YouTube Gets New Parental Controls: How to Use Them

YouTube Kids aims to provide a safer space for viewing content, but not all of its videos have been manually watched and reviewed. And while YouTube's automatic filters leave room for error, the site's finally giving parents another much needed tool.

In a blog post yesterday (April 25), YouTube announced the Approved Content Only option, which will hide all videos that weren't hand-approved by the YouTube Kids team. This means you're not relying on any programmatic technology that nefarious content creators could slip past.

How does it work?

After setting up an account for your kid, you'll want to make sure the Search option is disabled. To do so, open the app, tap the Lock button in the lower right corner, correctly answer the numerical prompt, tap the Settings icon and tap on your child's profile.

Then, turn off the switch next to Allow Searching. Once you've done this, you will, according to YouTube, "limit the YouTube Kids experience to channels that have been verified by the YouTube Kids team."

For even more-granular control, tapping Manage will open up the Select Collections page, where you can pick and choose which subsets of hand-approved content you want your kid to see.

Upcoming Features

Later this year, YouTube will introduce a new Parental Control for extremely hands-on filtering that will "allow parents to specifically handpick every video and channel available to their child in the app." This sounds like a ton of work, though it could provide a greater ease of mind, as nobody knows what's best for your kid than you, their parent.

Henry T. Casey
Managing Editor (Entertainment, Streaming)

Henry is a managing editor at Tom’s Guide covering streaming media, laptops and all things Apple, reviewing devices and services for the past seven years. Prior to joining Tom's Guide, he reviewed software and hardware for TechRadar Pro, and interviewed artists for Patek Philippe International Magazine. He's also covered the wild world of professional wrestling for Cageside Seats, interviewing athletes and other industry veterans.