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Chromebooks with ‘Family Link’ can Soon Add School Accounts too

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Update: A flag to enable this feature has been added to the Canary version of Chrome OS.

“Enable Family Link managed accounts and EDU accounts coexistence: Allows Family Link managed users to add secondary EDU accounts. – Chrome OS#enable-edu-coexistence

If you search Family Link on Google’s official Chromebook forum, you will find many threads similar to this one. Parents are unable to add school accounts to Chromebooks managed by Google’s own Family Link. A set of code changes that the Chrome OS team added today points to in incoming solution.

The Issue

It took a digging and a lot of help from our Chromebook Expert-friends to figure out what is happening here. To quote one of the frustrated parents on the Chromebook forum:

“But I’m wondering if the Chrome forum might also help. Parents are struggling with their personal Chromebooks. If a parent uses Family Link for an <13 child, the Chromebook won’t allow other accounts, e.g., School Google accounts, to be accessed on the Chromebook. The opposite is also true -> if logged in with a School Google account, Family Link parental controls aren’t applied.”

Chromebook Experts on the forum are currently telling users that accounts managed by schools are not compatible with Chromebooks managed using Family Link. This is about to change.

The Solution

According to a series of code change requests that we spotted today, Google is adding a new login flow for school accounts on Family Link-managed Chromebooks.

This will introduce a new option for students to request their parents’ approval to add a new school account to a Chromebook:

“Ask a parent to sign-in to give you permission to add a school account”

Parents will see the following message:

“Your child wants to add another Google account to this device. Only G Suite for Education accounts may be added to Family Link managed devices.”

The screen will also tell parents that:

“Your Family Link parent settings will still apply. If you’ve previously blocked an app or site, you won’t have to do it again.”

And:

“You child’s data in Classroom will be protected”

This feature will soon be available on the experimental versions of Chrome OS. From there, it will eventually make it to the Stable version of Chrome OS. If you are a parent eagerly waiting for this option for your kid’s Chromebook, say hello in the comments section.

Source: Gerrit.


9 responses to “Chromebooks with ‘Family Link’ can Soon Add School Accounts too”

  1. Chantelle Avatar
    Chantelle

    Is this ready yet! We need this! I’m a teacher looking for ways to help my parents through online learning.

    1. I haven’t seen an announcement yet.

  2. Check this link. I think it has been implemented.
    https://support.google.com/families/answer/7685480?hl=en

    1. That doesn’t look like the feature that we are waiting for. Did you try it?

    2. You can login to Google Classroom using the school account as a secondary account, but the GSuite apps aren’t available.

  3. D Eyles Avatar

    Try the latest version only available since 10Aug 2020 84.0.4147.127. This may fix problems.
    In the last few weeks with a new School Chromebook (bought by me) I have hit a few problems with setting up my 11 year old granddaughter with a Google account, adding her to the Chromebook as a person and connecting her to Family Link.. Her family visited us for a week during the summer break. The Chromebook has been set up by the Supplier who are in partnership with Google School Chromebooks program. I had expected to be able to setup addition family users, a personal Google Account for my granddaughter, one for her parents, one for her younger brother. Note that my granddaughter school account will not be issued until September. The Chromebook arrived with the Add Person option removed. Not sure why. Also ominous messages that it was being administered by, the school? I assume. After a few crashes, I got a few system messages stating that something had gone wrong’ . Finally my granddaughter could signon anyway. Each time she had to sign on with account and password but through Family link her parent had to re-authorise her use every time she signed on. I raised these issues with the suppliers, who claim to be experts in the supply of School Chromebooks, who passed me onto the school, who said ‘well that’s the way it is’. The Family link issue seems to have gone away since I got my granddaughter to look for new Chrome versions yesterday 15th Aug and 84.0.4147.127 was installed. (my granddaughter lives 400miles away) and checking things are now difficult.
    Additionally, before the arrival of the Chromebook, I had set up my Granddaughters google account on my Android tab, but had not put a Date Of Birth as this is not mandatory. She could use the tab to get used to Android, Gmail, Gsuite etc. This then creates a problem when using Family Link. She is under 13 years old. You can not put in a DOB for someone under 13 years, as the account will be disabled. You can put a DOB for someone 13years old but have to authorise within 30days with a Proof of Identity or a Credit Card, which I used. So she is now 13 years old as far as Google is concerned and this means she can remove herself from Family link.
    The whole process has been difficult and I blame Google for not thinking things through and letting their systems loose on the unsuspecting public. From searches I have done many people across the world are coming across these problems.

  4. Stephany Avatar
    Stephany

    The addition needs to be done ASAP. I have to clear the entire tablet in order to put the school account on and I do not want to do that.

  5. Kathryn Tiplady Avatar
    Kathryn Tiplady

    Thanks for your comment D Eyles. I am in the same boat. Every other device in our home is managed by Family Link or Microsoft Family. We take internet safety really seriously. I am disappointed that it seems the only way to access the school account on their own device is to have them set up as 13+. My son is in Middle School and is 11. I’ve challenged the school on this as I don’t think that’s the way it should be. When asked about BYOD options, we were told that a Chromebook was best. We can’t put Family Link on it and access the school account which means no screen time limits can be applied, and no verification for any new apps ie: Twitch, Discord, etc. eek! Hopefully we can get this resolved soon. My son is only interested in Gaming at this point, but I worry about him seeing other inappropriate things. I think the school (and Google) is failing here if that is their only solution. 🙁

  6. Stephany, we’re in the same boat. I did reset the whole Chromebook but still can’t log into the school account – I contacted the school and they said that it was only possible to have the school account as the Primary account if it was school-owned, due to something to do with Google and licensing. On a good note though, when we did reset it, we didn’t lose anything and were able to at least get back to square one. It is all backed up to the Cloud and the only thing it doesn’t keep when you reset it are things in the Downloads folder. I too am hoping for a better solution soon too. 🙂


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