With 150 Million subscribers on YouTube, Cocomelon is a nursery rhymes channel that stands second in the list of most subscribed channels. Do we need any more evidence for YouTube being the primary entertainment platform for kids? But at the same time, there’s a lot on YouTube that you wouldn’t want your kids to watch. So, here’s how to add parental controls on YouTube.
There are plenty of ways to make YouTube Kids friendly on your Android, iPhone, or Desktop. However, that doesn’t mean restricting to just educational content on YouTube. Although we published an article earlier on how to use the restricted mode on YouTube, in this one, we want to focus more on creating a safe space on YouTube for your kids.
Therefore, effectively managing YouTube for your kids ensures that they get to access the right entertainment content tailor-made for them. Here are five ways to add parental controls on YouTube.
1. Use YouTube Kids to Block Inappropriate Content
Firstly, we have the YouTube Kids app. It is developed by Google and just showcases entertaining content made for kids. Moreover, the user interface is also child-friendly, and it requires a parent to set up and configure the app. It is available on iPhone and Android and you can use it on a web browser on your Windows and Mac machines.
Once you start using YouTube Kids, you can choose between multiple content types, namely learning, music, shows, and animated content featuring animals. Further, you can also set a passcode so that it can only be opened by you as a parent. Hence, you can use the links below to use YouTube Kids on any of your devices.
However, if you feel that your child is old enough for YouTube Kids, you can let them watch the regular version of YouTube, albeit with some restrictions. Here’s how.
2. Enable Restricted Mode on YouTube
YouTube has a restricted mode that hides mature and unsafe content. Hence, enabling this option will certainly help when your kids are watching YouTube. When you turn on Restricted Mode on YouTube, the following type of content will not be shown:
- Substance (drugs and alcohol) abuse.
- Sexual activities.
- Violence — violent acts, natural disasters, and tragedies.
- Mature subjects (war, crime, and political conflicts) that result in death or serious injuries.
- Profane, inappropriate, and mature language.
- Incendiary, inflammatory, or demeaning content.
Once you enable Restricted mode, you can ensure that only the appropriate content is reaching your kids.
Enable Restricted Mode on YouTube on iPhone and Android
Step 1: Open the YouTube app.
Step 2: Select the profile icon in the top right corner.
Step 3: Then, tap on Settings.
Step 4: In the Setting page, tap on General.
Step 5: Turn on the toggle for Restricted mode.
Enable Restricted Mode on YouTube on Web Browser
Step 1: Open YouTube on your web browser.
Step 2: Click on your Profile icon at the top right corner and click on Restricted Mode.
Step 3: Now, turn on the toggle for Activate Restricted Mode.
Next, let us see how we can supervise your child’s account on YouTube.
3. Set Parental Controls on YouTube App
Google has a provision for parents to create an account for their kids. Therefore, after creating one, you will be able to set a few restrictions on the YouTube app. Here’s how to do it.
Step 1: Create a Google account for your child. Use the link below to create an account. Enter all the relevant details for your child.
Step 2: Sign in to YouTube on your child’s device with the newly created Google account for your child.
You can tap on the profile icon in the top right corner of the mobile app to sign in or use the Sign in button on the desktop.
Step 3: On your (parent) device, log in to YouTube using the account you linked while creating your child’s account.
Step 4: Tap on the profile icon and select Settings.
Step 5: Tap on Parental Settings. If you are using the web browser, you will see the option ‘Manage Settings for Your Kids’,
Step 6: Select your child’s account. The settings that you will apply here will be applied to your child’s account and the device they are using YouTube on.
Step 7: Select whether you want to supervise YouTube Kids or the regular version of YouTube. Then, tap on Next.
Step 8: If you select YouTube Kids, you can choose from the list of options to supervise content.
Step 9: If you select the regular version of YouTube, you can choose from the list of options to supervise content.
Based on what you opted for, only the relevant content will be shown to your kids on YouTube.
However, you can additionally add a screen time restriction for the YouTube app on your device. Here’s how.
4. Set Screen Time Restrictions for YouTube
You can set screen time on iPhone as well as Android devices to limit specific app usage. While this was mainly introduced to help users maintain their digital well-being, you can however also use it to limit screen time for kids on their devices.
Set Screen Time Limit on YouTube on Android
Step 1: Open the Settings app.
Step 2: Tap on ‘Digital Wellbeing & parental controls’.
Step 3: Tap on Dashboard.
Step 4: Tap on YouTube from the list. If you don’t find YouTube, tap on ‘Show all apps’ and find YouTube.
Step 5: Now, tap on App Timer. Select a time limit and tap on OK.
Hence, after the set time, YouTube will not be accessible on your Android device unless you go to Settings and turn off the timer by tapping the delete icon next to the App Timer option.
Set Screen Time Limit on YouTube for iPhone
Step 1: Open the Settings app on your iPhone.
Step 2: Tap on Screen Time.
Step 3: Tap on App Limits and turn on the toggle for App Limits.
Step 4: Now, tap on Add Limit.
Step 5: Select Entertainment from the list.
Step 6: Check the box for YouTube and YouTube Kids, and once you do that, tap on Next in the top right corner.
Step 7: Lastly, enter a time limit for the app and tap on Add.
After the time limit is up, YouTube will not be accessible on your iPhone unless the screen time limit is removed. However, if you see notice something specific on YouTube you don’t want your kids to see, you can dismiss such content. Here’s how.
5. Block Inappropriate Content on YouTube
Even after taking all the measures we mentioned above to achieve parental control on YouTube, you may still see content that you wouldn’t want your kids to watch. Hence, in such cases, you can either block the channel or mark ‘Not Interested’ under the video. Once you do it, the content won’t appear on the YouTube feed.
Open the YouTube app and tap on the three dots icon next to a video. Now, select either ‘Not Interested’ or ‘Don’t Recommend Channel’.
Additionally, you can also open the channel, tap on the three dots icon, and select the ‘Block channel for Children’ option.
That is all you need to know on how to enable parental controls on YouTube. However, if you have more questions, look at the FAQ section below.
FAQs on YouTube Parental Controls
Yes. However, YouTube kids has only appropriate and limited advertising.
Yes, YouTube kids is fully free to use.
Yes, YouTube Kids is available for free on any of your favorite web browsers.
Stay in Control
We hope this article helped you easily enable parental controls on YouTube. However, just like YouTube kids, we hope Google releases an app specifically for young adults so that content moderation for parents becomes easier. That way, it will certainly help a lot of creators focus, and enhance content for pre-teens and early teens.
You can also check out these 4 ways to set parental controls on Android for kids.