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How to Enable YouTube Parental Controls

If you want your children to watch videos on YouTube, but you’re afraid of what they might see, that’s not a problem - there are ways you can control that. We understand your concerns about children watching content that’s inappropriate for their age. 

YouTube can be a great educational tool for children, but part of responsible parenting is making sure your children aren’t watching inappropriate videos.

We’ll explain how to change age restrictions on YouTube and how you can see what your child’s been watching so you can use the parental control features to fine-tune their viewing options. Additionally, if you're worried your child is spending too much time watching Youtube instead of learning we'll show you how you can half your kids screen time and double their time spent on learning apps.

How to Restrict What Your Child Watches on YouTube

  1. Access and sign in to your YouTube or Google account. 
  2. Click the “settings” button on the left sidebar
  3. Click the drop-down menu at the bottom of the page that says, “Restricted Mode: Off.”
  4. Select “on” to lock Restricted Mode on this browser. 
  5. Click “Save.” 
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youtube lock restricted mode

Repeat this process with other browsers and computers. 

Select Content Levels Based On Your Kid’s Age

To select content levels based on your kids’ age, simply click the lock symbol at the bottom right corner. Solve the math problem or enter the numbers shown. You can also enter a custom passcode. Click the settings button. 

It’s possible to block videos on the YouTube Kids app that your child shouldn’t watch. Sign in to the YouTube Kids app and connect your linked child accounts with your Google account for sharing YouTube videos.  

Parents can also customize what content YouTube displays in the app. To use those content settings, you must create a child profile. Please note that besides the content setting you choose for your child, any content you share with them from YouTube will also be available on YouTube Kids. 

To change the content settings, follow these steps:

  1. Click the lock symbol at the bottom of the app page. 
  2. Enter a custom passcode or complete the math problem. 
  3. Choose “Settings.”
  4. Choose your child’s profile and type in your password for the parent account. 
  5. Select the correct content setting, or choose to approve the content yourself. 
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youtube kids profile settings

Content Setting For Pre-schoolers

Content in the preschool setting is for ages four and younger. It allows kids to interact with videos that encourage kids to be creative and playful or learn and explore. YouTube has excluded most unsuitable content, though they haven’t reviewed it all. 

You can block or report unsuitable content if you find it. Videos included in Preschool Content are only searchable in this setting. 

Content Setting for Younger Audiences

Kids ages 5-8 will benefit from the Younger Content setting. Kids in preschool and early elementary school will enjoy cartoons, songs, crafts, and other content. 

You can block or report unsuitable content if you find it. YouTube Kids videos are only searchable in this setting if they fall within the Preschool and Younger content settings. 

Content for Older Kids

The Older content setting targets kids between the ages of 9-12. This category contains movies, games, and science content. It’s suitable for older kids who may be ready for more mature content from YouTube’s entire video library. There is a risk kids may see explicit language, violence, or suggestive imagery in videos with this content setting.

This setting tries to exclude mature content. Since neither Google employees nor automated systems are perfect, they may miss some videos. More mature videos may contain nudity, offensive language, and violence. 

Please report videos you think are inappropriate for kids when using the Older content setting so YouTube can review them right away. The settings for this search allow your child to explore all YouTube videos for kids, including pre-schoolers and younger children. 

The Approved Content Only Setting

This setting allows your child to only view the content you select. Your child can’t search for videos in this setting. 

How to set up approved content only:

  1. Click the app’s lock symbol.
  2. You can solve the math problem, type the numbers on the screen, or enter a custom password. 
  3. Choose “Settings”.
  4. Select the correct profile and type in the password for the parent account to modify the settings. 
  5. Choose the “Approved content only” option.
  6. Review the “Getting Started” box. 
  7. Choose “Select.” 
  8. Click the plus (+)  symbol next to the content you want your child to watch. 
  9. You can exit by selecting the “Done” button.

You can edit the collection, channel, and videos you’ve approved through the “Approved content only” option under Manage. Tap “Preview” to see what your child will see while reviewing content. You can also disable “Approved content only” in the settings.

How to Control What Your Child Watches on YouTube

There are two ways to check your child’s viewing history on YouTube. You can check your child’s viewing history using one of the following methods.

Use the YouTube History Option to Monitor Your Child’s Usage

You can access YouTube regardless of whether you have a Google account. However, if you want to monitor your kid’s YouTube history, you need to use a shared Google account. You can let them access your account on their devices, allowing you to access your kid’s search from either your own device or theirs. Here’s how to look at YouTube history:

  1. Go to YouTube on your child’s device. 
  2. On top of our screen, select the navigation bar, and then tap on history. 
  3. By tapping the video history icon, you can view their video history based on what they have watched or searched for. 
  4. To see your kids’ most recent videos, just scroll down. 

Monitor Through Your Browsing History

You can see broader details about your children’s YouTube history through the browser they use most often to access the official YouTube site. You can also view additional logs through your browser history, such as the time or date they watched a specific video. 

To check your kid’s YouTube video history through your browser history, follow these steps:

  1. Open the browser and select the settings button. On Google Chrome, it’s the three dots at the far right of the screen at the top. 
  2. Go to history and choose the device you want to check the history of if there’s over one device listed. 
  3. If you’re using Google Chrome, you can search for “YouTube” in the search bar. 
  4. Click on the links to any YouTube videos that come up. 

You can also use “Watch It Again” to find videos your child watched recently:

  1. Go to your home screen and tap “Recommended.”.
  2. You will see the videos your child watched when you swipe right. 

On the right side of the screen, you will find the most recently viewed videos. In “Watch it again,” only videos viewed on that device will appear. If you cannot find an older YouTube video, it may have been removed, made private, or made inaccessible to children. 

Using the parental settings, you can turn off search and clear your history to remove Watch It Again. If you pause the history under parental controls, videos your kids watched while the history was paused won’t appear there. 

How to block YouTube channels

YouTube is one of the most used applications in the world, particularly among children. The app's allure is that it's continuously recommending new videos, although this may be problematic at times. Because not every content is appropriate for children, it's critical to know how to block YouTube channels when necessary.

To block a specific channel from the YouTube app:

  1. Go to the channel page for the YouTube channel you want to block.
  2. Tap on page settings.
  3. There you will see Block user.
  4. Tap on Block user.

Why Should You Care About What Your Child Watches On YouTube? 

Most kids have an inquisitive nature. YouTube can be a great way to encourage their curiosity, but it could also be harmful if they watch the wrong videos. Checking their viewing history will tell you what videos your kids are watching, so you can block inappropriate content. That way, your kids won’t risk watching something inappropriate, which may make them form bad habits. 

How to Use YouTube Kids

Kids can only access their profiles through the YouTube Kids app if their parents are logged in. You can add up to eight profiles per account. If you’re using the YouTube Kids app for the first time, follow these steps:

  1. Follow the instructions on the screen once you open the YouTube Kids app
  2. Enter your birth year when prompted. 
  3. Registering for the app will give you more features and parental controls. 

If you decide to sign in:

  1. If you’ve created an account on the device and want to sign in with it, choose it and sign in. To create a Google Account, add or create one by following the instructions. After you add the account, tap Sign In. 
  2. Read the YouTube Kids parental consent information. Once you agree, click “Next” and provide your password. 
  3. Set up a child profile. YouTube will try to customize the app based on your child’s age. When you enter a birth month, the app uses this to provide an age-appropriate experience. Only you and your child can see this information. 
  4. Select a content experience based on your child’s age:
    1. Preschool (Ages 4 and under)
    2. Younger (Ages 5-8)
    3. Older (Ages 9-12)
    4. Approve content yourself
  5. You’ll now take a tour of the parent features through the YouTube Kids app. The tour highlights where to find parental control settings and how to block and report videos. 
  6. Your child can now use YouTube Kids. Select the profile of the child using the app to get started. You can return to settings to change the parental control options. 

If you choose to continue without signing in:

  1. Choose the content experience that’s right for you. This important choice affects the videos your child can watch on the app. 
  2. You can also sign in for additional parental control features, such as Approved Content Only mode and the ability to block videos and channels. 
  3. You’ll explore YouTube Kids’ parent features. The guide highlights where to find parental control settings and how to report videos. 
  4. Read the Notice to Parents. If you agree, choose “I agree.” 
  5. Your child can now use YouTube Kids. You can return to Settings to change your parental control settings or sign in for more options and controls. 

How To Manage Screen Time On YouTube

You can limit your child’s screen time by using YouTube’s timer, which tells them when to stop watching. As soon as the session is over, the timer displays a friendly alert, so you don’t have to do anything. 

How to set the timer:

  1. Click the lock icon at the bottom of any page.
  2. Enter your custom passcode or type in the numbers that appear
  3. Choose “Timer.” 
  4. To set a time limit, use the slider bar or the - and + icons.
  5. Press the “Start Timer” button

Kids will receive a “Time’s up!” message once time runs out. You can unlock the screen by following these steps:

  1. In the app, tap the lock icon near the bottom corner.
  2. Enter the numbers shown on the screen or your custom passcode.
  3. Choose Timer, then click “Exit Timer.” 

Update YouTube Permissions on Phones and Tablets

Because you're just equally prone to give over your personal tablet or phone, make absolutely sure YouTube Parental Control is turned on, on both the device's browser and the YouTube application. 

Follow these steps to set YouTube Parental controls for iPhone:

  1. Click on your account button in the top right corner.
  2. Tap “Settings.”
  3. Go under “General”
  4. Click “Restricted Mode” Filtering.
  5. Turn “Restricted Mode” on.

Follow these steps to set YouTube Parental controls for Android:

  1. Log into your YouTube/Google account.
  2. Click on the “three-dot” icon for “Settings.”
  3. Select “Settings > General.”
  4. Turn “Restricted Mode” on.

Other Ways to Keep Your Children Safe Online

Parental control software like Carrots&Cake helps you control how much time your child spends online, whether they’re looking at YouTube or other websites. You can prevent them from accessing Youtube, or alternatively encourage them to complete learning apps before they can access Youtube.

Carrots&Cake allows you to set time limits for your children so they don’t develop electronic screen syndrome or other health problems associated with electronic screen use. 

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Designed using science-based solutions, Carrots&Cake is a parental control learning app for kids. It's built by parents and developed with doctors, teachers, and scientists. Carrots&Cake helps kids develop healthy digital habits that make screen time more beneficial and less addictive.

With Carrots&Cake, kids learn first and play later. The app applies the oldest parenting technique to screen time: "Do your homework before you play." In other words, "Eat your carrots before your cake."

Once parents download Carrots&Cake, they select their favorite educational apps (anything available in the AppStore.) When kids turn on their devices, they have to complete the educational apps — 'Carrots' — before they can enjoy playtime — 'Cake.'

Turn on Google SafeSearch

While using YouTube parental settings to limit content is good, let this serve as a gentle reminder that children have access to mature material all across the internet. Turning on the "Safe Search" filter in any browser your child uses should be your first consideration.

Follow these steps to turn Google SafeSearch on:

  1. Go to
  2. Click “Settings” in the bottom right corner.
  3. Select “Search Settings.”
  4. Check “Turn on SafeSearch” and click “Lock SafeSearch.”


These are the different methods for how to change age restrictions on YouTube and manage how much time your children spend watching it. Using these features will reduce the likelihood your child will see inappropriate content, and help control how much time they can spend watching YouTube, so they don’t become addicted to it. 

These parenting hacks can help encourage them to spend more time doing physical activities and interacting with others in the real world. It also reduces the likelihood they’ll develop vision problems and gives them time to do other things they need to do.

With Carrots&Cake, we bring a balance to how long your child can be on electronic devices. Try its application stack feature that encourages the use of good cognitive learning apps, after which your child can watch (YouTube) or play games for a set time. At Carrots&Cake we don’t restrict screen time. We encourage it by improving the quality of time spent on it. For tantrum-free screen time, try Carrots&Cake today.

Also Read: Talk to your kids about screen time!

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Jessica O'Brien
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