The 9 Best Free Parental Control Apps Compared for 2024

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With one of the best free parental control apps, you’ll have peace of mind about your child’s online and offline safety, with features like GPS tracking and keylogger alerts to know if they type something suspicious.

We’ve found the best of the bunch that offer free demos, trials, or lengthy guarantees, giving you the time you need to test them risk-free. We’ve also added bonus free spy apps for parents at the end. Read on to see how the best free parental apps compare.

The Best Free Parental Control Apps Ranked

Here’s a brief overview of the best free parental control apps for 2024. Read on to learn what makes each tool unique and find the best solution for you and your family.

  1. mSpy — Overall, the best parental control app for Android and iOS devices.
  2. uMobix — Ideal for full remote control over your children’s devices.
  3. Spynger — Ideal for spying on Tinder and other popular social apps.
  4. SpyBubble Pro — Real-time tracking with screenshots taken every second.
  5. Phonsee — Superb option for precise GPS location tracking with geofencing.
  6. EyeZy — The best option for real-time keyword, location, and app download alerts.
  7. ClevGuard — A super-affordable iOS parental control app with a month-long refund period.
  8. GeofinderAccurate device locations without needing to install an app.
  9. xMobi — The best option for spying on Discord messages.

The Best Free Child Monitoring Apps Compared

Here’s a detailed comparison of the best free parental control apps. Read on and find out how our top pick stacks up against its competition for pricing, feature availability, and refund policies.

Free Parental Control App Free Version Cheapest Paid Plan Money-Back Guarantee Top Features
mSpy Demo + free trial $11.67/m 14 days Keylogger and screen recorder, Keyword alerts
Website, app, and Wi-Fi blocker
uMobix Demo $12.49/m 14 days App usage scheduling, Remote control,
Video and audio streaming
Spynger N/A $10.83/m 14 days Tinder monitoring, Keyword black-listing, Access media files
SpyBubble Pro Demo $12.49/m 30 days Detect secret apps, See deleted/renamed contacts,
Full remote control
Phonsee Demo $8.85/m 14 days Geofencing,
Mobile keylogger,
Remote device control
EyeZy Demo $7.99/m 14 days Keyword, location, and app alerts, Calendar monitoring,
App disabling
ClevGuard Demo $4.17/m 30 days Activity reports, Screen time limits, Computer spy
GeoFinder Yes $39.99/m 14 days IP Logger, GPS Tracker, SMS Location
xMobi Demo $12.49/m 14 days Discord spying, Keylogger, Access to all shared media

The Best Free Child Tracker Apps Reviewed

We reviewed the best free parental control apps in 2024. These software solutions have built a solid reputation for their effectiveness in helping parents secure their children’s online safety. Let’s examine them more closely.

1. mSpy — The Best Parental Control App for Mobile

mSpy Snapchat Demo Screenshot

Free Version Cheapest Paid Plan Money-Back Guarantee Top Features
Free trial + demo $11.67/m 14-days Keylogger and screen recorder, Keyword alerts, Website, app, and Wi-Fi blocker

mSpy is one of the most robust parental control apps on the market, with 36 distinct functions, it lets you monitor everything your child is doing on their phone.

The app lets you monitor every keystroke, see the full call log history, read all the SMS and social media messages, and see what content they’re searching for and consuming online.

What sets mSpy apart from other child monitoring tools is the fact that, in addition to a keylogger and screen recorder, it lets you set up keyword alerts.

This lets you create a list of restricted words and phrases, so you’ll get immediately notified whenever they search for those terms and type or receive a message that includes them.

Additionally, mSpy lets you see all media files they share and receive, including the ones they delete from their device. In other words, there’s no chance of your children hiding anything from you.

mSpy also features a smart GPS tracker that lets you hone in on your children’s exact location and review their detailed route history.

Read More: A Full mSpy Review

Prospros

  • Easy to set up and use
  • Completely undetectable
  • Compatible with virtually any device
  • Keyword alerts with instant notifications
  • Access to all shared files, including deleted ones

Conscons

  • The free trial is currently unavailable

2. uMobix — Gives You Full Remote Control Access

apps to monitor kids phones

Free Version Cheapest Paid Plan Money-Back Guarantee Top Features
Demo $12.49/m 14-days App usage scheduling, Remote device controls, Real-time video and audio streaming

uMobix is another extremely feature-rich parental control app for iOS and Android devices. You can access everything on the device, from messages and call logs to all the installed applications.

What’s great about uMobix is that it gives parents complete control over their children’s device usage. You’ll be able to schedule application use, and enforce screen time limits, for example.

You can even delete unwanted apps, block websites, restrict calls, disable messages, and even completely block the device — all remotely.

uMobix also features a keylogger, ensuring that you don’t miss anything. This gives you access to all their website searches, deleted messages and information, and even their notes.

The app also supports real-time streaming, letting you tap into the device’s camera and microphone to see your child’s surroundings and listen in on their conversations.

Beyond all this, you’ll be able to track your kids’ physical location using a geofinder. This feature lets you send an SMS with a tracking link, so you’ll know exactly where your child is at all times.

Read More: A Complete uMobix Review

Prospros

  • Full remote control over the device
  • The ability to schedule application use
  • Access to all chats and shared media
  • Keylogger to ensure you don’t miss anything
  • Real-time video and audio streaming

Conscons

  • Doesn’t have geofencing

3. Spynger — Ideal for Spying on Popular Social Apps

Spynger

Free Version Cheapest Paid Plan Money-Back Guarantee Top Features
N/A $10.83/m 14-days Tinder monitoring, Keyword black-listing, Access to all shared media files

Spynger is an excellent app for protecting your children online. It offers all the monitoring capabilities you’d expect out of a top-tier parental control solution.

It helps ensure that your kids don’t get in trouble with strangers online or access inappropriate content. What’s unique about Spynger is that it’s one of the few tools that can help you spy on Tinder.

While we’re sure your kids would protest this, it’s critical to ensure that they’re not being catfished, discussing meeting plans with shady individuals or on these apps at all, depending on their age.

Another super useful functionality of Spynger is keyword black-listing. Similarly to mSpy’s keyword alerts, this lets you black-list specific words and phrases to get alerted if these are used.

In addition to full access to all their chats, calls, and online searches, Spynger also lets you track your kids’ location, so you can see what places they’ve visited and where they are at any given moment.

Prospros

  • The best Tinder spy app
  • Supports keyword black-listing
  • Gives you access to all chats and call logs
  • Provides you with a list of all websites visited
  • Lets you track your kid’s whereabouts

Conscons

  • No free demo

4. SpyBubble Pro — Real-Time Tracking With Screenshots

A screenshot of SpyBubblePro's dashboard.

Free Version Cheapest Paid Plan Money-Back Guarantee Top Features
Demo $12.49/m 30-days Detects secret apps, Shows renamed/deleted contacts, Full remote control

SpyBubble Pro is the perfect app for spying on your teenager. Teenagers will try to hide things. With SpyBubble Pro, you’ll see all secret apps on their phone and even all renamed or deleted contacts.

In addition to letting you see all of their phone call logs, SMSes, and chats, the app also allows you to monitor their mailbox and see who they talk to on dating apps. The latter is key for ensuring their safety.

If need be, you can also disable their access to Tinder and other apps or even outright delete them from their phone, fully remotely. You can even restrict incoming/outgoing calls and messages.

Beyond all this, you can block specific websites, disable their Wi-Fi connection, and remotely lock their phone. What’s also great about SpyBubble Pro is that it auto-updates the data every five minutes.

Plus, it takes screenshots of the phone’s screen every second while it’s active, so you won’t have to monitor your child 24/7. You’ll have full access to their phone activity and won’t have to worry about your kid trying to hide evidence of what they’re up to.

Prospros

  • Lets you spy on Tinder and other dating apps
  • Allows you to monitor their mailbox and Reddit activity
  • Shows you all remanded and deleted contacts
  • Reliably detects secret apps installed on the phone
  • Gives you full remote control over the device

Conscons

  • No call recording capabilities
  • Doesn’t offer geofencing

5. Phonsee — Precise GPS Location Tracking 

A screenshot of Phonsee's screenrecording feature

Free Version Cheapest Paid Plan Money-Back Guarantee Top Features
Demo $8.85/m 14-days Geofencing,
Mobile keylogger,
Remote device control

Phonsee is one of the few mobile spy apps that offer a keylogger for both iOS and Android devices, giving you complete access to everything your child types on their phone.

You’ll be able to read their email, text messages, and social media chats, as well as see what they Google and what content they interact with on the internet.

The app also gives you access to all the media stored on the monitored device, so you’ll be able to view their photos and videos, even before they share them online.

As is the case with most of the other best parental control apps on our list, Phonsee gives you remote device control, letting you block apps and websites or disable their Wi-Fi connection.

Where Phonsee truly shines is when it comes to GPS location tracking. It gives you precise coordinates on the map, as well as their full location history with timestamps and routes.

Moreover, the app lets you use geofencing to set up restricted zones and immediately notifies you if the device enters an area you’ve marked on the map.

Although not a parental control app free of charge, Phonsee offers an excellent free demo that lets you see all its features in action before you decide if you want to commit to a monthly or annual plan.

Prospros

  • An excellent free demo
  • Keylogger that works on iOS as well
  • One of the best GPS trackers
  • Quick and easy setup process

Conscons

  • No keyword alerts

6. EyeZy — Best for Location and Keyword Alerts

eyezy best parental control app

Free Version Cheapest Paid Plan Money-Back Guarantee Top Features
Demo $7.99/m 14-days Keyword, location, and app alerts, calendar monitoring, Remote app disabling

EyeZy is another great option to monitor your kids on mobile. It offers keyloggers for both operating systems, capturing everything your child types in messages, social chats, and web browsers.

EyeZy’s strong suit is its Magic Alerts. It lets you set keyword filters to receive notifications whenever your kid searches for something inappropriate or engages in conversations you don’t approve of.

The alerts also extend to their physical location, meaning you’ll be able to set up safe and restricted zones on the map and get real-time updates on their physical location.

Another feature that makes EyeZy stand out from other parental apps is its ability to let you see their social calendars and notes, so you’ll know what events they plan on attending and with whom.

You’ll also be able to remotely block access to specific websites, as well as disable their access to apps like TikTok, Snapchat, Twitch, and various others.

Prospros

  • Real-time alerts, so you don’t have to monitor them 24/7
  • Among the best keylogger software solutions
  • Files Finder to see everything on their device
  • Access to their bookmarks, notes, and social calendar

Conscons

  • No call recording functionality

7. ClevGuard — Budget-Friendly iPhone Parental Control App

clevguard interface

Free Version Cheapest Paid Plan Money-Back Guarantee Top Features
Demo $4.17/m 30-days Activity reports, Screen time limits, Computer spy

ClevGuard offers a range of monitoring products, from phone and iPad spy apps to computer monitoring. This makes it ideal for spying on all devices your kids are using.

If you’re looking for the best free iPhone parental control app, KidsGuard is as close as it gets. While not free beyond the demo, at just $4.17/m, it’s one of the most affordable premium options.

The app lets you block websites and apps, helping ensure that they can’t access any inappropriate or potentially harmful content. You’ll also be able to limit their screen time.

This is crucial for ensuring they can’t fiddle with their phone during school, for example. The ability to capture screenshots is another useful functionality of KidsGuard.

It’ll let you see what they see at any given time. If you find something you don’t like, you can remotely lock their phone until they come home.

KidsGuard offers daily, weekly, and monthly reports of your child’s phone activity. You’ll be able to see how long they spend on each app, who they’ve called and texted, and what they’ve searched for.

Prospros

  • One of the most affordable parental control apps
  • Daily, weekly, and monthly activity reports
  • Web and app block
  • Real-time GPS tracking
  • Call filtering to prevent harassment and scam calls

Conscons

  • No call recording
  • No keyword alerts

8. Geofinder — Great for Tracking Your Child’s Location

A screenshot of Geofinder mobis's phone number tracking tool.

Free Version Cheapest Paid Plan Money-Back Guarantee Top Free Features
Yes $39.99/m 14 days IP Logger, GPS Tracker, SMS Location

Geofinder is compatible with all smartphones and, rather than being a general-purpose monitoring tool like mSpy, it allows parents to track their children’s whereabouts discreetly.

This child tracker app stands out in several areas, with features such as a GPS and WiFi tracker, an IP logger, SMS location finder, and it tells you if your child is using a VPN.

What’s more, you don’t have to install an app on the device you wish to locate. The simplest ways you can find your child’s location is via SMS or by sending an image URL.

The user you wish to locate must click on this for Geofinder to record its coordinates. Alternatively, you can send the URL to the person you want to track via an instant messaging app.

Once the user clicks on the URL, you’ll be notified of their location immediately. Geofinder allows you to send unlimited requests, too. However, you can only send one such request every three hours.

Prospros

  • Easy to use
  • Delivers device location with incredible precision
  • Compatible with iOS and Android devices
  • Supports anonymous requests

Conscons

  • User can only send one request every three hours

9. xMobi — Ideal for Parents of Gamers Who Want to Spy on Discord

Xmobi.co Spy App

Free Version Cheapest Paid Plan Money-Back Guarantee Top Features
Demo $12.49/month 14-days Discord spying, Keylogger, Access to all shared media

xMobi is a simple, intuitive mobile spy app. While it does let you access all SMS, call logs, photos, and videos on the device, xMobi is a bit more limited than other apps on our list.

When it comes to instant messaging apps, it only lets you spy on Meta apps — Instagram, Facebook, and WhatsApp. That said, it’s also one of the few apps that lets you spy on Discord.

So, if your child is a gamer, you can see everything they talk about in Discord servers with their gaming buddies. xMobi also features a powerful keylogger, so you’ll see everything typed on their device.

This includes internet searchers, messages, social chats, and even their notes. You can also use xMobi to monitor your kid’s geographic location.

In addition to their real-time coordinates, you’ll also see a full list of all visited locations with time stamps, alongside the routes they took to get there.

Prospros

  • Simple and easy to use
  • Features a powerful keylogger
  • Lets you spy on Discord messages
  • Gives you a full list of all visited locations

Conscons

  • No keyword alerts or geofencing
  • No remote controls

Bonus Free Parental Control Apps to Consider

Beyond our list of the top 9, here are some other options worth considering if you want a free parental app:

10. Norton Family

10. Norton Family — Smart Tools to Block Unsuitable Websites

A screenshot of Norton Family's dashboard.

Free Version Cheapest Paid Plan Money-Back Guarantee Top Free Features
7-day trial $14.99/m 60 days Search Supervision, Instant Lock, Email Alerts

Norton Family comes from one of the best malware protection solutions around. It comes as a standalone service or as part of Norton’s 360 Deluxe and 360 Premium all-in-one subscription plans.

Compared to mSpy, Norton Family is slightly more complex to set up. You need to download and install the app, verify the activation code, register the device, and then assign it to the selected child.

It allows you to tailor the monitoring to your child’s specific needs and provides a comprehensive range of features for more effective parental control.

Its Web Supervision truly stands out as an ultimate guardian against inappropriate content. This option allows you to block unsuitable websites and control what your kids can access.

You can manually choose which sites to block. But keep in mind that Norton also offers over 45 pre-defined restricted categories, including crime, alcohol, mature content,  and violence.

Prospros

  • 60-day money-back guarantee
  • 45+ pre-defined restricted categories
  • Works well with Windows, Android, and iOS devices
  • School Time option to keep your kids focused during online learning sessions

Conscons

  • A somewhat complex setup process
11. Qustodio

11. Qustodio — Robust Tool to Restrict Mac Device Usage

A screenshot of Qustodio's dashboard.

Free Version Cheapest Paid Plan Money-Back Guarantee Top Free Features
Yes $4.58/m (annual) 30 days Restricted Times, 7-Day Activity Reports, Web Filtering

Qustodio is the best free parental control app for Mac devices, allowing you to filter websites, block apps, set time limits, and request usage reports.

Nowadays, kids spend around 7.5 hours in front of a screen each day – and that doesn’t include hours spent on school or home computers for educational purposes.

In addition, parents have the option to pause the internet with a single click remotely. You can choose the pause time and limit the internet for a few minutes or hours if needed.

Another benefit of getting this service is that it allows you to monitor unlimited devices, regardless of type. It’s also one of the best parental control apps for Android.

Like Norton Family, this provider supports daily, weekly, and monthly reports. But, from our research, we found that Qustodio delivers reports from all tracked devices.

The Set up Time Limits option is available for free at Qustodio. However, if you wish to enhance parental control options to games and app blocking, web activity alerts, and YouTube Monitoring, we advise you to go for the Basic subscription plan.

Prospros

  • Daily time limits for balancing screen time
  • Web filtering for blocking inappropriate websites
  • Supports unlimited devices
  • Block app download and installation
  • Great free child tracking app

Conscons

  • Reports encompass all selected devices
12. Famisafe

12. Famisafe — An Ideal Choice for Tackling Screen Addiction

A screenshot of Famisafe's YouTube app control.

Free Version Cheapest Paid Plan Money-Back Guarantee Top Free Features
Yes $10.99/m 7 days Activity Report, Inappropriate Pictures, YouTube App Control

Famisafe is used by over 9 million parents in over 190 countries. Relying on AI assistance and advanced tracking algorithms, it offers the best parental control YouTube.

In addition to being one of the largest free media-sharing websites, Famisafe does an incredible job of restricting popular services like Roblox, Minecraft, and TikTok.

This is all possible thanks to its App Blocker solution, which prevents your kids from overusing entertainment channels and helps children stay away from digital addiction.

You can monitor what your child watches, posts, and comments on on these platforms. It’ll detect any suspicious text in the description, title, or previously published comments, too.

Finally, you can customize the app and control what type of content you wish to enable on your kids’ devices and what websites or contents are permanently blocked.

Famisafe protects up to 10 devices on its top subscription plan, which is fairly limiting, at least compared to Qustodio, which allows unlimited devices.

However, we won’t take it as a major downside, considering the Famisafe is significantly cheaper than its counterpart.

Prospros

  • Great for preventing internet addiction
  • Scans for suspicious activity
  • Blocks app downloads
  • Offers location tracking

Conscons

  • Supports up to 10 devices on the top subscription plan

Pros and Cons of Using Free Parental Control Apps

The best free parental control app is hard to find, as completely free solutions are unreliable and unsafe, while others are incredibly limited.

Ultimately, it all boils down to your personal preferences and what you expect from online safety tools. With that in mind, let’s look at the pros and cons of using free parental control apps.

Prospros

  • No financial commitment
  • Content filtering
  • Great for monitoring screen time
  • Tools for tracking a child’s location
  • Geofencing capabilities
  • Allow parents to monitor text messages and phone calls
  • Help control app installation and downloads
  • Support social media monitoring

Conscons

  • Free apps offer limited features
  • Some apps display ads to generate revenue
  • Limited customer support
  • May not be compatible with all devices
  • Can affect trust between parents and children

Free versions are great for seeing how these apps work, but overall, we recommend opting for a paid parental app over a free spy app for parents. Especially as you can get full functionality for less than $10.

Why Built-In Parental Controls Aren’t Enough

Many devices come with pre-installed parental controls integrated with the operating system. While this saves time and effort in searching for third-party apps, built-in options have limitations compared to external app solutions, such as:

  • Limited features
  • Lack of real-time monitoring
  • Limited customization options
  • Restricted time controls
  • Inefficient content filtering

Built-in solutions don’t go far enough to protect your children from internet dangers. They typically lack crucial features like advanced monitoring, for example.

Integrated apps also fall short when it comes to location and call tracking, social media monitoring, and screen management. This may result in parents lacking information about their kids’ activity.

Third-party parental control software solutions also offer regular updates, which minimizes the chance of any inappropriate content slipping through safety cracks and reaching your kids’ devices.

Key Factors to Consider When Choosing a Free Parental Control App

Let’s look at the most relevant factors parents should consider when choosing child phone monitoring free apps:

  • Compatibility – Choose one that supports the device and platform your child uses, whether Windows, Mac, Android, or iOS.
  • Features – Consider your specific needs before picking a parental control app. It’s better to pay for a basic plan and have the protection options you need rather than getting a free account and missing crucial functionality.
  • Remote Control Access – Select apps that allow you to monitor your kids’ devices even if you’re not at home.
  • Reporting – Check if the parental control software provides comprehensive reporting on your child’s device and internet usage to get a better picture of their online behavior.
  • Customization – Look for apps that allow you to tailor settings to your child’s age and individual needs.
  • Scalability – Find a solution that covers multiple devices and numerous apps. Your child may be using Facebook and Instagram now, but what if they open a TikTok or X account or switch from iOS to Android? Select a free parental control app for iPhone and Android, just in case.

Along with those factors, it’s a good idea to seek out apps that are user-friendly and easy to pick up. Kids can be surprisingly resourceful and quick at finding loopholes.

Other Guides We Recommend Reading Next

Now you know how to get the best parental control app for free, let’s explore some of our top online monitoring and protection guides:

Conclusion

The best free parental control app can help you protect your kids from online dangers, control screen time, locate devices, and monitor online behavior from your smartphone or computer.

Child protection apps are useful for keeping your children away from online predators, protecting sensitive data, like personal details, pictures, and videos, and preventing peer abuse.

Our experts have picked mSpy as the best free parental control app in 2024. It stands out with a massive library of features, including call, social media, location, and web browser monitoring.

mSpy is incredibly useful for detecting suspicious calls and numbers, allowing you to monitor your kids’ behavior and protect them from potentially harmful and inappropriate contacts.

FAQs

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Aleksandar Stevanovic
Software Reviews Expert
Aleksandar Stevanovic
Software Reviews Expert

Aleksandar Stevanovic spent 10 years honing his craft as a freelance content writer. He has a degree in Economics, and extensive experience in software, crypto, and cybersecurity industries. He covers a multitude of topics, writing factual and informative articles, helping individuals better understand the intricacies of the online world. Over the last two years, his research focus shifted more towards tech and software content, as evidenced by his publications on CEX.IO, Business2Community, and Techopedia. He believes in simplifying complex topics and bringing them closer to like-minded individuals. His work is as detail-oriented as it is creative, and is designed to…