There is a ton of content on, and kids can easily spend hours browsing the ocean of online videos. From Cocomelon to player streams like PewDiePie and YouTube can be a playground full of videos for a child, especially when they have access to a .
So what should parents do? Rather than letting your toddler roam free on YouTube, you can practice restraint by turning on restrictions. Although there are ways to use security settings on your Android oror YouTube has an assortment of features that go beyond the basic set of . You can reduce screen time, monitor content, block videos and more.
The separate YouTube Kids app is designed for younger children, but the main YouTube app offers myriad other ways to monitor what your child is watching too, even if they’re older. Here are the main tools available to parents, roughly ranked from easiest to most involved – from a single toggle to setting up and using separate apps.
“Ignore” what you don’t want your child to see
YouTube’s algorithm notoriously tracks your life and what you like to watch. Then it uses that information to recommend more related — or surprisingly random — videos to grab your attention. Imagine how many videos kids get bombarded with after watching the latest Marvel trailer, for example. There is a way to close this.
YouTube encourages parents to skip content they don’t want their kids to see by clicking the three dots on a video or channel and choosing “Not interested.” Such content will not appear in theiragain. This feature is only available for cell phone users, which can keep you on your toes when your child checks out something that is way too mature for them.
Unlike some of the other security options, this one isn’t on autopilot and requires you to be an active spectator. It’s great if you’re watching with your kids at the doctor’s office, at the beach, or in an Uber, where you’ll learn to be quick with the dismissive clicks when the autoplay is on.
A separate option from the “Not Interested” feature, YouTube Restricted mode is a unique setting that allows you to hide inappropriate content. It’s available on all devices, including smart TVs and tablets. From a phone or tablet, click on your account profile, go to General then tap the gear icon to Settings. Switch Restricted Mode to “On”. Unless you’re watching YouTube on a smart TV, you’ll need to sign in to your Google account to enable this setting.
You can use this feature to manage videos of a child of any age, including teenagers. Restricted mode is also available if you manage a supervised account for your child.
Supervise your child’s account
Introduced on YouTube in 2021,are available to parents in beta mode. They work exactly as they sound. Initially, these accounts were specifically aimed at children under 13, but now the feature includes older teens.
Content ratings are set by parents. Per YouTube, parents can choose from three content settings — Explore, Explore More, and Most YouTube — that match tween and teen ratings. These settings apply to the main YouTube app and YouTube Music.
- To explore is generally intended for viewers ages 9 and up. Some of the videos may contain low levels of violence, controlled substances or provocative language. YouTube also notes that educational videos about the human body or mental health are also part of this group.
- Videos under explore more are intended for ages 13 and up. In addition to vlogs, music videos, game clips, and other content, there may be mild profanity, violence, controlled substances, and “non-explicit sexual references.”
- The app Most of YouTube The setting designates videos intended for older teens, except for those marked for users over 18 and a selection of filtered content.
Worried about ads? Supervised accounts prevent personalized ads from showing and some other ads are not allowed. Video creators are required to notify YouTube if their content features product placements. So you can sometimes see these occurrences.
According to YouTube, updated features for supervised accounts now include the ability to block specific channels, and supervised experiences have expanded to eligible smart TVs and YouTube Music on Android, iOS, web and Google Assistant on screens. smart.
Go to YouTube Kids
Prefer to keep it simple for kids under 13? Just set them up with a YouTube Kids account. The app is entirely separate from the main YouTube app and hosts age-appropriate content that is either curated by YouTube or you, the parent. Videos are chosen and filtered by a group of parents, children’s experts and YouTube engineers before entering the platform, and you always have the option to report or block individual channels and videos.
Additionally, parents and guardians with a Google Account can sign in and send content directly to their children using the YouTube Kids app. But it’s parental controls that can give you real peace of mind.
After creating the kids’ profiles, you can choose content based on age or set it up where you need to approve each video. With the latter, you can select specific collections or channels for your child’s viewing experience, and children cannot search for anything on the app. Parents can also set timers or track their child’s viewing history. If you want to go the extra mile, you can choose to pay for a premium account to lock all ads.
Manage YouTube with Google’s Family Link app
Google is not only the parent company of YouTube, but it also owns Family Link, an app that allows users to filter content and manage screen time for children. It’s not required to use parental controls, YouTube supervised accounts, or other security features, but it can make your life easier.
Family Link lets you connect new or existing Google accounts for your child. For children under 13, you can register a new account, and Family Link lets you use parental controls and supervision on existing accounts for children of any age. However, with the latter, your child must consent to parental monitoring for you to enable it. From there, you can install and activate Family Link on their individual devices and manage YouTube from your own account. If your children turn off supervision on their devices, you will receive a notification and Android devices will be locked.
Family Link is available on the YouTube website, Chromebook, iOS 11 and later devices, and select Android devices running 5.0 or later. Download the app and you’ll be guided through the steps to add your child’s new or existing Google Account. Once the accounts are linked and registration is complete, your children can connect to their devices using Family Link. From there, you can set up restrictions or lock devices for each child by simply tapping their name in Family Link.
With access to your child’s YouTube app linked to yours, you can then set limits for screen time, content, or bedtime. You’ll be able to monitor what videos they watch and how often, whether on the standard YouTube app, YouTube Kids, or YouTube Music.
To find out more, seeand how to set up and use your . Additionally, here are the .