By now you have had enough of seeing your child constantly attached to the smartphone, as you are firmly convinced that excessive use of the same can distract him from what, in reality, would be his daily tasks. For this reason, in order to “restore some order”, you would like to know how to lock someone else’s phone (in this case, your child’s) and have more control over their digital activities.
I understand your state of mind well and I am also willing to help you, but promise me to use the indications I am about to give you without exaggerating: a minimum of control is fine, but we must not excessively violate the privacy and freedom of others, not even that. of their children. Having said that, as I mentioned, I can help you achieve your goal: in the course of this guide, in fact, I will show you the operation of some tools integrated in Android and iOS that allow you to apply blocks and restrictions within a couple of tap.
However, similar tools can only be used in certain usage scenarios and, in most cases, only if you have the ability to physically access the devices to be blocked and / or know the passwords of the configured accounts. Clear? Well, then I renew the invitation not to exaggerate – and obviously not to use this information to try to block the phones of people outside your household, especially if unaware of it, because you could also run into (right) problems legal – and I emphasize that I take no responsibility for the use you will make of the tools listed below.
How to lock someone else’s Android phone
If it is your intention to block another’s phone and the device in question is equipped with the Android operating system , you have at least two different paths to take: use the Google Family Link app to impose usage restrictions on the smartphone, or make the device completely unusable by using the Find my device service , also from Google. Find everything explained below.
Google Family Link
The first method I want to talk to you about involves the use of Family Link , a service made available by “Big G” which allows, in a short time, to configure and apply restrictions on a Google account, presumably belonging to your child.
To use the Family Link system as a parent, you must be at least 18 years of age , have a Google account, reside in the same state as your child and have the Family Link app for parents installed , available for Android and iPhone .
The device to be supervised, on the other hand, must have the Android operating system on board with the Family Link app installed for children and adolescents . It goes without saying that, for the purposes of this guide, the parent must necessarily have physical access to the device to be controlled and be aware of the password of the Google profile configured on it.
All clear? OK, let’s get started. First, take the phone to be locked , access the Android Settings by tapping on the gear icon located in the app menu, reach the Google and Parental Control sections and tap the Start button , to start the Family configuration phase Link; then, tap the Child or boy button , touch the Next button and select the Google account to supervise (presumably the one configured in the device).
Then, tap the Next button and, when prompted, log in with your Google account (the one that, in practice, will act as a supervisor); now, to establish the connection between the two profiles, scroll down the next screen, enter the password of the account to supervise and tap the Accept button .
At this point, tap the Activate button and that’s it: the two accounts are now connected! Once this step is completed, you will be offered to configure any blocks to be set: move the levers relating to the applications you want to inhibit use to OFF , tap the More button several times and press the Next button to add any restrictions on the Approvals of Google Play downloads and purchases , downloads from Google Play Apps and games and Play Books , websites allowed in Google Chrome and Google search, and access controls to Google from other devices.
When you are finished, press the Next button and, to proceed with the automatic installation of Family Link on your Android devices, put the check mark next to the names of the same and tap the Install button ; to avoid installing the supervision app (because you have already downloaded it previously), remove the check mark from all boxes and press the Ignore button twice in a row.
Once the Google Family Link configuration on the device to be blocked is completed, you can manage and modify the blocks set using the Family Link app for parents on your device: to do this, open the app in question, tap on the name of the profile to be supervised , then on the item Manage settings (or on the word Manage corresponding to the Settings box ) and use the various sections to modify and / or define the options of your interest.
When necessary, you can interrupt the control of the blocked device and delete all the restrictions applied to it in a very simple way: to do this, tap on the Account supervision item , put the check mark next to the item I am aware that if I continue I will no longer be in able to manage the devices or Google Account of [profile name] and confirm the willingness to proceed by tapping the Stop supervision button .
To find out more about Google Family Link, I refer you to reading the in-depth tutorial I dedicated to the service, in which I showed you, in detail, all its features.
Find my device
If you need to block another person’s Android device and know their Google account credentials , you can use the Find My Device tool , which is the anti-theft system built into all Android devices equipped with Google services that allows you to perform operations emergency on device objects of theft or loss.
By taking advantage of the aforementioned lockout feature, your Google account will be disassociated from your device, which will be locked using the configured unlock pattern, code or password, making it impossible to log in by fingerprint or other authentication systems. For this reason, if the “victim” of the future block is aware of the latter systems, this approach will be inefficient (unless you proceed with a remote reset of the device).
Furthermore, for the blocking mode to be effective, it is essential that the device to be blocked is turned on and connected to the Internet and that the service of the same name is active; generally, the latter condition is true by default, unless the functionality in question has not been manually disabled (you can easily check this by going to the Settings> Security and location> Find my Android device menu ).
If everything went smoothly, after a few seconds, you should see a map appear on the screen, together with a series of blocking options: press, at this point, on the item Lock the device and wait a few seconds for the block to be set.
To use the locked device again, you will need to enter its unlock pattern, code or password; any stored fingerprints or facial prints will no longer work (at least until the device is unlocked). If your device has no screen lock option configured, you will be asked to enter a password with which to protect it.
Alternatively, still via the Find my device screen, you can choose to reset the device remotely, thus making it unusable until new configuration: however, keep in mind that, in this way, all data on the device will be irretrievably deleted . I warned you!
If you believe that the methods I have talked about so far are unsuitable for your needs and you are looking for something more “profound”, you can use some applications designed specifically for parental control or for emergency blocking of devices, such as Mobile Fence .
Such software are available on the Play Store, as well as on other markets for Android, and allow you to control, track and possibly block smartphones and tablets animated by the Google operating system, within a couple of taps. To learn more about this, I refer you to reading my tutorials on how to control a cell phone remotely for free and how to locate someone else’s cell phone.
How to lock someone else’s iPhone
If the device you want to have more control over is an iPhone , you can take advantage of some built-in features “standard” in iOS to apply the restrictions you prefer: Usage time to limit the use of certain apps or viewing specific websites or Where is it , if you want to completely lock the device remotely. Find everything explained below.
If you intend to set a block for one or more applications installed on iPhone, prevent access to one or more websites or prohibit the modification of certain privacy settings (e.g. prevent the deactivation of location services), you can rely on Usage time , the solution designed by Apple to limit the excessive use of certain apps and to apply restrictions on the contents that can be viewed on the smartphone.
In order to apply this solution, you must be able to unlock the device on which to apply the restrictions and you must have an Apple ID associated with you (different from the one in use on the iPhone to be blocked). If you don’t have one, you can easily create one by following the instructions I gave you in this guide.
All clear? OK, let’s proceed. First, go to the iOS Settings , tapping the gear wheel symbol located in Home, tap on the Usage time item and then on the Enable “Usage time” option .
Now, click on Continue and This iPhone belongs to a minor , set the Pause of use (ie the period during which the “iPhone by” cannot be used, except to make calls and send / receive SMS and iMessages) using the Start and End fields and tap the Set use pause button to confirm the changes; if you prefer not to set this type of restriction, tap the item Not now to go to the next step.
At this point, you can choose to set a maximum daily use time for one or more categories of apps: select the types of applications you want to block (you can still “refine” this setting later), tap the Set button and indicates how long it is possible to use the apps belonging to the chosen categories, using the Duration section . When you’re done, tap the Set App Usage Restrictions button ; If, on the other hand, you are not interested in imposing this type of restriction, tap the Not now button .
Finally, tap the Continue button and, when prompted, specify a four-digit “Usage Time” code, to be used to lock and unlock the restrictions imposed. Once the code has been defined, enter an Apple ID different from the one configured in the child’s device (presumably yours) to use for the recovery of the same and that’s it!
Following this operation, you will have access to the Tempo diuso administrative console, from which you will be able to access all the blocking options provided by the system ( Pause of use , App and communication restrictions , Content and privacy restrictions and so on).
Once the Usage Time configuration has been completed, it will be possible to bypass any type of restriction imposed only by entering the previously defined unlock code (although, from time to time, the use of some apps may be allowed for a few seconds, before the block is applied again); the insertion of the Apple ID configured in the device (unless it coincides with the one used to reset the code) or the use of other “recognized” unlocking systems (Face ID, Touch ID or phone code) will not have effect on applied restrictions.
For more information on using Screen Time, you can take a look at my guides on how to block apps on iPhone and how to block a site on iPhone.
Another way to lock another user’s iPhone is to use Dov’è , Apple’s anti-theft system integrated in most of the devices of the “bitten apple”.
This system, extremely simple to apply, however, has three very specific limitations: firstly, to use it, it is essential to know the password of the Apple ID configured on the iPhone to be blocked; secondly, the user who owns the device must not be aware of the unlock code of the “iPhone by”, as the latter would allow it to be bypassed; finally, for the block to be successful, the device must be connected to the Internet.
That said, let’s take action. To access Where Apple, visit the iCloud website from any browser you prefer, enter the ‘ Apple ID associated with your phone to lock and click on the symbol of the arrow to move to the insertion of password access.
Once the login is complete, if two-factor authentication is active, you can bypass it by selecting the Find iPhone link , placed immediately under the heading Alternatively, go immediately to : this is a preventive measure from Apple, designed to ensure that, in some specific cases (eg. the theft of the phone), do not remain completely closed out of your account.
Once in the Find my iPhone screen, use the drop-down menu at the top to select the name of the phone to be blocked and wait a few seconds for it to be identified on the map; when this happens, press the button indicating Lost Mode , then the Next button and conclude the operation by pressing Finish : after a few seconds, the block should be effective and, to access the phone again, you will need to enter the code unlock.
In more serious cases, you can also choose to completely reset the phone, deleting all the data inside it : following this operation, it will not be possible to proceed with a new configuration of the device, unless you enter the password of the device. ‘Apple ID configured earlier.
If, despite everything, do you want to do it this way, you have to press the button Initializes the iPhone present in the screen Find My iPhone and confirm your intention to proceed, pressing the button Initialize . For more information about how Find My iPhone works, please refer to the tutorial I dedicated to the topic.
If the blocking methods I mentioned earlier are not enough for you, even in this case, you can rely on a third-party “anti-theft” app, or a parental control app , which could be Lookout Security , Qustodio or McAfee Mobile Security .
However, keep in mind that these applications have far more defined limitations than their Android counterparts and, therefore, may be less effective than Apple’s default solutions. Then don’t say I didn’t warn you!