How to Block Purchases on a Roku
To block purchases on a Roku, you need to create a PIN. This is a 4-digit number that prevents users from purchasing shows, channels, and movies within the Roku Channel Store.
The Roku PIN can also be used as Parental Controls because it allows you to remove channels that are not age-appropriate. Plus, you can hide News as well as TV and Movies Store from Roku’s main menu.
Setting up a Roku PIN is a walk in the park and this article guides you through the process every step of the way.
How to Set up a Roku PIN
To initiate the set-up, you need to access the Roku account via a browser. The method is the same on mobile devices and computers so we won’t include separate explanations. Here’s what you need to do:
Open your preferred browser and sign in at my.roku.com to access the main account menu.
After you sign in, navigate to PIN Preferences and click or tap Update to create a new PIN.
Now, you need to choose the “Always require a PIN to make purchases and to add items from the Channel Store”. Then proceed and type the 4-digit number you’d like to use as a PIN.
To confirm, choose Verify PIN, re-enter the number, and click or tap on Save Changes to finish up. From there on, users will be required to provide a pin whenever they want to add or purchase content from the Roku Store.
How to Remove or Hide Content
Once the PIN has been set up, grab your Roku remote and navigate to My Channels and find the channel you want to remove. Press the asterisk key on the remote to enter the Options menu, then choose Remove Channel and hit OK to confirm.
As indicated, you can hide News and TV and Movie Store from the main menu. Go to Roku’s Settings Menu and choose Home Screen.
In the following window, select the Hide option and choose one or more of the given items. To bring the item back, repeat the actions and choose Show instead of Hide, then select the item.
Can You Restrict Over-the-air Broadcasts?
The quick answer is yes, Roku allows you to limit access to the content it receives from an external antenna. These blocks are set according to specified age ratings and the channels that don’t fall within the limits automatically get blocked.
Grab your Roku remote, navigate to the Settings menu, and choose TV Tuner. Be patient, since it might take Roku some time to find the channels and populate the list.
That out of the way, choose Enable Parental Controls and turn the option on. Select the preferred age ratings. In addition, you can also choose to restrict unrated channels/content. Once blocked, you can view a channel by providing the Roku pin.
Third-party content providers like Hulu, Amazon Prime Video, Netflix, or YouTube have their own parental controls. This means you need to access each account separately and set up restrictions there.
Your preferences will be reflected on the Roku, but you can’t set PINs or restrictions for these providers via the Roku dashboard.
Blocking Purchases with Third-Party Providers
Assuming you might be using Amazon Video, Hulu, or Netflix, we’ve included a quick guide on how to set restrictions and block purchases with these providers.
Amazon Prime Video
Log into your Amazon account via a browser, navigate to Prime Video Account & Settings, then select Parental Controls.
Type in the Prime Video PIN you’d like to use and hit the Save button to confirm. This time it’s a 5-digit number and it’s advisable to use a different PIN for each service provider.
Once the PIN is in place, set the “PIN on purchase” to On and select “Viewing restrictions” preferences. By default, the restrictions are set to apply to “All supported devices” and you should keep it that way.
Hulu allows you to create separate profiles for your children. This way the system automatically restricts content and block purchases.
Open Hulu within a browser, log into your account, and then select Profiles. You can also do it from the Account tab on the Hulu app. Either way, select New Profile and make sure the Kids button is toggled on.
Type in your child’s date of birth and hit Save/Done when finished. This action restricts access to content and purchases.
There are two options on Netflix – set up a child’s profile or use password protection. A child’s profile might not be the best solution because a youngster can easily figure out how to switch to your profile.
To set up password protection (a PIN actually), log into your Netflix account via a browser and hover over your avatar. Then select Account and click or tap on Parental Controls. Choose “Create PIN” and block inappropriate content and purchases after you create the PIN.
4-Digit Wallet Block
As you can see blocking purchases on Roku and other streaming services or gadgets is pretty similar. Most of the actions are done via the Parental Controls and some services offer separate profiles for your children.
Have you already blocked purchases on devices other than the Roku? Do you use parental controls? Share your experience with the rest of the TechJunkie community in the comments section below.