YouTube Has New Parental Controls That Let You Monitor Screen Time

Let’s face it — kids are a lot smarter than some of us give them credit for. My best friend’s son is only 2  years old, but he can navigate my phone better than I could navigate a Tamagotchi when I was 10. He can play music, take selfies and play videos on YouTube. In fact, he could do it all even before his second birthday.

While I, of course, am biased and think he is the smartest (and cutest!) little guy to ever exist, he is likely not alone in the world of toddlers who can operate iPhones and Xboxes and all the things it takes us adults a little time to master. And that is precisely why a little thing called parental controls is so important.

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While it’s obviously a good thing for children to learn about the technology we use daily, it can be all too easy for them to find content you’d rather they not see. Thankfully, YouTube can now be one less thing to worry about. They recently announced new controls for their YouTube Kids category, including parent-approved content.

In an announcement posted to the website, YouTube says the parental controls were “highly requested” and the change allows parents to pick every video and channel their children have access to on the app. The new controls are available on Android and will soon be available for iOS.

Enabling the new feature is easy. Simply go to “settings,” click on your child’s profile and select “approved content only.” From there, you can choose any video, channel or collection of channels by simply tapping the “+” button. Once the parental mode is enabled, children will not be able to search for content on their own.


Along with these control changes, YouTube Kids also now includes additional content (like music and games) geared toward 8–12-year-olds. Parents can choose this “older” version when setting up or updating an account. The “younger” version is the default setting and includes content like sing-alongs and age-appropriate learning videos.

Will you be using YouTube’s new parental control feature?