Caregiver Portal and Device Set Up

SETUP Guide (1080 × 319 px)

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.
  • If you purchased a starter SIM kit or prepaid cellular plan, you should have received that along with your Pinwheel shipment. Follow the instructions on the included card for activating that SIM.
  • 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. 
SIM card trays showing Slot 1
Showing the proper size of SIM card and an ejector tool

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”
Login Screen on a Pinwheel kid phone

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.

mom and daughter pinwheel

Customization : Section 1 of 4


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 600+ 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.
App Library - Caregiver Admin - Pinwheel -


  • 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 if it has factors you don't want them to have access to 24/7. 

Customization : Section 2 of 4


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. 
Contacts section of Pinwheel Caregiver Portal

Customization : Section 3 of 4


Pinwheel's exclusive Days and Modes features let you customize what your child's Pinwheel makes available to them at different times of day. It can be as simple as locking down the phone at night, to choosing which contacts, apps, and other functions are available on your child's Pinwheel at school or during homework time or for other reasons. 

General ideas of scheduling:

  • Each calendar date has a daily schedule.
  • Each daily schedule is built of "modes" which is a customizable set of apps, contacts, and routines.

Edit Daily Schedules

  • Use the  New Day  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.
daily schedules

Define Modes

Modes include apps, contacts, and routines, all enabled or disabled as a group.
  • Use the  New Mode  button to build a mode set 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 "Edit Daily Schedules" to insert newly created Modes.

Edit Schedule on Calendar Dates

  • In the calendar section, click the drop-down to apply a saved schedule for that date; repeat as needed.

Customization : Section 4 of 4


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 newly created checklists 
Pinwheel Caregiver Portal Routines screen

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

  • Temporary Lockdown or Temporary Allow All allow you to toggle on and off all features.
  • 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.

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


Untitled design (2)-2
Pinwheel Parenting Blog
Pinwheel healthy kid phone Instagram
Pinwheel healthy kid phone parenting group