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.

  • taekwondojoe
  • dallasbesty
    OMG! Really? "programmatic technology that nefarious content creators could slip past"? How much nefarious content is there? A tiny fraction!

    The kid will have to set up for them in the first place. YouTube can and should remove the "medical" and "waxing" videos and 99.98% of anything objectionable will be gone.
    Secondly, the kid will go to YouPorn or Liveleak if they want to see "objectionable material".

    Parents need to be smarter and less selfish about parenting. Computers need to be in the living areas and not their children's bedrooms. Same with game consoles.

    YouTube has been out of control with their censorship over the last 9 months already. Channel owners can no longer question our government actions or inactions publicly or they risk getting banned and all their videos taken down. At one time I thought this was the land of the free and their platform supported free speech. Google's censorship of YouTube channels has gotten completely out of hand. I have no issues with them not wanting to be a porn or a "gore" site and they have done fairly well in that regard. However, it is not their job to handle responsibilities that belong to parents in the first place.

    What is to keep a child from creating a new account to get around that? Will the rest of us have to prove that we are adults and submit identification? Google already has so many tools at their disposal to know who is using their resources. I hope some other platforms will rise to offer alternatives to YouTube before it becomes another "safe space" and censors everything that could possibly hurt someone's fragile sensibilities.

    I don't think Google needs to offer parental controls. They just need to step up on censoring the graphic nudity disguised as "professional tips and tricks" and let investigative channels back on to exercise their right to question everything and stop being part of the government's sedation of society lulling the masses to sleep and believing only one narrative of the news. Just tell parents to monitor their kid's activities like their supposed to. Just my 2 cents.