Admit it: you too are in great difficulty when you see your children and girls constantly struggling with a multitude of multimedia devices, such as smartphones, tablets, or T.V.s, often connected to the Internet, while benefiting from video streaming services, television broadcasts, or, in general, the various types of content offered by the web.
Naturally, you worry about it, and I can only agree with you: it is essential to take all possible precautions to make their browsing experience safe and at the same time fun. Therefore, constant parental control at this stage is critical. Still, it is possible to integrate supervision with a series of handy and functional software tools, commonly known by the definition of parental control, often already integrated into the devices’ operating systems above.
Well, I decided to create a guide specifically to support you in this critical and delicate activity, illustrating how to activate parental control and limit access by children to certain content on all major devices and operating systems. Ready to go? Well, then let’s get down to business right now. Good reading and good work!
How to turn on parental control on P.C.
Does your child have access to a computer in the house, and are you worried that it might run into some inappropriate content? Don’t worry; in the following few paragraphs, I will show you how to activate the parental control on P.C. through the features made available by Windows and macOS operating systems.
If Windows 10 is installed on your P.C., you should know that you can create a child account to activate the features provided by Microsoft within the Family Safety project.
First, log in to the operating system with an Administrator profile click, click the Start button (the one with the Windows flag) at the bottom left, and then click the gear symbol to access the settings.
On the new screen, click the Account icon and, in the next window, from the left panel, press the Family option and other users. In the right pane, below the Your Family section, there is the entry Add family member: click the symbol [+] to its left and, from the window that appears, press on the word Create an account for a child.
You will be redirected to a new form, in which you can enter the email address to create. Press the Next button, enter your password and click the Next button once again. Now type the first and last names, click next again and enter the source country and date of birth of the user to create in their fields, still pressing on the Next button.
The last step is to authenticate your Microsoft account, enter your username and password and press the Next button to validate the operation. If you don’t have an account yet, press on the Don’t have an account? Click here to create one and follow the steps to record it. Finally, please read the terms of service and privacy screen, and then type your account name in the field below and click the Yes button; I accept.
On the screen below, choose whether to allow your child to access third-party apps (not published by Microsoft). If so, place the checkmark in the box next to its name. Then press the Continue button below. If you haven’t given your consent, you’ll see an additional confirmation screen for your chosen option. Then press the Continue button, and in the last step, click the Finish button: you’ll see a summary of your family members registered by Microsoft.
You can now change your settings now, or if you want, connect to your Microsoft account from this page at any time to change them. In the latter case, to access, click the Sign-in button at the top right, enter the username on the first screen of the authentication form, and braid on the Next button. Type, then, your password and press the Sign-in button.
There’s the Family tab on the home screen: click manage your family, and on the next page, locate your child’s profile. Finally, clicking on the Panoramica entry will allow you to access a screen where you can set various filters. So let’s see the specific settings for safe UseUseUse of a P.C. running Windows 10.
Pressing on the Screen Time feature will access a new page where, at the bottom, there is the option for Windows 10 devices. Next, press the Activate limits button to interact with a panel that shows the report of those set for each day: by clicking on it, you can see a new screen to define them on time.
You will find a particular tile with a drop-down menu at the top to set the day (or every day) you want to change. At the bottom, however, you will find a bar through which to select the number of hours your child can spend in front of the computer. Further down, you can then define the time slot within which you can access the device. Finally, press the Finish button, and you’ll see your schedule updated on the summary.
Click now on the Content Filters item (in the left menu) and, in the box you are offered, press the button located below the Filter Settings section. This will activate the restrictions for the content to be displayed, which, note well, will only be applied to searches performed through the Microsoft Edge browser and the Bing search engine, completely blocking any other browsers installed on the P.C.
The button under UseUseUse only Allowed Websites activates an additional security measure that allows access only to specific sites that Microsoft considers safe: you can optionally add more from the form below under the Allowed Sites entry, typing the site address to be authorized, and pressing the [+] symbol.
The ones above are the main default features on the Windows 10 operating system for managing family filters on P.C. If you want to use other external programs to define parental control rules on computers, I suggest you read my dedicated guide.
If you have an Apple computer and want to know how to turn on parental control on macOS, I recommend you first create a user profile for your child locally. Press, then, on the apple logo located at the top left, then click on the System Preferences item in the menu that opens and, in the next window, press on the Users and Groups option.
On the screen you’re shown, click on the lock at the bottom left, enter your Mac admin password, and press the Unlock button. You can now click on Sign [+] below the list of users. In the form that you open, keep the Standard value in the New Account field, and then enter the full name, account name, password (repeat in the Confirm field), and press on the Create User button.
Before proceeding, you should also know that starting with macOS 10.15 Catalina, the settings for the filters in question have been merged into the Usage Time feature (parental control was previously present).
At this point, access the operating system with your child’s profile, click on the apple logo (top left) and select the System Preferences item from the menu you are offered. In the window that opens, click the Usage Time feature, and then, on the next screen, press the Usage Pause item in the left menu.
Pajamas, now, on the Active button located in the upper right to allow the change of limitations and choose whether to apply the brake to each day (in this case, you can immediately operate on the times on the side of the wording above, clicking on the arrows to set the start and end time) or whether to apply the Custom option: the latter plans to select the day on which to place the limitation, also acting on the respective times in the same view mode for the “Every day” feature.
By clicking on the next item on the left menu, App Limitations, you’ll access a window where you can select the applications you want to restrict (by pressing the [+] symbol at the bottom). Then, on the next screen, please select a category of applications, or press the arrow to the side to view them and choose the applications to limit individually.
The section below defines maximum usage time for applications selected in the same view mode for pause usage and press on the Finish button to validate changes. I also recommend that you evaluate the Content and Privacy feature of the left menu.
After you sign in to their screen to change the settings, you must press the Activate button. You’ll see four tabs associated with different features: Content, Store, Apps, and More.
In particular, I will point out the settings on the Content section, where I suggest you enable the Restrict adult websites and store functions: in the latter, you can adjust the availability of movies, T.V. shows, and Apps in Apple stores, also defining the age group most suitable for them.
How to turn on parental control on tablet and mobile phone
Does your child have one or more mobile devices and themes that may misuse them, or that you risk stumbling into content that is not suitable for their age? Let’s immediately see how to activate parental control on tablets and mobile phones through the default features of Android and iPhone/iPad devices.
If the device to monitor is powered by the Android operating system, you’ll have default settings that you can refer to limit some content and apps. In particular, I recommend you proceed by setting up security checks on the Play Store.
Then, the latter (it has the colored triangle icon) and press your profile photo, top right. From the context menu that appears, press on the Settings item and, on the next screen, press on the Family item. Now press the Parental Controls option to access the parental controls screen: At the top, you will find a special button that, if pressed, allows you to activate this control by setting a PIN (or an alternative identification mode chosen on your device),
After you do this simple operation, you can operate on the underlying entries, which allow you to set restrictions on the contents. Press, then, on the app and games item and locate the PEGI corresponding to the child’s age range. Pajamas, therefore, on the relative value (ranging from 3 to 18) and press on the Save button to confirm the choice. Then repeat the operation with the following entry Film: you will find, this time, the indication V.M. followed by age.
Another very effective solution made by Google is related to the Family Link service, which allows you to set up very punctual supervision of the activities performed by children on android devices to which they have access. I, therefore, advise you to read my dedicated guide, in which I set out in detail the operation of the service in question.
iPhone and iPad
Suppose your child has access to an Apple device. In that case, you should know several native features on iOS and iPadOS systems to activate family filters and appropriate usage restrictions. Let’s see, therefore, how to start the parental control on iPhone and iPad.
First, tap on the Settings icon (the gear icon) in Home Screen, then press on the Usage Time entry. Pajamas, now on the Pause option to access a screen where you can set a time frame within which only allowed apps would be available.
Press, then, on the button next to the Usage Pause to activate this feature, then decide whether to apply it to each day. In this case, you can directly enhance the Start and Finish times in the bottom section by tapping on the relevant entries, then swiping your finger at the time and minute to set the desired one.
If you want to apply the feature only on certain days, press the Customize Days entry, and then press the various days of the week that will be exposed to you to define daily time slots: the operation is the same as shown in the previous paragraph.
Now go back to the home screen, using the Back button, and press this time on the App Limitations entry. On the following screen, tap on the add usage restrictions and always choose the category (or categories) of apps you want to restrict.
If you only want to operate on some apps individually, press the side arrow, and you’ll see the list of available apps: press on one or more of them and tap on the Next entry, top right, to set a usage time limit, constantly swiping in on the time and minutes. Again, you’ll have the Customize Days entry. When you’re done, press the Add button at the top right to record your changes. Keep in mind that the minimum usage limit of an app is 1 minute, so to completely block access to an app, you will have to run it for at least 1 minute (knowing that later in the day, the system may still be allowed to use it for another minute).
Another essential feature that I suggest you take advantage of is the one called Content and Privacy Restrictions. Tapping on the previous entry will enter the relevant screen: activate it by pressing the button at the top to turn green. Here, within the Content Restrictions section, you can filter the allowed content on the store. For example, by pressing on the Movies item, you can decide which maximum age range to enable or make all content unavailable.
You can also inhibit downloading Apps on the screen above, always using age groups as a criterion, or filter web content, by accessing the eponymous section and pressing on the Restrict adult websites options.
If you wish, you can also set an additional security measure through the Use Usage Time code feature on the Usage Time screen: it’s essential to ensure that your child doesn’t change the various preferences shown so far. By pressing the previous entry, you can define a code, which you will have to type twice.
After confirming the code, you will also be asked to enter your Apple ID and password to allow you to reset it in case of loss.
How to turn on parental control on T.V.
Does your child spend a lot of time in front of the T.V. and want to make sure they don’t go through watching content that’s unsuitable for their age? For many years, all models have provided different security features to limit these drawbacks: let’s see how to activate T.V.’s parental control.
Now I will tell you how to activate the parental control on Samsung T.V., but the menus of the T.V.s produced by the various brands are pretty similar to each other, so you should not find it any particular difficulty in following my directions although with some different items to select.
After accessing the T.V., then press the Menu button of the remote control and, on the screen that will appear on the screen, locate the Settings item (or the symbol of a gear): select the equipment, acting with the arrow keys of the remote control and press the Enter button (generally marked with an arrow inside a rectangle).
Using the arrows, select the Security option and press Enter again: you will be shown a screen for inserting a PIN. If you’ve never set it before, it’s probably 0000 left (but check your model manual for safety). Next, you will be shown a screen to activate Channel Blocker (must be on On) and its age group.
To act on the above settings, swipe with the arrows to select the one of interest and press the Enter button to access the relevant screen. For example, in the Program Block screen, you can define the maximum age beyond which any programs deemed unsuitable by the broadcaster will be inhibited.
Parental control settings are also often available on set-top boxes and T.V. boxes, i.e., all those devices that, once connected to the HDMI port of a T.V., allow you to join the latter to the Internet by providing several apps, including those for streaming multimedia content.
How to turn on parental control on YouTube
Have you realized that your children are particularly attracted to the content offered by YouTube and would like to limit the viewing of some videos on this famous platform? No problem: let’s immediately see how to activate the parental control on YouTube.
Google’s popular property service provides a specific feature, called Restricted Mode, that can be easily activated on both P.C.s and mobile devices. In the first case, connect to the main YouTube page from your computer, and if it’s not already authenticated, press the Sign in button, top right to sign in.
Then click your profile picture in the upper right, and a context menu will open, where the last item present is Restricted Mode, followed by the activation state: if it is in the Inactivating form, press on the article above, and then act on the Enable Restricted Mode button. Please note: The setting is only valid on the browser in which it is implemented.
On mobile devices, the operation is just as simple. Take the smartphone or tablet you want to activate the filter in question and launch the YouTube app. Then press on your profile picture and select the Settings item from the menu that appears.
On the next screen, tap on the General option and then locate the Restricted Mode entry: if the button to its right is gray, press on the same to turn on the setting. Again, the operation is only valid on the device on which it is implemented.
How to turn on parental control on Google
Suppose you want to learn how to activate parental control on Google. In that case, I want to inform you that it is possible to make operational a handy function made available by the famous search engine, called SafeSearch: the latter allows you to filter the proposed results following a Google search, eliminating those considered explicit.
First, connect to this page and, if it is not authenticated, click the Sign in button (top right) to access your Google account.
At the top of the screen that you will see, you will find the section dedicated to SafeSearch Filters: check the Activate SafeSearch box, then scroll to the bottom of the page and press on the Save button, confirming the changes via the OK button.