Articles on: Chromebook

Protect a Chromebook device with Safe Surfer

It’s easy with Safe Surfer to block harmful online content on a Chromebook. On your first protection installation, it will take around 20 minutes for the full installation, or 30 minutes for the entire guide.

If the Google account that your child uses on this device is a school Google account (that is, a specific account provided for the child that is tied to the school, such as, the following steps might not be available. No problem—we can usually get this device to pick up at least some form of Safe Surfer protection from your home Wi-Fi. You can find out more by clicking this link.

Step 1: Factory reset Chromebook to lock Guest browsing feature (optional)

This step doesn't apply if the Google account that your child uses on this device is a school Google account.

Chromebook devices have a feature called guest browsing, which ignores any protection installation on the device. Due to how Chromebook devices work, the first Google account signed in to the Chromebook is deemed the device owner, being the user account that has full control over the device. If you wish to fully disable the guest browsing feature, you will need to Powerwash (that is, factory reset) the Chromebook and sign in with your personal Google account so that you hold the device owner permission on this device, rather than your child's account. You can find out how to do this by clicking this link. After performing the Powerwash and having signed in with your own Google account, you can then add your child's user account.

Before performing a Powerwash, you must make sure that you have backed up all files and app data on the device. Safe Surfer is not responsible for any data loss.

Step 2: Disable Guest browsing

Click the Launcher button at the lower-left corner, then click the Settings app.

Click the "Security and Privacy" section on the left-hand sidebar, then click "Manage other people".

Click the switch found next to "Enable Guest browsing" to turn it off. Once you've done this, click the back button to go to the Settings main menu.

If this setting is locked, hover over the person icon to check why this is the case. If this is a case with a school Google account, it's possible that this could already be locked off.

Step 3: Install protection

Next we will change the DNS provider to Safe Surfer. Once you're back on the "Security and Privacy" section, click the Google Chrome app on the shelf (that is, the taskbar).

Visit the Safe Surfer dashboard ( Click the Devices menu on the left-hand sidebar, then click the "+ New Device" button.

Click the "This Device" option.

Click the Chrome option.

Enter a friendly name for this device, then click the Accept button.

Scroll down and click the Copy Link button, then click the Done button. Once you've done this, go back to the Settings app on the shelf.

Click the drop-down box and switch the option from "OS default (when available)" to "Add custom DNS service provider".

Click the "Enter custom DNS query URL" text box. Click the text box with two fingers on the touchpad to open the context menu, then click Paste. If you can't bring up the context menu, you could alternatively use the Ctrl + V keys to paste the link into the text box.

Click some white space. If the text box prompts you to verify if this is a valid URL, click the text box again, then click some white space again to fix this.

Great work, we’ve finished the protection installation. Close the Settings app.

Due to Google's design for Chromebook devices, we can't prevent the Safe Surfer DNS installation from being turned off by tech-savvy device users. If you have a Pro Surfer subscription, we will let you know through the Alerts system if we haven't received network traffic for a while. In general, we strongly recommend keeping devices out of bedrooms. You might like to consider having a dedicated living space where devices can be used safely. If this is an issue, you might like to consider switching to either a Windows or a Mac device, where we can provide a more rigourous experience.

Back on the Safe Surfer dashboard in Google Chrome, click the Blocking link.

Click the switches to either block or unblock categories—grey means not blocked, and red means blocked. Once you’re done, click the Save button at the upper-right corner. You might need to scroll to the top of the list for the Save button to appear.

At the upper-right corner of the dashboard’s title bar, click the three dot icon, then click the Log Out button.

Step 3: Verify protection

Visit the Safe Surfer website to verify the protection installation. The protection bubble should report that this device is protected.

In addition, you can visit to see blocking in action. This is a safe website for testing to see if pornographic websites are being blocked. If it's not blocked, review the previous steps.

Step 4: Enable Play Store parental controls

Play Store parental controls help hide Play Store content listings that contain sexually suggestive and/or sexually explicit content.

Apps already installed that are affected by these settings will not be hidden. These apps will also continue to receive updates from the Play Store.

Click the Launcher button at the lower-left corner, then click the Play Store app.

Click the profile icon at the upper-right corner.

Scroll down the list, then click the Settings menu.

Click the Family section, then click the "Parental controls" menu.

Click the switch found next to "Parental controls are off".

Set a PIN, then click the OK option.

Click the "Apps & games" section.

Set this to either 7+ or 12+, then tap the Save button. In North & South America, the equivalent for these are E10+ (Everyone 10+) and T (Teen). For reference, social media apps are typically rated 12+.

Depending on your region, you might have parental controls available for the following categories:


Set these to an appropriate level if they are available.

Protection complete

Great work! This device is now fully protected. To start monitoring protected devices, visit our easy-to-use online dashboard.

If you have any other Chromebook devices you would like to protect, simply start again from the top of the guide. If you would like to protect a different kind of device, visit our Guides page.

Updated on: 15/03/2024

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