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FamilyMode is a T-Mobile-branded app for parents to monitor their family's internet usage and location.

 

Update to FamilyMode 3.2

  • FamilyMode 3.2 is coming with new features like SOS family alerts, location check-in, and the ability to sign up right through the app!
  • Both the parent & child devices must be running FamilyMode 3.2 to use features.
  • Not all devices will see the update at the same time. If it’s not available right now, check back later.

 

About the FamilyMode app

  • FamilyMode enables parents to locate their child and better manage their child's online behavior
  • Manages devices operating on a cellular or home Wi-Fi network. HomeBase required to manage Wi-Fi devices
  • One parent must be a T-Mobile primary account holder to sign up and create profiles
  • Changes to settings in the app (pause internet, change filters) may take up to five minutes to take effect, or you can restart your device to have them take effect immediately
  • FamilyMode’s VPN must be enabled on a child’s device for parental controls to work. If the child’s device has low batteries, the VPN may stop operating which will impact performance
  • Current software versions supported:
    • iOS version is 13.0 or greater
    • Android version is 9.0 or greater

 

First time setup

Sign up for FamilyMode

  1. If you use a VPN or VPN app, turn it off while you get set up.
  2. Download the FamilyMode app from the Apple App Store or Google Play Store.
  3. Open the app and press Get Started > Sign in with your T-Mobile ID.
  4. Sign into your T-Mobile account. You must be the primary account holder.
  5. Review the terms and choose Sign Up > Continue.

Log in on the parent device

  1. If you use a VPN or VPN app, turn it off while you get set up.
  2. Open the app and press Get Started.
  3. Select Sign-In  > Sign in with your T-Mobile ID
  4. Log in using your T-Mobile ID.

Create profiles for your family

You can add new member later by selecting the Plus icon on the home screen and selecting Invite Family.

  1. Enter your family member's name and add a photo or select an avatar.
  2. Choose if this is an Adult (Viewer) or Child profile.
  3. For Child profiles, accept the Parental Notice and set the Filters, Time Limits, and Bedtimes.
  4. Add a device to the profile now through Text, Email, or QR code. You can also Skip and do it later.

Add a device to the profile

You can add devices later by selecting their profile and choosing Devices > Add device.

  1. Install the FamilyMode app and open it.
  2. Select Get Started > Join Your Family's Account.
  3. Enter the invite code or scan the QR code on the parent device.
  4. Follow the on-screen instructions to complete setup, which may include:
    • Installing a VPN
    • Accepting app permissions, like location services
    • Preventing a child device from deleting the app

Restrict app deletion on a child device

 
iOS
 

iOS 12 and newer

Before you begin, the child device must have an Apple ID for children and be set up for Apple Family Sharing. Make sure the child iOS device is using the child’s Apple ID

From your child’s device, select the FamilyMode app notification to finish setting up Advanced Parental Controls and follow on-screen instructions. Parents will need to login with their Apple IDs to authorize parental control restrictions.

iOS 11 and older

  1. On the child device, select Settings > General > Restrictions.
  2. Select Enable Restrictions and enter a passcode.
  3. Select Deleting Apps to turn it on.
 
Android
 
  1. Access the Settings app on the child device and find the Accessibility section.
  2. Find the FamilyMode app under Downloaded or Installed services.
  3. Turn the FamilyMode services on.

You can remove this restriction on the Parent’s FamilyMode app. Choose the child’s device to view its details, then select to Revoke Advanced Parental Controls.

 

Set up a lock code

  1. On the parent device, select the Menu icon with two lines, then choose Settings > Security (Lock PIN).
  2. Switch the Lock PIN toggle to ON (right).
  3. Enter a 4-digit code as the code you would like to use, and then re-enter it to verify that you have the right code in place.
  4. If your phone is equipped with Apple Touch ID, a new item will appear in the Lock Code management screen. Turn the toggle ON to enable Touch ID to unlock your FamilyMode app.
  5. When you launch the FamilyMode app next, you will see one of the following screens, depending on whether Touch ID is enabled:
    • Enter your 4-digit code
    • Touch ID

Recovering a lost or forgotten Lock Code

If you lose or forget your Lock Code, you will need to remove and reinstall the FamilyMode app on the Parent device. After the reinstall, the Lock PIN will be disabled. You should be able to login to the account with your T-Mobile ID and set up the Lock PIN if you want, or you can leave it disabled.

 

Web browsing filters & history

Set filters

Choose a profile and select Filter to choose the filter level to start from. You can block or allow specific sites and apps later.

  • High: Grants access to kid-safe experiences, such as the Education category.
  • Medium: Grants access to most general-use platforms and categories but filters out mature or adult-oriented content.
  • Low: Grants access to nearly all platforms, categories, and apps, but explicit content is filtered out by default.
  • None: No filtering.

A child’s filter level must be set to either High, Medium, or Low to view their usage history. It can take up to 5 minutes for content filter changes, including turning on the filter, to take effect on a child’s device.

Popular apps, websites, and categories can also be configured individually after selecting a Filter level:

  • Unmanaged: Usage does not appear on the profile’s history screen
  • Not Allowed: Access is blocked
  • Allowed: Access is not blocked

View & manage history

  • Choose a profile and select Usage to see total usage time, as well as usage for specific apps / categories.
  • Select a page on the Filtered tab and choose Set as Allowed to allow access in the future.
  • Select a page on the Visited tab and choose Set as Not Allowed to prevent access in the future.

View & manage custom filters

Choose a profile and select Filter > Custom Filter to view and manage custom filters. 

  • Select Add Website and enter the URL (web address) to add a new page.
  • Choose a website from the list to select if it's Allowed or Not Allowed.
  • Select Edit at the top to select websites you'd like to delete, then choose Done.

 

Manage internet usage

Set a Bedtime

Shut off Internet access during scheduled bedtime so they're not distracted by their device.

  1. Choose a profile and select Bedtime > Set Now.
  2. Select the toggle to turn on the Weeknight or Weekend bedtimes.
  3. Enter the desired Bedtime and Awake times, then tap Save.

Set an Off Time

Off Time makes it easy to schedule times throughout the week when the Internet is unavailable so that kids can play, do homework, or just get some plain old family time in.

  1. Choose a profile and select Off Time > Set Now.
  2. Enter a name for the off time and choose which days & hours it applies to.
  3. Choose Save.

Setting Time Limits

Time Limits is a powerful feature that allows you to control how much time your family members spend online. You can limit by day, platform, or by a particular category of website.

  1. Choose a profile and select Time Limits > Set Now.
  2. Select the Weekdays or Weekend tab.
  3. Choose the total amount of time this device can access the internet.
  4. You can also choose specific apps & websites to limit them individually.
  5. Select Save when complete.

 

Pause the internet

FamilyMode gives you the power to pause the whole network, individual family members, or even specific devices. In order to pause a whole wireless network or a device connected to Wi-Fi, you need to have the FamilyMode base station installed on your wireless network.

Pausing the internet may take up to 5 minutes on a child’s device before the internet stops. Apps that do not require an internet connection, such as games, will not be impacted when the internet is paused.

Pause the whole family

  1. On the Home Screen, select the Plus button and choose Pause Internet.
  2. When prompted, confirm that you would like to pause your internet access.
  3. To unpause, tap the Resume button at the top of the home screen.

Pause a family member

  1. Choose a profile and select Pause.
  2. When prompted, confirm that you would like to pause your internet access.
  3. To unpause the family member, select Pause again.

Pause a single device

  1. Choose a profile and select Devices.
  2. Select the device you want to pause, then choose Pause.
  3. When prompted, confirm that you would like to pause your internet access.
  4. To unpause, choose Pause again.

 

Location & Safety Areas

All devices must be running FamilyMode 3.2 or newer for all services to work.

Enable location sharing

 First, you must allow the FamilyMode app access to the device's location.

 
iOS
 
  1. Select Settings > FamilyMode > Location Permission.
  2. Choose Always for Allow Location Access and turn on Precise Location.
 
Android
 
  1. Access the Settings app and go to the Apps & Notifications section.
  2. Choose FamilyMode and select Location Permissions.
  3. Select Allow all the time for Location Access for this App.

Then, you need to tell the FamilyMode app to share the location. 

  • Parent profile: The family member must access FamilyMode on their own device and edit their profile to enable location sharing.
  • Child profile: On the parent device, choose a profile and tap the Settings gear at the top right to enable location sharing. 

View location & history

  • Choose the Map tab on the Family Hub to see the location of all family members.
    • Use your finger to move around the map and pinch to zoom.
    • Select a profile to view more details, including a Timeline of their activities.
  • Select the Menu icon with two lines and choose Family Activity to see the whole family's history. 

Create a Safety Area

Safety Areas let you know when a child arrives or leaves a specific area. You must have push notifications enabled on the parent device.

  1. Choose the Menu icon with two lines, then select Location Alerts.
  2. Select Create Safety Area and enter a name and address.
  3. Select and drag on the ring to make it larger or smaller, then choose Save.

You can also create Safety Areas by selecting a family member’s icon on the Family Map and selecting Save.

Check in or send SOS alert

A child can check in to let you know they’ve arrived somewhere or send an alert to family if they need assistance.

Check In

  1. In the FamilyMode app, tap Check In > Share With Family.
  2. The check in with your location is sent to family members.

SOS Family Alert

  1. In the FamilyMode app, tap SOS Family Alert.
  2. Press and hold Send Now for 5 seconds to send the alert.
  3. The alert is sent to family members. 

Ring a lost device

As long as the device isn’t in silent or vibrate mode, you can force it to ring.

  1. On a Parental account device, open FamilyMode app and choose a family member.
  2. Select Devices and pick the device you want to ring.
  3. Choose Ring. The device will ring for two minutes. 
  4. Press Dismiss on the ringing device to stop the ringing.

Send rewards

Rewards are an easy way to send extra online time, and they expire at midnight, so whatever time you added goes back to normal on the following day. You can send as many Rewards as you’d like throughout the day.

  1. Tap a Profile from the home screen, then tap the star in the top right corner or select Rewards from the feature list.
  2. Pick which type of Reward you’d like to send:
    • Extend a Time Limit Today
    • Disable an Off Time Today
    • Late Bedtime Tonight
  3. Set the Reward based on the existing settings, and press Send to finish.

 

FamilyMode HomeBase management of Unknown Devices

  • By default, the FamilyMode HomeBase device cannot manage Android 10+ and iOS devices because they employ MAC Randomization by default.
  • Unless the Android 10+ or iOS device settings are changed or the FamilyMode child app is installed on the devices, these devices show up as ‘Unknown Device’ within FamilyMode and cannot be managed.
  • If you have difficulties with desktop or laptop devices connecting to the internet after installing a Home Base, please change the device status within the Home Base profile from “Unmanaged” to “Home”.

 

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