Video Guide: How to Set Up YouTube Safety Mode

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Like Google SafeSearch, which you can learn to enable here, YouTube’s Safety Mode does a great job of filtering out videos that some parents may consider inappropriate for their children. Thankfully, YouTube already does a fairly good job of removing any inappropriate content on the site. But with the millions of videos being uploaded and viewed every day, it can be difficult to cover all their grounds when it comes to safety.

Below is a video guide that you can follow to set it up. However, keep in mind, though setting up YouTube Safety Mode is a simple process, if it’s not done right it can easily be undone.

1. First step’s first: Go to the computer that your kids use and visit

2. Log in by clicking the “Sign In” button in the top right corner. You’ll be prompted to log in using your Gmail account information. If you don’t have a Gmail account, creating one is fast, easy and free.



Please note: This should be YOUR Gmail account, not one that you share with your child. Only you should know the password–it’s the key to locking Safety Mode and keeping it that way!

Also, if your username and password automatically fill into the username and password fields (autofill), you’ll want to disable that by following this quick and easy guide.

3. Once you’ve logged in, scroll all the way down to the bottom of the YouTube homepage and look for a link that says “Safety Mode: Off”. Click the “Off” link.

4. Click the “On” radio button and then click “Save and lock safety mode on this browser”. Doing this will ensure that, even if you’re logged out, Safety Mode will stay on.


Another thing to keep in mind: Safety Mode only stays locked on one web browser on that particular computer user account. So, if each of your kids has their own user account make sure you enable Safety Mode for each account and the browser they’ll use on that account. My advice: most parents don’t have the time to activate Safety Mode on a bunch of browsers, so keep one browser on your computer and uninstall the rest.


Setting up YouTube Safety Mode on Your Child’s Smartphone –

Unfortunately, the only way to do this is to use the full version (Desktop version) of YouTube on your child’s mobile browser. Right now, for example, if you go to YouTube on your child’s phone, chances are you’ll be sent to the mobile version of the site. This doesn’t help. You need to scroll down to the bottom and click the link called “Desktop“. This will force the phone to display the full version of YouTube, allowing you to follow the same steps above to enable Safety Mode.

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  • In iOS6.0l.1 – On the iPod, under Settings, General, Restrictions (parent sets a restrictions passcode) Allowed Content, choose Apps 9+. You Tube is rated 12+ and if the ipod setting is Apps 9+ you can’t download the you tube app.

  • Reen,
    Just wanted to mention that I, too, wish there was such a filter like an ESRB rating on these videos so that the job for parents is easier–and for companies as well.

  • You’re welcome, Reen.
    To answer your question, Safety Mode filters out any search results that would typically generate inappropriate content i.e. “naked”, “sex”, etc. In addition, searching with a word like “violence” or “killing” would yield a limited number of more appropriate results for that search term.
    However, in regards to something like the Kesha video you’re referring to–those types of videos usually aren’t filtered due to the fact that they’re mainstream and usually hosted by a third-party that has already deemed the content “OK” by YouTube standards (ex: MTV). In the end, talking with your son/daughter about these types of videos is always the best deterrent. Let them know that you don’t approve of the content, and let them know why. It’s hard to protect them from societal influences like inappropriate music videos, but they can still grow up to be healthy kids if they understand the difference between that world, and the real world.
    Thanks, Reen!

  • Thanks for the help. Do you know what exactly you tube’s safety mode is filtering out? For example, Ke$ha’s Tik Tok video is still avaialble via safety mode but I find that video completely inappropriate for children.

  • Thanks for commenting, Jim. Please refer to this guide to read how you can disable the YouTube app from the iPhone/iPod Touch altogether. Not sure if safe mode carries over to the app, so my suggestion would be to disable the app completely and then rely on safe mode in Safari like you’ve already done. On the other hand, if you’d like to remove Internet access altogether (safari app), this guide will show you how to do that as well.
    Hope this helps! Thanks!

  • Any luck setting up “safety mode” for the YouTube app installed on the iPhone? I used Safari on the iPhone to go to the desktop version of YouTube and locked the browser into safety mode. However, I’m not sure if that translates over to the YouTube app.

    • On the YouTube app on the iphone in
      the featured or most viewed areas
      of the app unfortunately there is
      no way to set safe mode. There
      you will find explicit
      porn that can not be filtered without
      disabling the YouTube app completely in
      settings. That’s a shame.

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