As you probably know, YouTube hosts billions of videos on pretty much every topic under the sun, and the vast majority of them can be viewed at any time for free.
This is why I wrote a post a while back explaining why YouTube is one of the best sites on the Internet for helping you quickly learn how to do something you’ve never done before.
As you also probably know, many of the videos on YouTube contain some type of “adult” subject matter that you might not want to see – or allow your kids to see.
(Yes, as a Google property YouTube has a minimum age requirement but we all know how well those work in practice.)
Luckily, YouTube has a “Restricted Mode” setting that will block the vast majority of videos containing adult subject matter to prevent them from being viewed on any device that you have it enabled on.
Note: Restricted Mode it isn’t perfect. Some videos containing material of an adult nature will slip through the cracks and be viewable even after Restricted Mode has been enabled.
That being said, I’ve found that it does do a pretty good job at blocking the vast majority of them. As they say, YMMV (your mileage may vary).
If you’d like to block YouTube videos containing adult subject matter on your device, it’s actually pretty easy to do so. Just follow the steps below for the device you’re using.
Important: Be aware that this isn’t a global setting so you’ll need to enable it on every device you use.
Follow these steps if you watch YouTube in a web browser on a laptop or desktop computer:
1 – Visit YouTube.com and sign into your Google account.
2 – Click the little thumbnail of your profile picture in the top-right corner of the window. (If you haven’t uploaded a profile picture it will just be a circle with your first initial in it.)
3 -Select Restricted Mode: Off from the drop-down menu.
A box containing the Restricted Mode setting should now be visible in the top-right corner of the window.
4 – Toggle the Restricted Mode setting to On (the slider should turn from black to blue).
Follow these steps if you use the YouTube app on a mobile device:
1 – Open the YouTube app and log into your Google account.
2 – Tap the little thumbnail of your profile picture in the top-right corner of the screen. (If you haven’t uploaded a profile picture it will just be a circle with your first initial in it.)
3 – Tap Settings.
4 – This final step depends on the type of device you have…
If you have an iPhone or iPad simply toggle the Restricted Mode setting to On and you’ll be done.
If you have an Android phone or tablet you’ll need to first tap General and then toggle Restricted Mode to On.
That’s all there is to it. Restricted Mode should now be enabled on this device and (most) videos containing adult subject matter should now be blocked on it.
Just remember to enable Restricted Mode on all of your other devices as well!
By the way, if you ever want to disable Restricted Mode on a device you can easily do that as well…
Simply repeat the steps above for the device you’re using and toggle the Restricted Mode setting back to Off.
Bonus tip: Did you know YouTube keeps a record of every video you have ever watched in a database called your “Watch History”?
Well, it does. This post explains how to clear out that Watch History database.