How to Manage Parental Controls on a Roku Device – A Complete Guide
Roku devices provide access to numerous streaming platforms and channels. However, if you have children in your household, not all Roku content will be suitable.
Parental controls on Roku devices are relatively limited, and you can’t manage access to content on third-party apps such as YouTube or Netflix. What you can do is adjust playback restrictions on the Roku channel, which is pre-installed on all Roku devices.
This article will cover everything you need to know about how to adequately manage parental controls on a Roku device and other streaming apps you can access via Roku.
How to Manage Parental Controls on a Roku Device?
When you purchase a Roku device, the installed free streaming service called the Roku Channel is included. It offers over 10,000 shows, movies, kids’ TV, and other content. The Roku Channel is the only app on the Roku device where you can apply some type of parental controls.
However, even with this channel, it’s limited in scope. There are three categories of parental controls in the Roku Channel. You can set it to “Little Kids,” “Young Kids,” or “Teens.”
The fourth category is “Off,” which means that anyone who watches can access any title on the Roku Channel. To control these settings, you have to establish a 4-digit PIN. Follow this step-by-step guide to create a parental controls PIN for the Roku Channel:
- On your computer or mobile device, go to my.roku.com and sign in to your Roku account when prompted.
- Navigate to “PIN Preference” and then select the “Update” option.
- Choose “Parental Control PIN preference” and enter a 4-digit number.
After you set up the PIN, here’s how you manage the parental controls:
- If you select “Little Kids,” that means only titles that are rated “U” can be watched without a PIN.
- If you select “Young Kids,” only “U” and “PG” can be accessed without the PIN.
- Finally, if you select “Teens” unless the content is rated 18, it can be watched without a PIN.
- When you’re done, agree to the terms of service and select “Save Changes.”
How to Set Your Roku PIN?
We’ve already established that you need a parental control PIN for the Roku channel and how to set it up. However, you can also have a Roku purchase PIN, preventing anyone from buying items from the Roku Channel Store.
This can also be a form of Roku parental control because it will save you from having unexpected expenses. Here is how you can set up a Roku purchase PIN:
- Go to my.roku.com on your mobile device or computer and sign in to your Roku account.
- Go to “PIN Preference” and then select “Update.”
- Select “Always require a PIN to make a purchase and add items from the Channel Store.”
- Enter a 4-digit number of your choice when prompted.
- Select “Verify PIN” for confirmation.
- Agree to terms of service and select “Save Changes.”
Note that this PIN is not the same as your parental control PIN for the Roku channel.
1. What Are Parental Controls on Netflix?
Unlike the Roku device itself, Netflix has comprehensive parental controls when it comes to viewing restrictions. You can create a separate profile for your child on your Netflix account and set up specific restrictions on that profile. Here is what you need to do:
1. Sign in to your Netflix account using a web browser.
2. Click on your profile name in the top right corner of the screen. From the drop-down menu, select “Account.”
3. Find the “Profile & Parental Controls” option and select the profile you’ve set up for your kid.
4. Select the “Change” option located next to “Viewing Restrictions.” You will be asked to enter your Netflix password.
5. Now, choose the viewing restrictions according to the child’s age. The range is TV-Y to NC-17.
Netflix also allows you to restrict specific titles from their library. If you have something in mind, start typing the title in the search bar on the same page and add titles to the list. When done, select “Save.” When you set up these parental controls on Netflix, they will apply on the Roku device as well.
2. Can You Put Parental Controls on Roku?
You only have access to parental controls for the Roku Channel. You can manage these restrictions with the 4-digit PIN that you have to create first. Otherwise, you will have to set up parental controls for third-party apps separately.
For example, if you’re worried about what your child might watch on the Hulu app on Roku, go to your Hulu account and create a “Kids Profile” they can access via Roku device as well.
On top of these options, if you have a new Roku TV, you do have some additional features to count on due to the Live TV input. You will be able to use the parental controls PIN to restrict access to broadcasting live content.
3. Does Roku Have a Profanity Filter?
Understandably, one of the main reasons why so many parents and child caregivers want parental controls on Roku is due to profanity.
Unfortunately, Roku doesn’t have a profanity filter, even though it has been a frequently requested feature from Roku users.
However, if you’re specifically thinking about watching Netflix on Roku, an alternative can be adding the “Netflix profanity filter” extension on the Chrome browser. Granted, you take Roku out of the equation here, but it can work for Netflix on Chrome.
4. How Do I Manage My Roku Channels?
Your Roku device allows you to add and remove the channels from the channel lineup. If you want to make sure that your child doesn’t have access to channels you consider unsuitable, you can easily remove them.
After that, setting up the purchase PIN will prevent them from downloading the app again. Here’s how you can remove any channel from your Roku device:
1. On your Roku remote, select the “Home” button.
2. Move to the right and select the channel you want to remove.
3. Press the “Star” button on the remote, which will open the “Options” menu.
4. Now, select “Remove channel” and make sure to confirm when prompted.
Important: if you want to remove a subscription-based channel, you must first cancel the subscription. You can find “Manage Your Subscriptions” when you sign in to your Roku account.
5. How Do I Turn Off Parental Controls on Roku?
To disable parental controls on Roku, you have to select “Off” under the “Parental Control PIN preference.”
1. Log in to your Roku account by visiting my.roku.com on your computer or smartphone.
2. Select “Update” under “PIN preference.”
3. Then, under “Parental Controls PIN preference,” choose “Off.”
4. Agree to terms of service and select “Save Changes.”
This change will automatically result in you not having to enter a PIN for any type of content on the Roku channel. For third-party apps, such as Hulu, Netflix, or Prime Video, you will have to disable parental controls within the apps.
Restricting Roku Content
For now, there is no universal button you can press to ensure that Roku only streams content suitable for kids. Although it does provide some level of parental control for the Roku channel and live broadcasting for Roku TV users.
However, for the most part, you will have to set up every app separately and make sure it only streams content you deem safe.
You have to keep in mind, though, that the ratings provided might not be what you consider suitable, so perhaps verifying the content several times over is a good idea.
Do you use parental controls on Roku? Let us know in the comments section below.