Disabling FamilyMode


    My son seems to have figured ou that you can disable FamilyMode by simply turning off VPN in the iPhone’s general settings. Is it really that easy to disable the app and make it useless?

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      • magenta2708381

        Re: Disabling FamilyMode

        Just to add a bit - The app isn’t completely disabled, but the time limits don’t seem to work anymore with VPN turned off. Any insight would be appreciated.

        • tmo_chris

          Re: Disabling FamilyMode

          Well that is odd! So everything else is working except for time limits when VPN is off? Also, when the device turns off VPN, you should be receiving "a G_manualstop notification." on your device. Are you getting that?


          In looking for a way to lock the VPN settings on the device....... there is not really much of anything to make it easy. You may want to let him know that you can see when it is disabled and that he should not be disabling it.

          • mariajs@umich.edu

            Re: Disabling FamilyMode

            My son has also figured out this loophole.  I get reported minutes of use on the family mode app that do not match the actual time he is on his phone.  i can pause his access and he can still use his phone.  is tmobile planning to do something about this?


            if there is no fix I’m going to cancel my subscription to family mode- its $15 i can use for something better

            • leasalin2

              Re: Disabling FamilyMode

              I'm having frustrating issues with Family Mode not working on my kids phones when they are away from home and with their Dad and sometimes at school.  So I have had to tell them how to disable VPN on demand for family mode, just so they can use their phones for the weekend.  If not, their phones are stuck for the entire weekend.



              **VPN stops working and goes into a "Check VPN Device" on my parent phone
              I look on their phone and VPN is on.  One of two things happens when this takes place... either they are locked out of their phone OR they have an open phone with no restrictions

              **When I fix VPN and it's on at home, I have one phone (iphone 8 @ iOS 12) that when she leaves the house and switches to tmobile network (off wifi) she has no service and it locks her out of everything including texts.  Nothing sends or receives on her phone!  So my other daughter has to text me that it's not working. (btw...my phone shows a green VPN on my parent phone) Again, I have to tell her how to turn off VPN on demand for family mode.  It then works. 

              **When they have to sometimes use a hotspot at school on their phones, this disables VPN automatically and family mode is now not monitoring

              **When my other daughters iphone 7+ @ iOS 12 goes into sleep mode it loses connection to family mode and I get a message that she is disconnected.  Family mode then sometimes continues to think she's not connected and I get messages that she has not responded for more than a day.  Confusing!!!


              Both phones have restrictions set up to where they cannot delete apps.  So I know the app isn't being deleted and reinstalled. I think this app has a LOT of work yet before it's ready to be used for parental monitoring.  This all seems to be VPN/connection issues that should be ironed out before you roll out a new product.  I shouldn't have to constantly reinstall this stuff to make it work.  I literally have been reinstalling every week.  It has what I need in a monitoring app, but when your constantly having to fix it, not worth the $10 bucks per month or my time!  Come on T-mobile...


              I will most likely be cancelling and looking into the iOS 12 Screen Time built in app. 

              • magenta3799870

                Re: Disabling FamilyMode

                From what i understand of Android, there is no way an app can be what we need it to be as a parent. There is no way to lock apps and settings. Of course, the Android version is modified by the carrier, but not so easy to mess with Android's core design which is meant to give the user complete control of the device and stop apps from messing with anything unless you give it specific permission.


                On the IOS side there is a way to act at a higher permission level and lock things down for the user, but Android for some reason has not done this.


                I have tried to use Tmobile family controls TWICE now and both times my kids get around it within minutes.


                Kasperksy does have an app which they claim cannot be deleted or messed with on Android, not sure how, but will check it out.

                • magenta6159708

                  Re: Disabling FamilyMode

                  My 15 year old son figured out how to disable this app within 30 minutes on his android phone. The point was to stop him from using it at bedtime or in school. It's completely useless.

                  1 of 1 people found this helpful
                  • e597283

                    Re: Disabling FamilyMode

                    I agree...this app is a joke and doesn't prevent what I am paying for.  My son realized pretty quickly that if he turns off VPN on his IPHONE all the restrictions and time limits I setup in FamilyMode are turned off.  Yes I get a notification but that doesn't stop him.  I downloaded Iphone Apple Screentime to help block him from changing phone settings but that didn't work. Verizon had a much better Parental Security/Restriction software.


                    Any suggestions.

                      • magenta8132536

                        Re: Disabling FamilyMode

                        With my family, if they delete the app - the phone goes away.  If they want me to pay for it, they need to abide by the rules. I had them check it in with me at night. It took 1 night for them to realize they’d rather have the phone with them with the VPN on, then to give it to me.