From a very young age, children are used to watching YouTube videos. These can serve as a good five-minute nanny when you’re home alone with a baby, and you need to prepare them a meal, for example.
YouTube is full of channels with child-appropriate content, such as songs, games, plays, educational videos, and so on. Unfortunately, there’s also certain content that can be harmful to children and teenagers, or you consider it inadequate and don’t want your kids to watch it.
Whatever your reason, you should know how to block YouTube content if you feel that’s the right call. You also have plenty of ways to do it.
YouTube’s Restricted Mode
Before you opt for external blockers to restrict the content, your child can access on YouTube, try out the options YouTube itself offers.
If you’re worried your child will accidentally come across content you’d rather avoid, the first thing you can try is ‘Restricted Mode.’ If you want to exclude mature content from search, this is how to enable Restricted Mode.
- Launch your browser and go to YouTube. When the homepage loads, click on your profile picture.
- Scroll to the bottom of the dropdown menu, and click the restricted mode option.
- The site will warn you that this filter can’t be 100% accurate at all times. If you’re sure that you want to enable it, click on the toggle switch.
- Once it’s on, you can lock it, so other users can’t switch it back to off when they’re using the same browser.
This mode filters YouTube content based on many factors. It can block a video due to its title, metadata, description, or because someone reported it, and it didn’t pass the review.
If you want to use a different profile in the same browser, you will still need to enable this option again. If you use your profile in another browser, you will also need to turn it on once more. You can also enable the restricted mode on your smartphone, whether it’s an Android or an iPhone.
If you’re an Android user, after you log into your YouTube account, click on the three-dot icon in the top right corner of your screen and choose ‘Settings.’ From this menu, select ‘General’ and find ‘Restricted Mode’ to switch it on or off.
The situation with iPhones is similar. Launch the app and sign in to your account. Then tap your profile photo in the top right corner and go to Settings. Choose the ‘Restricted Mode’ filtering option and turn the mode on (it should say ‘Strict’).
Family Link App
This app redirects your children to age-appropriate content, limits their screen time, and lets you know where they are at any moment. You can also block them from downloading certain apps, or remotely lock their phone when you think it’s been enough.
You can use this app to filter YouTube content your children watch. You can create a Google account for children under 13, so they will have limited access to some Google services. Also, they won’t have access to YouTube, but only to YouTube Kids.
If your child is over 13 and has the supervision feature enabled in their Google account, or they’re over 13 and live in the EU, they will be able to use YouTube.
You can control what they can watch through Restricted mode, or you can even block YouTube completely.
To block the YouTube website, use the Family Link app:
- Open the app and select your child’s name.
- Open ‘Settings’ and select ‘Manage settings,’ then ‘Filters’ on Google Chrome.
- From this section, select ‘Manage sites’ and open ‘Approved or Blocked.’
- Add youtube.com to ‘Blocked.’
To block the app, do the following:
- Launch the Family link app and choose your child’s name.
- Select ‘More’ on the Apps installed card.
- Select the app you want to block.
- Switch the ‘Allow’ app option to on or off.
This app is a part of the official YouTube service, and it only allows children-friendly content.
Before your kid starts using this app, you will arrange the settings, so they are free to use it safely – the content level and the availability of the search options are your calls. At the moment of writing, adjusting the content level is only available in the US, but if you live in some other country, you can still turn off the search field if you don’t think your child should browse for videos on their own.
You may need to know how to block YouTube content, even if you’re using this version. Here’s how to do it within the Kids app.
If you’re currently on the Home screen, tap on the three-dot icon (More) next to the video you want to block. Choose to block only the video or the whole channel. Confirm by entering the numbers that appear on the screen, or your custom password.
If you’re currently on the Watch Page, tap on the three-dot icon at the top of the page. Select ‘Block.’ A dialogue box will appear, so choose the ‘Block this video’ or ‘Block this channel’ options. Tap ‘Block’ once more to confirm. Enter the numbers you see on the screen or your custom password to finish the process.
Chrome’s Video Blocker
This practical extension can block any video on YouTube. When you find an inappropriate video, you can use this tool to get rid of it.
All you have to do is right-click on the undesired video’s link on YouTube, or go to the options page and add each video you don’t like manually. If you don’t have time to do it step by step, this extension allows you to block videos from several channels at the same time. It’s possible if you add regular expressions to the extension, as well as highlight a certain keyword and block all the videos that contain it in the title.
Your kid won’t be able to unblock the content on their own because you can protect each video with a password. The comments under blocked videos won’t be available either.
Making the Internet a Safer Place
It’s only natural you want your child to be safe and happy when using the internet, especially when you know what kind of dangers are lurking around every corner.
Forbidding them from using the computer altogether may not be the best way to solve the problem – there are simpler ways to make a compromise.