place is a free app that you can configure to prevent children from downloading apps, making phone calls and sending texts. If your phone did not come with Kids Place installed, you can download it for free from the Google Play store (link in Resources).