YouTube Restricted Mode

YouTube’s ‘Restricted Mode’ is a setting available within YouTube that is used to automatically filter out recognised adult content and hide comments across all videos.

Written by Tech Expert:

Jessica Hill

YouTube is a brilliant resource that provides many (sometimes too many) hours of entertainment for people all over the world. While the platform is rich in educational and engaging content, there is plenty of material available that is not suitable for children or tweens. Turning on YouTube’s Restricted Mode for your child’s account will automatically filter out content that is known to contain adult themes, including drugs and alcohol, sexual situations, violence, mature subjects, and profane or mature language.

Restricted Mode for Computers

On the YouTube website (youtube.com)

  1. Click your profile picture (round circle with a profile shape or picture).

  2. Click Restricted Mode.

  3. In the dialog box that appears, toggle Restricted Mode to on or off.

*Note- Restricted Mode works on the browser level, so you must turn it on for each browser that is available on your child's device (Google Chrome, Safari, Internet Explorer, etc). If the browser supports multiple profiles (eg. siblings' profiles), you must enable it for each profile.

Restricted Mode for iPhones & iPads

Within the YouTube App 

  1. In the top right, tap your profile picture.

  2. Tap Settings.

  3. Tap Restricted Mode Filtering.

  4. Turn Restricted Mode to Strict.

On the YouTube Website (via Safari, Chrome, etc.)

  1. In the top right, tap More (the three vertical dots).

  2. Tap Settings.

  3. Tap Restricted Mode to turn it on or off.

*Note: Restricted Mode works on the browser level, so you must turn it on for each browser that is available on your child's device (Google Chrome, Safari, Firefox, etc.). If the browser supports multiple profiles (e.g. siblings' profiles), you must enable it for each profile.

Restricted Mode for Android Devices

Within the YouTube App

  1. Sign in to your account.

  2. On the top right, tap More (three vertical dots).

  3. Select Settings and then General.

  4. Turn Restricted Mode on or off.

On the YouTube Website (via Safari, etc)

  1. Sign in to your account.

  2. On the top right, tap More (three vertical dots).

  3. Select Settings 

  4. Turn Restricted Mode on or off.

*Note: Restricted Mode works on the browser level, so you must turn it on for each browser that is available on your child's device (Google Chrome, Safari, Firefox, etc). If the browser supports multiple profiles (e.g. siblings' profiles), you must enable it for each profile.

Is Restricted Mode effective?

Like many in-platform controls, restricted mode is certainly not foolproof. Whilst it does do a relatively good job of filtering out obviously adult content, questionable content has been known to slip through the cracks. 

In addition, in order for restricted mode to apply, your child must be signed into their YouTube account and must be using the Internet browser that you have enabled restricted mode in. Adding further complexity to keeping restricted mode enabled, tech savvy kids may take it upon themselves to turn restricted mode off if they feel that it is inhibiting their YouTube experience.