How to Set Up YouTube Parental Controls (+How to Disable)

December 11, 2018

With every new invention comes the realization that it is not without its own dangers.

The same is true of any social media website, including video-sharing platform YouTube. (See How to Make a YouTube Channel to get started creating your own content.)

If you want to protect your young ones from foul language, adult content, or simply something you find gross (pimple popping channels aren’t for everyone), you’ll need to learn how to set up parental controls.

How to set up YouTube parental controls

YouTube is wonderful for occupying children. There are a plethora of educational and/or entertaining videos that can help pass the time on long car rides or in the waiting room of a doctor’s office. 

But handing your child a tablet or smartphone and telling them to go wild can result in an education you weren’t prepared for them to get. For this reason, it’s important to monitor a child’s electronic usage.

Follow the steps below to learn how to protect children from content they’re not yet mature enough to view.

Get resources on how to use YouTube, FREE.    Explore →

1. Sign in to YouTube

The first step to setting up what YouTube refers to as restricted mode is navigating to and signing into your account. Yes, this means you have to have an account. This ensures your preferences are saved over time and your profile is customized as you like it.

Once you’re signed in, YouTube should have you on your homepage.

I will not be taking questions about my recommended videos at this time.

YouTube homepage


2. Click on your icon

Find your account icon on the top right-hand corner of the screen. The arrow below shows what the correct icon looks like.

YouTube account icon


3. Turn on restricted mode

Once you click on your icon, a menu will appear. At the very bottom of the menu, you’ll see where it says “Restricted Mode: Off.” Click this option. 

YouTube restricted mode


4. Verify approval

YouTube wants to be sure you want to activate restricted mode. The message below will popup before you’re done and explain a little more about what this setting does.

“Restricted Mode can help hide videos with potentially mature content. No filter is 100% accurate, but it should help you avoid most of this type of content. Your Restricted Mode setting will apply to this browser only.”

If this messaging sounds good to you, click on the circle next to “activate restricted mode.”

activate YouTube restricted mode


YouTube will immediately update your recommended content according to what videos have cleared through their restricted filter.

Disable parental controls

If you want to disable restricted mode, you just go back the way you came. Click on your icon and again, navigate to where it says “Restricted Mode: On.”

Click on the blue circle and YouTube will quickly take you back to normal viewing mode.

This is helpful if you share a YouTube account with your children and wish to navigate back and forth between restricted and unrestricted viewing.

If you’re ready to get your family off of the platform altogether, you’ll need to know how to delete a YouTube account

Keep watch while they watch

YouTube parental controls are a much-needed feature in a world where kids live their lives online. It allows you to feel like you have some control while letting your child feel independent. 

If you’re looking into parental controls on YouTube, it’s possible you could benefit from knowing about a few other features.

From Twitter to YouTube to Instagram to Facebook, there are a bunch of social media platforms you can use. Discover and compare the best social networks for your business right here:

See which Social Media Platform is right for you →


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