Nintendo Switch Parental Controls (including YouTube!)

Nintendo Switch Parental Controls PYE

Nintendo Switch Parental Controls (including YouTube!)

Updated: April 26, 2022

The Nintendo Switch is Amazing

Since its release in March 2017, the Nintendo Switch has been a wonderful replacement for the movement-oriented Wii that has surprisingly lasted for over a decade. Quite predictably, Nintendo is now expanding the number of apps available for use on the gaming console through its eShop Store.

YouTube was added in November 2018. But few sites have shown parents exactly how to handle this addition. YouTube is both fabulous and frightful. It’s a swamp of inappropriate, violent trash surrounded by lush meadows of hilarious cat videos. This addition to the Switch is worthy of attention.

How do I Set up a Nintendo Switch Parental Controls?

We have identified 11 steps that will (1) set up the Switch (2) set parental controls, and (3) control Nintendo Switch apps like YouTube and Hulu. These steps are first summarized in the picture below and then in a list with helpful links:

Nintendo Switch Complete Set-up

Here are the steps in list format with helpful links (the numbers in the list correspond to the numbers in the image above for easy cross-referencing):

(1) Create user profiles on the Switch console (instructions).

(2) Create Nintendo accounts (instructions) and (3) Assign Family Roles (instructions).

(4) Restrict access to certain aspects of the Nintendo eShop Store (instructions). Both Hulu and YouTube are available for download in the eShop. Both the Hulu and YouTube apps are rated “Teen” in eShop, if that’s helpful information for what you do and don’t restrict.

(5) Link Nintendo accounts to the Switch user profiles (instructions).

(6) Set up parental controls for the Switch system (instructions).

Related link: How to reset you parental controls pin.

(7) Download the Nintendo Switch Parental Control app for iPhone or Android.

(8) Link the Smartphone App to the Nintendo Switch Console (instructions).

Use clean DNS to control YouTube on the Switch!

(9) Have a great router in your home with parental controls.

Never forget: controlling the router is the key to controlling all internet-ready devices in your home. 

This is a really important step! Even after you’ve done everything for the Nintendo Switch device in steps 1-8, it is still really easy for a child with an email account to add a new user profile to the Switch (step 1 above), and then create and confirm a new Nintendo Account (step 2 above) through his/her email account. Therefore, if he/she adds an account and circumvents eShop Store controls by downloading YouTube onto the Switch, at least you can ensure YouTube Restricted Mode is being used by

If your router has always baffled you, don’t worry! We’ve written your complete guide.

Your Final Steps

(10) Look your kids in the eyes and tell them exactly what your expectations are for how the Switch is used!

(11) Check out the Nintendo Switch parental control app on your phone from time to time, to see how your child is doing with usage time.

And, that’s it! The set-up is so important. And, we’ve done the research for you! Why? Because we love helping families. If this post is helpful, please share it with a friend!

Here’s a Nintendo Switch walk-through video:


A note about the Nintendo Switch Online app. As of March 2022, users can display their online status on the app. By clicking on the settings within the app, users can choose to display their status to All Friends, Best Friends, or No one. Changing the setting on the app will also change it on the console. Currently, there is no way to add friends or discover friends on the app (the app actually directs you to use the console to access other friend features).



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16 thoughts on “Nintendo Switch Parental Controls (including YouTube!)”

  1. In Step 6 you state ” Set up parental controls for each Switch user profile”, but the instructions you link to point out that “Parental controls are set for the system – not each individual user.”. I.e. you can’t set parental controls for profiles, so all of you kids must use the same level of restriction.

  2. Candice McClellin

    What about the online switch membership? My son’s game Splatoon wants me to purchase and connect to this online switch membership,is that safe? Do the parental controls I put in place with the above instructions cover that as well?

    1. Hi, Candice – I’m so sorry that this comment didn’t get addressed sooner. Switch Online has an annual membership fee and gives players the ability to play certain Nintendo games online. It’s not necessary, and considered a “premium” service. From what I’m reading online, the parental controls you put in place with the parent app apply at the account level, so if the account is attached to the device or the online account, they should stick.

  3. Although you switch the nintendo to parental control and to a child mode. They are still able to watch youtube videos over their age and some of inplay games like fortnite has songs that has bad words in them and youtube hasn’t protected these. My childs nintendo is set to child mode but he can still access youtube videos that are teenage based and often have bad stuffs that promotes hate and bullying and these are kids talking in the inplay games. How can I prevent these as he loves some of the scientific and nature videos on youtube and I dont want to delete the app as a whole.

  4. How do I completely block all internet browsing on the switch? Is it even possible? If so I can’t find it. On our Wii U you can’t access internet without pin. But there is nowhere to prevent internet surfing on the switch. So ridiculous. I only want my son to play games we have purchased. No reason for him to be on the internet.

  5. Can parents add a control that requires parent approval (i.e., PIN) to even play the Nintendo Switch? Concerned about our older son accessing the internet and porn, which seems easy enough via the Switch.

  6. Can the circle device manage parental controls for the switch in place of the Nintendo Switch Parental Controls?

    1. Not really. The Switch has its own parental controls. Circle can prevent the Switch from connecting to the internet, but a Switch can play games just fine without any WiFi connection, too. Best just to use the Switch’s own native controls.


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