How to Monitor Chromebook Activity?
While Chromebooks are not seen as the most efficient productivity-oriented personal laptops, they sell quite well. Being cheaper than regular laptops but more practical than tablets, Chromebooks are very popular amongst kids and students. This raises one simple question: how to monitor Chromebook activity?
The Free Option: Google Family Link
Google developed a suite of features in the form of the Family Link app that allows for better control and monitoring of Chromebooks. The app is available for free and can be found in the Play Store. Google Family Link replaces Chrome Supervised Profiles and adds several features on top. Setting it up is quite easy and takes only a few minutes.
- Go to the Play Store on your device and install “Google Family Link for parents”
- On the Chromebook, go to the Play Store and install “Google Family Link for children & teens”
- On your device, open the app and log in using your Google account.
- Tap on Add to add a new account that you want to manage. It has to be a different Google account, specifically, the one that will be used on the Chromebook.
- You will be required to input the credentials of the Google account that will be used on the Chromebook. Either create a new one for the Chromebook or ask your child to input his credentials.
- You will be prompted with a message on your device instructing you to open the app in the Chromebook and input a 9 character code.
- Open the app on Chromebook, input the code, and hit finish.
Now that the app is installed and the devices are linked, you can use your device to control and monitor your child’s activity.
Some of the things that can be done with Google Family Link include: use time limits, daily time limits, app time usage limits, app download control, lock the device, check online activity, browsing history, locate the device, and more.
The Paid Option: WebWatcher
For commercial use, WebWatcher is probably one of the better options and costs just a few dollars per month. Before WebWatcher, nobody knew how to monitor a Chromebook efficiently. WebWatcher does most of the things that Google Family Link does but it is much more discreet.
To get it set up, similar steps need to be made just like with Family Link.
- Go to the WebWatcher website and create an account.
- Download the app on the device you will be used to monitor the Chromebook activity. It can be any device including Android, iOS, Windows, or macOS devices. Make sure you install the WW Parent App
- Use your credentials to log into the app on your device.
- Go to the Chromebook, open the PlayStore, and download the WW Companion App. Once installed, open it and login with your credentials.
- Go back to your device, open the parent app. You should be able to see the Chromebook device. From there, hit Manage and start configuring what you wish to monitor.
The features of the Parent app are quite comprehensive. It can monitor keyboard inputs and can have alerts on keywords. It can be used to monitor browsing history, app activity, usage time, take screenshots, and many more. It is also quite easy to set up. Everyone that is looking for a solution for how to monitor a Chromebook might want to check WebWatched and Google Family Link first.