Smart TVs offer a lot of great features and conveniences, much like our smartphones.
However, they can come with complications.
What do you do when your kids who are too young for smartphones have access to a smart TV right in the living room? How do you limit their access to things that are not age-appropriate?
The YouTube app is a good place to start in deactivating platforms with adult content.
Different brands of Smart TV have different processes for limiting access, so we’ll go through the processes for a few of the main Smart TV brands.
How to Block YouTube on Samsung Smart TVs
To block YouTube on your Samsung Smart TV, start from the Home screen and click on “Apps.”
- Next, select the Settings icon. It will look like a little gear.
- In your settings, select “Lock” for the YouTube app and any other apps you’d like to limit access to.
- Finally, enter your TV PIN and select “Done.”
The app should be locked and now require your PIN to access it.
How to Block YouTube on LG Smart TVs
The process for deactivating apps on your LG Smart TV is similar to the one on the Samsung.
- Start by hitting the “Smart” menu button on your remote control.
- Then, select Settings, and then Lock, on the menu screen.
- Next, select “Application Lock.”
You should see a list of the applications on your LG Smart TV. From this list, you can select all of the apps you’d like to restrict access to.
When you’re done, select “Ok” to save your changes or “Cancel” to exit without locking any applications.
How to Block YouTube on Your Vizio Smart TV
Blocking apps on your Vizio TV isn’t quite as straight forward as with Samsung and LG.
For Vizio, you have to access your Parental Control settings, and its location on your TV can vary depending on which model you have, so you may need to consult your user manual.
You’ll need to input your Parental Control PIN to enter the Parental Control Settings.
Once you’ve entered the code, you’ll be able to block applications.
Depending on your model, the apps you’ve blocked may be accessible by inputting your PIN, or you may have to change the settings back to resume access.
How to Block YouTube on Your Sony Smart TV
You can’t exactly block apps for a Sony (Android) Smart TV—at least, not in the same way you can on the previous brands.
For an Android TV, you have to set up a separate User Profile and edit its settings to have the limited access you require.
To set up a limited-access user profile:
- Select “Settings” on your Smart TV Menu.
- Scroll down to the “Personal” tab, and from here, click on “Security & Restrictions” —> Create Restricted Profile.
- Set up a PIN.
- Select which applications you want the restricted user profile to have access to.
- Hit “Back” on your remote, and now you’re done.
- Can You Block YouTube Channels on Smart TVs?
Unfortunately, YouTube doesn’t really have a way for you to block specific channels, and if your child is frequenting YouTube, there’s no way to restrict what comes up in the “Recommended for You” or “Play Next” features.
If you’re not able to keep track of what you’re child is watching, but you’d prefer to have some control over the content, your best option is to block the YouTube application on your Smart TV entirely so that you have to input your PIN for YouTube to be accessed.
How to Set Up Parental Control on Smart TVs
Parental controls on your Smart TV go even further than just blocking YouTube so that it’s password-protected, but on TVs where this is possible, you can block any app, not just YouTube.
The parental controls can vary depending on the brand of your Smart TV, but here’s a quick overview of how to manage the parental controls of the brands we mentioned above.
Parental Controls on Your Samsung Smart TV
With your Samsung TV, you can block content according to its rating, so that any shows or movies with a higher rating than you’ve allowed will require your PIN to play.
To access this feature, go to your Settings and then from there go to Broadcasting, and select “Program Rating Lock Settings.”
Here you can select which rating categories you would like to restrict.
Parental Controls in Your LG Smart TV
On your LG TV, you have a setting called Safety Mode.
To access this mode, go to Home —> Settings —> Safety—> ON.
Once you’re here, you can customize your Safety Mode so that it suits your preferences and needs.
Parental Controls in Your Vizio Smart TV
These controls are basically the just same mechanism as what you did to block YouTube on your Vizio TV—you can block any other app you want to restrict access to.
Like with Samsung, you can also block specific ratings in your settings so that anything that is not age-appropriate will require you to input your PIN.
Parental Controls in your Sony Smart TV
The Sony (Android) Smart TV is still the weird one among its peers—rather than actual parental controls over the whole mechanism, you can set up a restricted profile under which the minors in the household can navigate their content, once you’ve customized the settings to suit your family’s needs.
Finally, another option you have is the in-app settings that most of your individual applications have.
Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, Hulu, HBO GO, Vudu, etc., have their own parental control settings you can set within the app so that adult content can only be viewed after inputting your PIN.
Of course, it may be a pain to adjust your settings in each individual app rather than the whole TV, and as we’ve already established, this isn’t an option for YouTube, specifically.
You should have enough options to have your basics covered and be able to rest easy knowing that your family is only being exposed to age-appropriate content.