How to set up parental controls on the Youtube App – Guide

Youtube has been around for quite some time now; since being launched in 2005, it now attracts billions of viewers every year.

With ranges of content from educational documentaries to people sky diving, the content on Youtube is enormously varied, with some YouTube videos being considered only suitable for adults.

So, parents often wonder whether they can set YouTube parental controls within the app to stop their children clicking onto YouTube videos that may contain adult content. Fortunately, this is possible – here’s how.

How to put parental controls on Youtube App – Here’s the solution

Youtube being the biggest video site as we mentioned, they add a lot of features to help users use the site as they like.

If you’re looking to restrict access to some of the more age inappropriate content then thankfully Youtube has thought of that too and given you the option to set parental controls.

Even more specifically, today we’re showing you how to add parental controls on the Youtube App.

The exact name of Youtube’s parental controls is called “Restricted Mode”. This removes all videos which have been flagged to have inappropriate content.

So whilst you can’t traditionally set up YouTube parental controls, you can take advantage of the restricted mode within the app itself.

How to turn on restricted mode on the Youtube App

First things first, navigate over to your Youtube App. If you don’t have the app installed make sure to get it from the App store or play store depending on which type of device you have.

Once at the home screen of the Youtube App follow these steps to enable restricted mode:

  • Tab your profile icon in the top right to access a menu
  • On this menu select “settings” in the right corner and a new menu will appear
  • On this next menu select “General” and a new menu will appear
  • Finally, tap the restricted mode option to enable it.

All done; the app is now in restricted mode and will not show any content that is flagged as inappropriate.

As before, the restricted mode is the closest to parental controls that the Youtube app has, it does near everything you’d want parents controls to do except limit time spent.

This can be done, but not through the Youtube app itself – this is best done by the screen time option in the settings app that is on every apple device by default.

Having restrictions is one of the main reasons why YouTube won’t play videos, so make sure you’re enabling it on the right account beforehand.

Alternative to Restricted Mode – YouTube Kids Settings

The main downside of restricted mode is that it does not have the usual protection that parental controls would have.

This meaning a certain tech savvy child can navigate themselves over to the settings and simply turn it off if they know how to. While not ideal, it is still a possibility.

As an alternative solution, if you are worried about this then you could consider downloading the Youtube Kids app.

They’re a lot more vigilant about the content that makes it onto the platform, so you can be sure that there’s nothing inappropriate (though it is limited in comparison to standard YouTube).

This is not ideal with the content being so limited and being aimed primarily at younger children, but if it is a younger child that you are doing this for then the Youtube Kids app would probably be ideal.

Downsides of YouTube Restricted mode

Another thing to note with this is that it is specific to the app only and not an account setting that goes across devices.

If you have multiple devices that this may need doing for then you will need to go into the settings for each device and turn this on.

Finally, restricted mode is reliant on the videos being flagged as mature/inappropriate when uploaded, being caught by an algorithm or being manually flagged.

Because of this not only can some videos slip through the filter, but it can also work the other way around too and is actually a known issue among the Youtuber community.

Videos can be wrongfully flagged, this is usually resolved as Youtubers themselves get rather upset when this happens as it restricts their audience but can still be a bit of a pain.

So, if a video is missing that you know should be there, it might be worth turn restricted mode off, searching again, then re-enabling the function later on.


In conclusion, Youtube doesn’t have what you would usually call a parental control feature but does have a restricted mode feature which aims to achieve the same thing in removing inappropriate content from the app.

This works fairly well, but unfortunately due to the nature of Youtube, doesn’t always work as well as it should.

So, some inappropriate videos may fall through the cracks even when on restricted mode. Youtube themselves have put a lot of effort into understanding the age demographics of the content that has been uploaded to their site.

This is usually by either manually tagging videos or using algorithms to assess the appropriate age ranges for videos.

Thankfully, these occurrences are very unlikely and should pose no issue if your aim is to remove inappropriate content from the app for your child.

In fact, the opposite is actually more frequently occurring, where a video has been wrongfully flagged and won’t be available – if this happens and you know a specific Youtuber uploads on a specific day but do not see their video, then turn off restricted mode.

After you search again, you should find it – just remember to re-enable the YouTube restricted mode again afterwards.

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By day he's an engineer and by night (well, evening or very early morning but night sounds way cooler) Alex runs the Apps UK ship. He has a keen interest in language, fitness & especially social media - he is always on the lookout for the next hot platform.

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