Archive How to Put Parental Controls on Roku
a parent putting up parental control on Roku
Safes Content Team

Safes Content Team

a parent putting up parental control on Roku
Safes Content Team

Safes Content Team

Table of contents:

As the amount of information on the internet grows, finding and filtering out inappropriate information becomes harder. As a result, the number of problems such as online grooming and cyberbullying have concerned parents about their child’s online safety. These growing threats are why streaming companies like Hulu add parental controls to their services. According to a study done by Pew Research Center, 31% of parents set up parental controls on their children’s devices. In 2008, in collaboration with Netflix, Roku TV was released and has been gaining popularity ever since. In this article, we will teach you how to put parental controls on Roku. 


Parental Controls on Roku

The Roku streaming service offers various settings — channel-based, rating-based, etc. — for parental control to help parents rest easy knowing their child is safe from inappropriate content. Let’s take a look at your available options and, further on, how each one limits online access.  


Rating-based: Parents can limit TV programs based on their age rating. After setting a PIN, you can select which ratings should be limited. Learn more about TV ratings and their age appropriateness on the Motion Pictures website. 

Channel-based: Parents with young kids can also block access to streaming channels. Roku allows parents to limit the channels to only kid-friendly ones. 

Parental control on live TV: Parents living in the United States and Canada can block access to over-the-air programs as well.  


Setting up any of the above-mentioned settings is straightforward and can be done in a short time. As all of these settings require a PIN, you will first learn how to set a strong PIN and, further on, how to set up any of the parental controls. 


How to Set a Strong PIN on Your Roku Profile

A PIN can go a long way in helping you to put parental controls on Roku. Knowing how to choose a strong PIN is not limited to your Roku TV, but also affects your daily life. Nowadays, most of our sensitive documents and bank account information are password-protected. An article published by US Bank shows that commonly used combinations such as 1111, 1010, 2222, etc., are easily predicted, which means your child can guess them too. Below is a list of tips for keeping your PIN secure, and remembering it. 


  • Use combinations with non-repetitive numbers 
  • Use a password manager 
  • Change your PIN frequently 


To set your PIN on Roku, follow these steps: 

  1. log in to your profile 
  2. under PIN preferences, select Update 
  3. enter your 4-digit PIN (you can additionally set a different PIN for subscriptions and other purchases) 



How to Put Parental Controls on Roku Based on Age-Ratings 

You can also put parental controls on Roku based on the age-rating given to each program. When you’re signed into your account, you can choose one of the four different presets they have for rating-based parental control. By selecting the preset you want, you can filter out age-inappropriate programs on the Roku channel. Depending on your child’s age, you can choose one of the presets. Below is the list of presets and how each one controls your child’s access. 


Off: As the name suggests, this setting allows all movies and TV shows to be played. Best suited for adult audiences. 


G, TV-Y, TV-G: Programs with the TV-Y rating are suitable for children up to the age of 6. TV-G rating means that the program is suitable for all ages and has no adult content. Parents with young children are the ones who will benefit the most from this setting. 


PG, TV-PG: As a general rule, programs rated PG and TV-PG don’t contain adult material, but parents might want to keep an eye on the program to know what kind of material their children are being exposed to. 


PG-13, TV-14: The last setting is meant for children up to the age of 14 (TV-14) and 13 (PG-13). These programs usually have some sensitive/adult material that is not suited for young teens. 


Remember that using a PIN to lock programs does not mean they won’t show up on your home page. PINs only lock the channels or movies you have chosen in the parental control settings. If you want to apply more specific parental controls and limit certain channels, the next section will teach you how to block channels on Roku step by step. 


Blocking YouTube on Roku

Although Roku doesn’t allow blocking access to apps such as YouTube, there are ways around it. The most convenient method is to uninstall YouTube and restrict its installation by using your PIN. To effectively block YouTube on Roku, follow the steps below: 

  1. go to Home on your Roku TV 
  2. select YouTube 
  3. press the Options button on your remote 
  4. move down to Remove Channel 
  5. confirm the removal of YouTube 
  6. add a PIN for making purchases and adding channels 


setting of Roku TV with the Remove Channel option selected


However, keep in mind that using this method means you will have to install YouTube every time you decide to use it. Your choices from then on are limited to only using it on your personal devices or going through the hassle of installing and uninstalling the app every day. Also, your child can still access YouTube on their phone and laptop. But blocking YouTube access on phones or laptops is much easier than on TVs.  


Setting Parental Controls for Live TV Programs

According to a study done by Ofcom, the watch time for traditional TV has declined by 90% among young viewers in recent years. However, TV still has viewers of all generations. Families whose children watch live TV rather than streaming services can limit their access via a variety of settings. First, make sure that you have an external antenna connected to your TV so that Roku can scan the channels. After the scanning is done, you must select one of six settings. The Live TV parental control settings are rating-based. This makes choosing a parental control setting easier for people outside of the US, especially in Canada. 


The Canadian French and Canadian English rating settings filter the movies into different age groups using criteria approved by the CRTC. These ratings are on-screen and encoded into the broadcast signal. The TV and Movie rating settings, as previously mentioned, use the PG and TV classification methods, and help parents have an accurate knowledge of whether the program is suitable for their child or not. The sixth option is ‘block all unrated programs,’ and as the name suggests, it blocks all unrated programs. The sixth option is not recommended for kids and it’s suggested for adults only. 


How to Put Parental Controls on Other Devices

As you know, television isn’t your child’s only source of media. Although it’s important to put parental controls on Roku, you should take into account that platforms such as YouTube are available on phones and laptops and put kids at risk of exposure to age-inappropriate content. The solution to these sorts of problems is a parental control app like Safes. This app can block access to any website using a web filter. Use Geofencing to set a geographic fence where you can block apps on your child’s device and know when they leave.  


Safes helps parents improve their children’s mental health from an early age. Being in front of the screen for too long produces significant amounts of dopamine, which can eventually result in depression. The screen time limit feature in Safes keeps your children from being hooked to their phones. By using Safes, and Roku’s built-in parental controls, you can make sure your children grow up happy and more creative. 


Frequently Asked Questions

We’ve compiled a list of questions and answers to help provide more information on the topic we discussed. If you have any more questions, please don’t hesitate to contact us. We’d be happy to help!


Can you put parental controls on Roku?

Yes. Roku has a range of parental controls that address the needs of different types of parents. To put parental controls on Roku, you must sign in to your Roku account, set a PIN, and choose the settings you want. 


Does Roku let you block YouTube?

Not directly, but you can uninstall the program and set installation locks to prevent your child from accessing YouTube. 


Can you limit screen time on Roku?

You cannot limit screen time as a means to stop children from using Roku after, say, an hour. However, you can set a sleep timer so that the TV goes to sleep after 20, 30, or 60 minutes of inactivity via parental controls. 

Safes Content Team

Safes Content Team

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