We love watching movies whenever we want! Especially over the holidays when Netflix and Disney+ get plenty of watch time. The Protect Young Eyes Team wants to show you how to enjoy these services through whatever streaming device you own, while also removing the junk.
Apple TV Parental Control Set-up
Apple TV streaming device parental controls are called Restrictions and are governed by a 4-digit PIN. For iPhone users who have used Screen Time, this will sound familiar. Follow these steps:
- Using the Apple TV remote, select the Settings app at the bottom of the Home Screen.
- In the Settings Menu, select General from the list of options shown.
- In the General Menu, select Restrictions from the list of options shown.
- In the Restrictions Menu, select Restrictions to turn it on, and then enter a 4-digit PIN (passcode). Re-enter those numbers once more to confirm, then select OK to continue (don’t forget this number!).
- Within this same Restrictions Menu are options to customize access to multiple features, including purchases, movies, apps, music, podcasts, ratings, and more. It’s worth the time to click through them all and set the desired preferences.
Separately, parents will want to set parental controls on third-party channels accessed through the Apple TV. The channels below are simply using the Apple TV as another exit point for their content. Therefore it’s entirely up to parents to ensure the accounts on each of these streaming apps are set up appropriately.
The great thing is, if you get the controls set up correctly at the APP level below, then no matter how you access them – Apple TV, a smart TV, a tablet, etc. – the controls will help create a safer digital experience.
- Amazon (just scroll down a little here until you see it!)
- Sling TV
- HBO Now (regular HBO)
- (HBO) Max (includes additional titles, e.g., Warner Brothers).
- YouTube: Make sure Restricted Mode is set at the router level. Your router is the most important digital device in your home! Check out the image below for more information.
- Twitch (now streams on smart TVs, too!)
Does your router and anything related to WiFi confuse you? No worries! We’ve created the Ultimate Guide to Understanding Routers, which has become an invaluable resource for thousands of formerly (lol) confused parents!
Roku Parental Controls
We’ve already created a highly-utilized Roku parental controls write-up (used by >1,o00 people weekly).
Chromecast Parental Controls
Chromecast doesn’t have parental controls because it doesn’t need them. It’s just an HDMI adapter that lets you stream computer content directly to your TV wirelessly. This means you’ll need to set parental controls at the operating system level of whatever type of computer you’re using and at the account level for streaming services like Netflix, Hulu, and others.
Links to streaming services like Netflix are above under the Apple TV section. Links to operating system parental controls and a few other streaming services you might watch are here:
- Windows (PC) parental controls
- MacBooks parental controls
- Chromebook parental controls
- Disney + Parental Controls
Amazon Parental Controls
There are multiple layers to consider regarding Amazon and parental controls:
- The Amazon Prime Video app on just about anything (smart TV, Android, iOS, Xbox, 360, Web)
- An actual Fire TV, and making sure overall access to the TV and its functions is controlled, often with a 5-digit passcode.
- Fire Tablets
- A smart TV that uses an Amazon Fire Stick
It’s a lot, I know! No worries. Here is how you set up each of these Amazon layers.
How to set up Parental Controls in Prime Video:
First, you’ll need to establish a 5-digit, Amazon Video pin. This is important since the Prime Video app can be accessed through so many different devices, as shown above. Once you set up a PIN for Prime Video, it is enforced across all devices.
How to set your 5-digit Prime Video pin through a web browser:
- Log into your Amazon account through a web browser.
- Select the Prime Video from the “All” option in the left menu (see the image below).
- Click the Settings gear in the upper right corner (see image below).
- You’ll see Parental Controls on the top.
- Then select what you want! Pay close attention to all of the devices at the bottom where the Amazon credentials are being used!
You can set up the 5-digit PIN from the Prime Video app on mobile and other devices, but it’s easier from the desktop. In case you’re curious:
How to set up Parental Controls on a Fire TV:
- On the Fire TV homepage, go to Settings.
- Within Settings, go to the menu item Preferences.
- Select Parental Controls.
- To enable parental controls, enter your PIN.
- Select a level of viewing restrictions to restrict the playback of videos across all apps with certain age ratings.
How to set up Parental Controls on a Fire Tablet:
- We cover the step-by-step instructions in our Complete Fire Guide for parents!
How to set up Parental Controls on a Device using a Fire Stick:
Great news! The Fire Stick just accesses your Prime Video account via your home wireless network, often in a situation where you have a flatscreen TV that isn’t “smart.” This means that by following step #1, establishing controls over your Prime Video account with the 5-digit pin, you’re all set!
Fire TV Gaming: Fortnite can be played right on Fire TV as long as you have a Prime membership or a Luna+ subscription. Important to keep track of what else might be happening on your TV!
After you’ve mastered parental controls for your streaming device, it’s time for popcorn, soda, and time with family!
What if I have more questions? How can I stay up to date?
Two actions you can take!
- Subscribe to our tech trends newsletter, the PYE Download. About every 3 weeks, we’ll share what’s new, what the PYE team is up to, and a message from Chris.
- Ask your questions in our private membership community called The Table! It’s not another Facebook group. No ads, no algorithms, no asterisks. Just honest, critical conversations and deep learning! For parents who want to “go slow” together. Become a member today!
Chris McKenna, Founder: A man with never-ending energy when it comes to fighting for the safety and protection of children. Chris practices his internet safety tips on his four amazing children and is regularly featured on news, radio, and podcasts for his research. His 2019 US Senate Judiciary Committee testimony was the catalyst for draft legislation and ongoing discussion that could radically change online child protection laws and earned PYE the NCOSE Dignity Defense Alert Award in 2020. The PYE team has performed over 1,700 presentations at schools, churches, and nonprofits and was featured in the Childhood 2.0 movie. Other loves include running, spreadsheets, nature, and candy.