How to Restrict Apps on Android Phones and Tablets Remotely

Agnes W Linn

Children are incredibly tech-savvy nowadays. Even the youngest kids know how to use gadgets and install free apps on them. However, they have no idea about online safety and often download alluring but dangerous stuff.

Some apps that kids find on Google Play may contain violent or mature content. So, parents are recommended to set restrictions on Android devices used by kids.

In this article, we’ll tell you about three ways to restrict apps on Android without kids knowing.

Table Of Contents

The Increasing Popularity of Android Apps: Google Play in Numbers

Google Play is one of the most popular mobile app providers worldwide. It offers many more apps than you could imagine: about 3.5 mln in total. Most of those apps are available for free download and don’t conform to any data security standards.

Restricting Access to Apps on Android

If you still don’t believe that kids have access to millions of apps, take a look at these shocking numbers:

  • 3,430,919 apps are available on Google Play so far. Most of them (approximately 2,991,760) are non-gaming apps. It means kids have many more tools to communicate with strangers than parents can imagine.
  • 3,315,922 apps available on Google Play are free to download. It means that most of them aren’t supported or updated.
  • An average of 2,964 new apps are delivered to Google Play users daily.
  • About 774,862 app publishers have distributed apps on Google Play. Some vendors aren’t authorized and offer unofficial digital products.
  • Most paid Google Play apps cost less than 1 USD.

Too Good to Be True: What’s Hidden Under Free Smartphone Apps

As most Android apps are offered for free, kids can’t help installing them. On the one hand, using an app to study and obtain new skills sounds like a good idea. On the other hand, children mostly use apps for fun and don’t think a lot about safety.

Of course, both paid and free apps can hide insecurities for users. However, free apps come with greater risks:

  • Malware. It is the most common issue that comes with free cell phone apps. The malware allows scammers to steal a user’s log-in information or the data stored on a tablet or phone.
  • Personal data sharing. Some free apps are made by scammers. Their purpose is to intercept a user’s information (such as credit card details, names, and addresses) to steal their identity.
  • Contact disclosing. Some apps require access to the contact list on a user’s phone. It’s not a problem to provide this data to an authorized app vendor. However, you can never know who stands behind unofficial ones.
  • Locating your device. Some apps require turning on your current location. It can be dangerous for kids, as strangers can see their daily whereabouts.

Of course, parents might want to hide an app on Android for other reasons, too. They don’t want their kids to accidentally place an order at an online store or access an app with mature content.

So, finding out how to lock apps on Android can be good practice for parents.

How to Hide Apps on Android Phone: 3 Ways That Will Make It Simple

1. Restricting Access to Apps on Android with mSpy

Although the two methods described earlier have numerous advantages, they aren’t perfect. Their main drawback is the impossibility of monitoring a child’s app activity remotely. That’s why we recommend using a parental control app.


As an option, you can use the mSpy official monitoring app compatible with both smartphones and tablets. The app allows checking out a kid’s online activity in real-time, recording their keystrokes, and locking Play Store to prevent them from downloading adult-oriented apps.

Setting up mSpy on an Android-operated device is easy:

  1. Go to and sign up. Make sure to use a valid email address.
  2. Buy a subscription and wait for the installation instructions to be emailed to you.
  3. Follow the received instructions and install mSpy on your child’s device.
  4. Log in to your mSpy dashboard from your smartphone and start monitoring.
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2. Using Google Play Built-In Parental Controls

Google Play is home to numerous Android apps, including gaming and chatting ones. It seems pretty complicated to hide or lock every simple app that you don’t like. So, how about restricting the source?

If you wonder “How to lock Play Store on Android?” take advantage of basic Google Play parental controls.

Follow these steps:

  1. Open Play Store on your kid’s device.
  2. Tap Menu.
  3. Tap Settings.restrict-apps-on-Android
  4. Select Parental Controls.restricting-access-to-apps-on-Android
  5. Tap the toggle at the top right to the “on” position.
  6. Set up a PIN-code. You need it to prevent your child from tweaking the settings.
  7. Select Apps&Games and set the needed restrictions.

3. Setting Up Android Restricted Profile

Another way to prevent kids from utilizing potentially dangerous apps is to set up Restricted Mode on Android. Note that the feature is supported only by tablets and can’t create a Restricted Profile on a cell phone.

Follow these steps to set up a Restricted Profile on your kid’s tablet:

  1. Access your child’s Android tablet.
  2. Go to Settings > Users> Add User.
  3. Tap Restricted Profile.
  4. Set up a PIN-code to secure the newly created profile. Don’t forget to name it.

When the new screen appears, find the list of apps installed on the tablet. Tap the On/Off button next to an app to restrict or allow it. You can create multiple profiles if needed.

Why mSpy Is Worth Trying

Now you know that app locking on Android is a pretty simple process. Any parent can set basic parental controls on their kids’ Android device or install a monitoring app.

If you’re still undecided about which method to choose, give mSpy a try. Not only will it restrict access to specific apps for your kid, but it also will provide you with advanced reporting about other online activities of a child.

Unlike Android parental control settings, mSpy can help you monitor your kid’s locations, visited websites, calls, text messages, and calendars.

There’s no better monitoring solution!
Sign up. Install. Monitor.
Agnes Linn was born into the family of an eloquent preacher (parish priest), with the inevitable passion for writing. She received classic education in Philosophy, as well as Modern Mass Media Management; married, mother of one kid.

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