How to Block YouTube on the Kindle Fire
Yes, we all know how easy it is to get addicted to YouTube videos and spend hours on end glued to your Kindle Fire. Luckily, it’s easy to block YouTube or any other app on the Kindle Fire and go cold turkey for a while.
In addition, blocking YouTube can be a good way to prevent your children from binging on videos. This write-up focuses on blocking YouTube and also provides other parental controls tips and tricks.
Blocking YouTube on the Kindle Fire
There are two ways to block YouTube on the Kindle Fire, you can use the FreeTime app or block browsing altogether. Here are the necessary steps for each method.
Using the FreeTime App
Select the Home tab on your Kindle Fire, navigate to FreeTime, and tap to launch the app.
Choose “Add a Child” within the FreeTime menu and enter the child’s name, profile picture, gender, and date of birth. The first window also allows you to choose age-appropriate themes. After you’re done, tap Continue to access more settings.
The following window allows you to “Add Kid-friendly Content” and you can pick and choose apps, books, audible, videos, and games.
YouTube should appear under Kid-friendly apps, but it might not be under recommendations at all. This means it’s recognized as a non-kid-friendly app and it’s automatically blocked on the child’s profile.
Next, you can restrict access to a web browser, there are Amazon filters which can be applied specifically to YouTube or any other website.
Select Web Settings within the FreeTime app, tap on “Limit Web Content”, then enter YouTube URL and any other address that you’d want to restrict.
Things to Consider
By default, websites such as PBS Kids, Science Bob, and Nickelodeon are approved on a child’s account. But you can choose to block those as well.
Navigate to “Manage Web Content”, select the Settings tab, and you’ll see “Enable Pre-Approved Web Content” under Amazon Curated Content. Tap on the button next to the option to toggle it off and you can also disable cookies in the same window.
Parental Controls Block
As indicated, there’s also an option to block YouTube without the FreeTime app. You’ll actually block access to all websites from that account, but there is a neat workaround. These are the necessary steps.
Launch Kindle Fire Settings, choose Parental Controls, and set a PIN for that device. Now, you can tap on Amazon Content and Apps and proceed to set the blocks.
Navigate down to “Web Browser” and tap the “Unblocked” button on the far right of the screen to block it. The same menu allows you to block a bunch of other features like Apps & Games, Camera, Docs, etc.
Blocking just the “Web Browser” is not enough. Your child will soon figure out that you haven’t blocked “Amazon Stores” and they’ll be able to download the YouTube app and watch videos. Assuming the app isn’t already on the tablet.
However, you don’t actually need to use super-restrictive blocks and deprive your child of all the content. Kindle Fire Parental Controls allow you to “Set a Curfew”, just scroll down the menu and toggle on this feature.
You to set the timeframe when the child’s access to websites, apps, and, of course, YouTube is restricted.
Alternative Blocking Methods
You might not know it, but there’s also an option to block Kindle Fire content via your router and there are even filtering apps. Here’s what you need to know about these methods.
The first thing to do is to forget the network connection of the Kindle Fire. Select Quick Settings, choose Wireless, tap the name of the network and select Forget. Unless your child knows the password, he or she won’t have access to any online content.
A more elegant solution is to set up a DNS service and block specific websites, YouTube, adult, or any other. This service is linked to your router and you’d need to get in touch with the provider for guidance on how to set it up. The great thing is that DNS usually comes for free.
Unfortunately, this method applies only to those who use older Kindle Fires. For example, apps like McAfee, Norton, Net Nanny, or Trend Micro work like charm on the first to fifth-generation Kindle Fire.
However, they’re not available for the 6th generation and newer models. That said, this is something that can be resolved with firmware or app updates.
Bonus Tip: You can set you Kindle Fire to ask for Parental Controls PIN to access Wi-Fi. Select Password Protect Wi-Fi under Parental Controls and tap on the button to toggle it on.
Blocking YouTube on Kindle Fire does require some time and you need to navigate more than a few menus. But this isn’t a bad thing, since you have more control over all the content that’s consumed on the device.
How much time do you spend watching YouTube videos? Have you tried any filtering apps on your Kindle Fire? Tell us more about your experience in the comments section below.