How do I set up calls and SMS text message monitoring on Android devices?

  • Updated

 

Due to Google policies, the version of the Qustodio Kids app available on the Google Play Store does not include our Calls and SMS monitoring feature. The feature is only available on the full version of Qustodio which must be downloaded onto your child’s device by following these instructions.

If your child uses a Huawei device without Google Services and you want to enable Calls & SMS monitoring click here

If you are on your child’s device already, click the Download button below to download the full version.

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Otherwise, scan the QR code from their device to get to this page and then download it there.


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You will be asked to go to ‘Settings’ and ‘Allow Qustodio’. This will enable you to download the full app with Calls & SMS monitoring directly from our website.

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Important: If your child uses a device with Android 13 or above, the activation of Accessibility and Notifications Access permissions may be restricted when first installing Qustodio. The settings will initially appear grayed out and clicking on them will produce a popup like in the examples below.

 

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After this popup is shown, an option will appear on the screen to Allow Restricted Settings, as shown on the pictures below. If you're not automatically redirected to this menu, please follow these steps.


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Note: these steps may vary depending on your device model. Please contact the device manufacturer for more information. 

How to ‘Allow Restricted Settings’ manually:

  1. Open the device Settings
  2. Go to Apps
  3. Search for Qustodio Kids
  4. On the App info page tap on the three dots menu at the top right corner
  5. Then tap Allow Restricted Settings

You can then go back to Qustodio Kids to continue the installation process. You will be asked again to allow the Accessibility permission, but it won’t be grayed out this time. 

 

After the installation is complete, make sure to restart the device. Then access your Parents App or log in to the Family Portal, click your child’s profile, and choose Rules > Calls and SMS. Make sure the switch that enables Call and SMS monitoring is ON.

You will also have the option to block incoming calls, outgoing calls, or set specific rules for individual phone numbers.

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Free vs. Premium call and text message monitoring

The free version of Qustodio will place an alert in your child’s activity timeline each time your child sends or receives a call or text message, however you will not be able to see the contact details. The Premium version of Qustodio will allow you to see more details about the contact as well as the full content of the text message.

How can I view the calls and SMS text messages?

Calls and messaging details will appear in the Activity Timeline and Calls & SMS Summary. If no calls or text messages have been sent or received, you won’t see any updates in the activity timeline or social activity tabs. Blocked calls will also appear in the activity timeline.

What happens on the phone when I set blocking rules?

  • Incoming Calls: There is no notification to the user when an incoming call is blocked. The call is intercepted by Qustodio and any notifications about the call will be deleted. However, it is important to note that the caller may still be able to leave a voice message. Information about the call will be reported on the Activity Timeline.

  • Outgoing Calls: When a user tries to make an outgoing call they will see a block screen letting them know that calls have been restricted, as shown below. Information about the call will be reported on the Activity Timeline.

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Important:

  • Emergency services numbers (e.g.: 911 in the US, 999 in the UK, 112 in Europe) will not be blocked by Qustodio.
  • In the case of a Panic Alert, your trusted contacts will still be sent alerts even if the contact is blocked.

How to deactivate calls and SMS text message monitoring and/or blocking

To deactivate this option, you can simply visit your Family Portal and then go into your child’s tab and choose Rules > Calls and SMS. Turn off the switch that enables calls and SMS text message monitoring.

Troubleshooting

If you don’t see your child’s mobile phone in the list of Monitored Android devices, please double-check the following:

  • You have downloaded and installed the latest version of Qustodio from our website.
  • To do so, please follow the instructions at the beginning of this article.
  • You have correctly associated the child’s profile in Qustodio with the phone in Settings > Devices > Edit device options.
  • If you want to add a new child to your Qustodio account, please find how to do so here.
  • The device is running the latest version of the Android. For most devices, you can update the operating system to the latest version in Settings > About Phone/Device > Software Update > Update. If you’re not sure how to do that, or can’t find this option, please refer to your mobile device user’s guide.


Chat Features

Certain devices, service providers, and carriers have Chat features that can affect Qustodio's monitoring. Disabling this feature is recommended if you notice that SMS are not reported correctly. Please follow the below steps

Samsung Messages App

  1. Open the Messages app on your Samsung phone.
  2. Tap the three-dot overflow menu button at the top of your conversations.
  3. Select Settings from the drop-down menu.
  4. Tap on Chat Settings within the next Settings panel.
  5. Turn OFF chat feature

 

Google Messages App

  1. On your device, open Messages .
  2. At the top right, tap your profile picture or icon and then Messages settings.
  3. Tap RCS chats.
  4. Turn RCS chats  off.
  5. Go back to Messages settings.
  6. Scroll down and tap Advanced > Group messaging.
  7. Select Mass text: Send an SMS reply to all recipients and get individual replies.

 

Advanced messaging

Some devices sold by phone operators have a modified SMS feature, called 'Advanced Messaging' which affects Qustodio's monitoring. Also, some devices may send messages as 'Group' or 'Multimedia' messages (sometimes called 'MMS'), which Qustodio cannot monitor. We recommend checking and disabling all those options on the Android device.

 

The 'Advanced Messaging' setting may vary depending on the phone model, but you can usually disable it by following these steps:

  1. On your child's phone, go to the SMS messages app (the default texting app).
  2. Select the 'More' menu, then 'Settings' and then 'Advanced Messaging'.
  3. Turn 'Advanced Messaging' off.

 

If you cannot find Advanced messaging you should look in the phone settings for VoLTE and turn it off. Then restart the phone, make sure it has an internet connection and make a test text in and out.

 

Another option that may also affect Qustodio's reporting is when Extreme alerts are disabled. You may find this option in the 'Messages Settings':

  1. Go to the 'Messages Settings' on the device.
  2. Look for the 'Emergency alert settings' and tap there.
  3. Tap on 'Emergency alerts'.
  4. Make sure the option 'Extreme alerts' is turned ON.


Important: This feature is only available to Premium users  and is not available for Android tablets without calling feature.

For more information about Calls & messages monitoring for iOS devices, please refer to this article:
What is calls & messages monitoring for iOS devices and how do I set it up?

 

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