Netflix has tons of content, but not all of it is suitable for younger viewers. Popular shows that have become synonymous with the service like House of Cards and Orange is the New Black contain a lot of mature content. You may want to create a set of parental controls to prevent any kids in the house from starting up any shows that you don’t approve of beforehand.
You have a few options when it comes to setting Parental Controls. If you want to actively block inappropriate material, you can set a PIN for your entire account that only the adults know. Or, if you have a younger child that just wants to browse Netflix themselves, you can set up a profile for them that only shows age-appropriate shows.
How to Restrict Content with a PIN Code
To start, you’ll need to enter your account settings by clicking your profile picture in the top-right hand corner of the Netflix browser window. Then, select the option for “Your Account”.
From this page, you should see the “Parental Controls” link inside the Settings section.
Click on this, and you’ll be asked to enter your password to get through to the next section. This ensures that your kids aren’t able to change any settings on their own (unless they know the password, of course).
Once you enter your password, you’ll be greeted by the following screen.
Here is where you can set the PIN code that prevents certain types of media from being played, based on their imposed ratings (for examples, TV shows rated TV-14 or movies rated PG-13, R, etc.). There are four categories that these ratings get grouped into: Little Kids, Older Kids, Teens, and Adults.
Unfortunately for the time being, there’s no way to block content on a show-by-show basis. This means that if a show is rated TV-14 but you still think it’s appropriate for your 13-year-old–or inappropriate for your 15-year-old–you won’t be able to manage that through Parental Controls. (Of course, in the first case, you can always enter the PIN by hand for your child when they want to watch something you approve of.)
The PIN code will create a barrier that your kids won’t be able to get through the next time they go to turn on a show that you haven’t explicitly allowed them to watch.
If you forget your PIN code, at any point you can click the “Forgot PIN?” link, and it will only ask for your account password to take you back to the main parental control window.
Resetting a PIN is the same process as setting it the first time, so don’t worry if it gets misplaced or forgotten from time to time.
How to Set Up a Profile for “Kids” Viewing
Of course, not every child needs to be actively prevented from watching shows. Younger kids probably don’t have any desire to watch adult shows, they just want to browse Netflix for their cartoons. By setting up a “Kids” profile, you can ensure Netflix shows them only content that’s appropriate (and only content they’d actually want to watch).
When you first launch Netflix, it will always ask you “Who’s Watching?” before the content comes up.
From this window, choose the option to “Manage Profiles”. Here you can edit the preset “Kids” profile, and change which shows they’ll be able to watch around two of the same categories found in the Parental Controls section: Little Kids and Older Kids (think “Dora the Explorer” for Little Kids, “Star Wars” for Kids).
Once the Kids profile is restricted, they won’t be able to see or search for any content outside of the category you set for it.
How to Monitor Your Child’s Viewing Activity
Last, if you aren’t sure what kind of content your kids have been watching, you can track their viewing habits by clicking the “Viewing Activity” link, highlighted in the My Profile section of your Account Settings.
Here you’ll find a list of any shows or movies that have been played on this account in the past, going all the way back to the day it was activated.
You can also delete any viewing history you don’t want others on your account knowing about. You know, like that time you marathoned My Little Pony when no one else was home (just to see what all the hype was about).
Like the V-chip that came before it, Netflix’s parental controls make it easy to ensure that your kids aren’t sneaking a peek at any shows they aren’t old enough to see yet, or watching movies that might be a little above their maturity level.