Caregiver Portal and Device Set Up

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Thanks for joining Pinwheel

We're excited to be part of your family's journey on a healthy relationship with technology. 

Setup Steps

🎯 Tip  Use a computer for initial setup process. 


Connect Cellular Service to the Phone


Power on the Pinwheel

Image of open laptop computer showing Pinwheel Caregiver Portal and image of child's Pinwheel device with login screen.

Set up your Caregiver Portal Account

Sign Up button for Pinwheel Caregiver Portal Account

Click the "sign up" button and follow the on-screen guidance at

Note: The sign-up process will ask you for billing information. If you purchased a prepaid subscription along with your device, your Pinwheel should have arrived with a card containing your personalized Prepaid Subscription Coupon code. This code will make sure you are properly credited for your purchase. If you did not receive one or you misplaced it, please contact Customer Care for assistance at 888.903.7977


Connect Cellular Service to the Phone

  • Choose any compatible cellular plan. Follow your carrier’s instructions for getting an activated nano SIM card to insert into your Pinwheel.
  • Insert the activated nano-sized SIM card into the Pinwheel. Push the ejector tool into the tiny hole on the side of the phone to eject the tray, and place your SIM card in SIM Slot 1, as indicated in the images below. 
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Power on the Pinwheel

  • Log into your child's Pinwheel with their credentials that you created in step one.
  • Log into WiFi on the phone: swipe down from the top of the device. Tap the WiFi icon. Choose your wifi network and enter its password.
  • faviconTap the Pinwheel Settings app icon on the phone and select “Always Run Pinwheel”

Your child's Pinwheel is ready to go!

When you're ready to explore more Pinwheel settings and customizations, come back to this page and continue from here!

General Phone-Parenting Tip

Start small and limited, and grow together over time.

It’s better to add features and apps later than to have to take away freedoms or add restrictions.

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Did you know? Most apps in the world have hidden access to the web, adult content, social media, and other elements that may not suitable for your kid. Pinwheel investigates apps thoroughly. We block the loopholes we can block, and we label all our 1,200+ apps with information about factors that may affect your decision about when and if to allow a particular app.

If there are other factors you wish we would identify or other apps you wish you had in our library, please share with us your thoughts. We welcome your input!

Here's how to add more apps to your child's Pinwheel:

  1. Browse or search through the app categories and listings. 
  2. Click on apps to view Pinwheel's specific guidance and ratings to help you decide if it's a good choice for your child.
  3. Toggle an app on to let it appear on your child's Pinwheel.
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  • Green ✅ Pinwheel Approved  apps are usually good starter apps!
  • Click on "manage" after installing an app to use scheduling. Scheduling allows you to limit when an app is available. 


Generally, the best practice for a child new to having a personal communication tool is to begin with you managing their contacts, and limiting them only to people you trust with your child. 

  1. Click + to add a contact
    • Groups can be created to schedule when contacts are available (i.e. School, Friends, Team, etc.)
    • Image texting is optional for each contact
    • Emergency Contacts are always available!
  2. Select the Safelist mode 
    • The default, Caregiver-Managed Safelist, is usually the best starting setting. Your child can only call and text with contacts you approve, and you can limit the times of day each contact is available. Once your child is ready, they can manage their own Safelist.
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Scheduling lets you allow different things on your child's phone at different times.

Ideally, you want to set it up so that they are always free to choose from whatever is currently on the phone. You can use it to automatically limit the phone functions at night to protect their healthy sleep. 

Terms to know:

  • Each calendar date has a "daily schedule."
  • Each daily schedule is a timeline of "modes."
  • A "mode" is a set of apps, contacts, and routines.

Edit Daily Schedules

  • Use the  Create Schedule  button to build a daily schedule from scratch, or edit an existing day (i.e. Open Day)
  • Click on an existing Mode on the timeline (i.e. Everything Mode) to choose when it should begin and end.
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Define Modes

Modes include apps, contacts, and routines, all enabled or disabled as a group.
  • Use the  Create Mode  button to build a mode from scratch, or edit an existing mode
  • Select the apps and contacts your child can access in that Mode
    • We'll review Routines next, so leave it empty for now. 
  • Return to the Daily Schedules section to insert Modes into a timeline.
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Assign Daily Schedules to Calendar Dates

  • In the calendar section, click the drop-down to apply a different saved schedule to that date; repeat as needed. 
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Routines show up as a checklist on your child's Pinwheel during specific Modes or times of day. They can be super useful for teaching children responsibility and independence without you having to remind them as much. They see a confetti shower when they complete a checklist!

  1. Click  Add Routine  or click an existing Routine to edit
  2. Enter checklist items
  3. Click Save
  4. Return to Schedule -> Edit Modes to insert the routine checklists into a mode. 
  5. When that Mode is used in a Daily Schedule, the routine will display on your child's phone (when they have the widget on a homescreen). 
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Other sections in Caregiver Portal

The following sections don't need any setup. This information is to help you know what you're seeing in the Caregiver Portal and to get to know the possibilities of Pinwheel! 

Phone History

  • Text History lets you see all the text messages sent and received from every contact, even if they've been deleted on the device.
  • Call History provides a record of the inbound and outbound calls of the phone, including the time spent on the call.
  • Image Texting can be enabled by clicking the toggle in the top right corner of the Phone History page or on each contact card.

Dashboard Overview

  • The "Schedule override" switches: Temporary Lockdown and Temporary Allow All allow you to change the state of the phone quickly.
  • Location map shows the current location, updating every few minutes when connected via Wi-Fi or cell service.
  • History shows prior locations.
  • Device Panel shows the device's WiFi connection, battery life, the Pinwheel ID (which Customer Care will ask for, if you contact them for help), storage,  and the device locator.

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Need anything?

If anything isn't working as expected or you have questions, please reach out to Customer Care. We're happy to help!

Daily Hours
7 am to 9 pm Central Time

Live Chat
Tap on the Support icon in the bottom right corner of this page

Text or call
(888) 903-7977


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