Google has finally listened to what users, mainly parents, of their Chrome browser and Chromebooks, have asked for – the ability to add their children as users, as well as add better-supervised controls of Chrome accounts; something parents have wanted to be added to Chrome so their kids can surf the web safely.
There were rumblings this may be a possibility this summer, and now it’s finally here. There’s a hitch though – it’s only available now in the beta version of Chrome. If you’re willing to download the beta browser, however, it’s super easy to set up a supervised user account. If you are not keen to get on the beta bandwagon, hold on for a few days as this update will be released for the regular Chrome versions once it’s tested thoroughly.
Our guide will outline how to set up and use Google’s supervised Chrome accounts.
Step #1 – Get Google Chrome Beta
If you haven’t done so yet, head on over to Google and download Google Chrome Beta, the version of the browser that lets you play with all the newest features available for Chrome, including giving you access to being able to create a supervised user account.
After you’ve installed Chrome Beta, you will now have the option to add a supervised user account under the Settings menu.
Make sure you are signed in under your Gmail account as well. This will be the address that would be used to monitor all the supervised accounts you create.
Step #2 – Create a Supervised Account in “Settings”
Once Chrome Beta has been installed, the browser will open automatically. To create a new user account for one of your children or anyone you’d like to supervise, first go to “Settings” under the main menu in the upper right corner.
In the “Settings” menu, scroll down to the “Users” section and click “Add new user...”
A “Create user” dialog screen will load and on this screen, choose a picture to associate with the new user account then enter a name. Once you’ve done that, checkmark the box that reads “This is a supervised user managed by <your Gmail email address>.”
Clicking his box is critical in creating a supervised account. Then click “Create” to finish creating the account.
Google also provides a thorough explanation of supervised accounts in general by clicking the “Learn more” link. Keep in mind that you are not creating a new Google account; you’re simply creating a new user account for Chrome.
Once the account is created, you can login to the supervised user account by clicking the top-left corner of the browser and clicking the account you want. You will be automatically logged in.
Whenever using a supervised account, this is what is shown at the top of the Chrome browser.
Step #3 – Monitoring a Supervised Account
When supervising a Chrome account, there are several things you can monitor. Google has done a thorough job of providing all the features you would desire as a parent or supervisor to make sure your children or underlings are not poking their heads where they shouldn’t.
To access the monitoring area, Google has created the “Manage accounts” area, which can be found at “www.chrome.com/manage.”
In this area, you can manage the accounts you’re supervising. You can also allow or block certain websites.To block a website, enter a “*” before an address in the URL field.
Also, “Safesearch” is enabled for all supervised accounts automatically, a feature that limits the search terms those using a supervised the account can perform, and this is tailored specifically to block adult content. You can also review the sites your children have requested access to, and view their web history as well.
This latest advancement of the Chrome browser is definitely a long time coming. The new supervised account feature definitely erases any worries you may have related to your children accessing the web, putting you in control to make it happen. It allows you to block everything you want, setting it up is really easy and even better, you can use it to test other exciting features planned for Chrome.
For information on parental controls on a system-wide basis, check out our posts, Your Guide to Windows 7 Parental Controls – Keep Kids Safe and How to Set Up Parental Controls in Windows 8.