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Netflix Parental Controls Revised

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Netflix has updated their parental control settings with the use of “Profiles” for each person using the account. The control options are the same, and the content-ratings are consistent with those used in the previous options.

Here’s what you need to do to either update your parental control settings, or activate them:

1. Using a computer, log into Netflix. In the upper right corner, you should see the name of the account-holder. Either click on or move the cursor over the name in order to view the drop-down menu.

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2. In the drop-down menu, click on “Manage Profiles” which will bring you to the screen where profiles can be added/edited/deleted. Each profile can have unique configuration settings based on that user’s age.

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3. For a child’s profile, you’ll likely want to have different restrictions than on your own profile. If your child has a profile, click “Edit” next to the profile.

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4. From here, you can check the box “Kid 12 & under” which will automatically change the viewing privileges to “Older Kids.” For very young children, the settings can be manually changed from “Older Kids” to “Little Kids.”

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5. If your child doesn’t have a profile, click “Add Profile” in the upper right-hand corner of the page.

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*Netflix hasn’t changed the type of content that plays according to the age group selected. There is also no longer a “teen option” meaning that it is up to parents to decide if their “older kid” is old enough for PG-13 to TV-14 content.

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6. Once you’ve chosen the appropriate age group for your child’s profile, click “Done” on the right side of the screen in order to save your new settings.

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7. Each time your child uses Netflix, they will be able to watch age-appropriate content within their profile. Additional content may still show up in the search results, but will not be available for playback. This is a feature we’d really be happy if they didn’t have. Why show R rated content to a child that shouldn’t see it, or is restricted from seeing it?

8. Despite the fact that you can set up these controls, parents still have to be over their child’s shoulder when logging into their account. As I found out, my then 12-year-old decided to click on “mom and dad’s profile” and help themselves to the beginning of an R rated movie when I was in the other room reading. Netflix should passcode protect each profile so this won’t happen.

The work-around for this is:

a. Set all your profiles to your child’s rating.

b. Log-in every time you want to watch a show above their content rating.

c. Switch your profile setting to that rating.

d. Watch your show(s).

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e. Before logging out, switch back to your child’s rating.

f. Repeat every time you want to watch a show.

g. Message Netflix that this is a pain.

Netflix also warns parents of the following:
On the website, you may still see box art for restricted content on the Watch Instantly homepage and in search results, but these titles will not be playable if they exceed your current maturity levels.
On your devices, restricted content will still appear in Netflix search results, but will be unavailable for playback if the maturity rating of the title exceeds the current maturity levels for your account.

Netflix is a great family entertainment service, but as with any online service or digital device, we have to be mindful of the content that our children have access to before they access it. So, use these tools to your advantage, and if you have family or friends with children, tweens and young teens, be sure to tell them about it, too.

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Comments

  • Ok. Here is my recent saga of trying to lock-down our devices with parental controls for my 5, 7, and 10 year old. I am tech savvy and this is still ridiculously complicated. I will try to relay my experience, advice and recommendations in case they might help anyone.

    FIRST – NETFLIX I AM BEGGING YOU.
    1. Allow a PIN on a per profile basis. So we can lock our kids out of the main non-kids adult/parent profile.
    2. Allow me to set rating restrictions on a per profile basis (you kind of do this now. Kind of).
    3. Make any app on any device obey these rules. For example my Roku 2 Netflix App will not work with PIN. It won’t play anything that requires a PIN. Same with Wii U Netflix App and 3DS/2DS Apps. So I can have it start on their profile but if they are savvy enough to switch profiles all my work is undone.
    4. Allow me to lock Profile switching per device.
    5. I know this is the parental dream but only have the app SHOW and SEARCH content at an approved rating for that profile. You can tell none of these nerd developers have young kids.
    6. One step further. Allow me to pick EXACTLY what content I want to show up in each kids profile. man wouldn’t that be nice!

    AMAZON VIDEO (AND ANY OTHER STREAMING SERVICE -Vuduu, Google Play, HBONow etc.) – Please do the same as above.

    For the 5, and 7 year old they have Fire tablets with an Amazon Free Time subscription. You have a main “adult interface (pin controlled) and a separate kid interface/user. This locks down the tablet to a kiddie interface with kid curated content. You can add Amazon purchased Apps and Videos manually that are NOT included in curated kid content. So that is nice. The big con is most of the kid tablets come with 8 GB of memory. So they SHOW a lot of content in the kid interface but it is not actually downloaded on the tablet OR streamed from the cloud. When they pick something NOT downloaded it attempts to download (mostly books and apps. I think video is streamed). Needless to say they run out of space a LOT. There is no intuitive mechanism form managing this. So I spend a lot of manual time downloading and erasing content in the Adult and Kids interface. It is pretty confusing. I think they should try to stream more content even apps from the cloud.

    Second I can give them access to Netflix and have them start in their specific Kid profile but if they are savvy enough to switch profiles they can. Oh god why can I not LOCK profile switching. It is such a NO BRAINER I feel like they should pay me a million dollars for the idea. They still can’t watch b/c of PIN access but it is super annoying they can see everything.

    Anyway. Amazon Free Time Sucks for older kids. It skews too young. But this is harder b/c the is a WIDE range of PG / PG 13 content. Some older PG movies from 80’s are inappropriate just some as PG-13 movies are almost R. it is pretty nutty for parents.

    So I actually like this following method better and will move my younger kids to it as they get older because it is more future proofed.

    Google Nexus 7 for my 10 year old. Plus can get with 32 GB so don’t run into space problems of Fire Tablets. You can set up Users. 1 for adult. But it has something called Restricted User. it is Parental Nirvana. So the parent just sets up The main user as yourself with PIN restricted access. Then you can set up a Restricted User for your Kid. This allows you to specify from YOUR list of Apps which ones are available to your kid. So I can give ZERO access GMAIL, and YOUTUBE, and any social app. I am in complete control of what he sees in his User interface. So all he has is Chrome, games that I approve of that he has to ask me for, and Youtube for Kids.

    AND GUESS WHAT. I can give him access to Netflix and they actually give you an option of LOCKING DOWN PROFILE CHANGING. So he is locked into his KID access Netflix Profile. What a miracle right!

    So Chrome/Youtube is the trickier part right? He is getting older so I want him to be able to search for stuff for his pokemon etc and video game videos BUT Youtube is such a cesspool. As is most of the Web.

    SO. Buy Norton Family Control. Install the App on the main interface (and your phone) and choose Parent. This is the controller. Can also access online through browser. Then allow access to the app to the Restricted User. Then go through the setup in that profile and choose Kid setup.

    No go to control interface in the web browser and setup house rules. You can define which device belongs to which kid. You can set time limits and a ton of other tracking (restrict sites/content. Track sites and videos they watch). So as they grow and you give them to more access to apps and devices (the dreaded smartphone) you have a method to limit/track all of that (social, text, phone, internet, video) You can lock/track it down as little or as much as you want.

    You can do this for your computer too. BUT you have to set up users for each person in your household on the computer. So it’s a pain but it is worth it.

    A con is you can’t change house rules per person/device. I don’t think. But still new at this. And Norton is NOT intuitive to set up. But once it is working it works.

    Norton Family Control Does not work on Fire Tablets and does not have Restricted Users ability (which is a Google/Android feature) – naturally they want you to Use Amazon Free Time!

    I hope this helps everyone. As the Kids get older I will prob switch them to the Google/Android/Nexus/Norton system for the increased granular control and ability to lock Netflix profiles. Gets rid of Free Time subscription
    and Norton can grow with them as they grow.

    Last. Set up OpenDNS Family Shield on your Router if you can. It stops most adult content from even entering your house or network. I was unable to get it working on my router but it should work on most very easily. It is free and typically pretty easy to set up. My router is just annoying.
    https://www.opendns.com/home-internet-security/

    Just remember if you do OpenDNS Family Shield if (God Forbid!) you want to access any internet adult content you would have to do that over your phone using data 😉 And data is expensive so another added control. Just a public service message!

  • Netflix used to have a perfect solution, but took it away! There used to be an option when something came up to select “Not Interested”. It put it into your “Ratings” area of the account with ZERO starts and removed it from showing up. It didn’t matter if it was inappropriate adult material or some annoying kids show to which you didn’t want your kids to become addicted. My theory is that too much crap was relegated to the scrap heap, and the PC folks at Netflix figured “How could anyone not like this filth??! Take away the option!”

  • I would love to be able to limit the time my daughter can spend on Netflix each day, e.g. to 2 hours. Is there any way to do this. I have read the above posts about putting restrictions on your router to time of day but I am more interested in total screen time of viewing.

  • Not sure if anyone realizes this, but Netflix does utilize a PIN in the parental controls. We’ve been using it for months. The only downside is that you can still see the thumbnail. But you can’t watch content below a rating which you specificy without using the PIN.

  • I don’t understand why you can’t control individual shows on Netflix. I don’t want my kid to watch Power Rangers because it makes him too crazy.

    • Yes I agree with this. I dont want my daughter to watch Scream Queens because its trash. But I dont want to restrict all other content in that category.

    • Thoroughly agree. I want to block “Barbie” from my kids due to the heavy sarcasm but Netflix says it can’t be done. Happy with most of the other content. I don’t want to be a moderator for the entire country, just my family. And there is nowhere to go apart from the online chat with someone in India.

  • The Reality: Netflix does not care about what is good for people. Period. So many state that there is no way to control any change watching anything. That is the simple truth. The ability to change that is the most basic implementation ever. They are simply the largest business of streaming and believe that few will stop paying them money regardless of what they bring to the formation of young lives. I wish they would stand up and state this rather than deceiving people into believing that this is something other than a choice on their part.

  • You can now set a Parental Control pin and pick a content level that requires the use of a pin. It seems to affect all profiles. So kids shouldn’t be able to switch to parent profile and watch R content, they would need the pin.

    I still can’t keep my kid off Netflix entirely. Little stinker wakes up a night and watches while I sleep. Some kids are disobedient no matter what the punishment for misconduct. Netflix needs to be more cognizant that some kids need strong adult supervision, and you can’t leave things open and unprotected.

  • We forget to change back to kids each night before we go to bed. The workaround exists, but it’s too easy to forget. Man Netflix has got to fix this!

  • I think it is obvious why Netflix doesn’t allow parents to have more control over content. They just don’t care. They look at their customers with a contempt that they know better than their customers. I know it sounds simplistic, but when a company like Comcast allows password locks, channel locks, content locks and Netflix offers a passing effort at the problem….well, I had to say goodbye.

  • Okay, I’m stuck! Our family has 5 profiles (one for each member, 2 adults, 2 kids and then a Family profile)
    As a test for the suggestion in this article about switching all profiles to Kids, I am now trapped inside Kid Only programming hell. I can’t access any of the “manage account” settings in order to put mine & my husband’s profiles back to Adult.
    Help.
    Anybody.
    I want out of here!!!!!!!!!

    • I ran into the same issue. Unfortunately the resolution revealed a larger issue; therefore, I also canceled Netflix. After setting all accounts to Kids, you still have the option to create a new profile which can be set to the Adult level. Do you see the problem with this? If your kids are watching Netflix on a computer, they can simply create a new account at the Adult setting, watch whatever they want, and then remove the new profile.

      Netflix needs to create a kids version only. Once that uses a separate username and password to access. There needs to be a master account for Mom and Dad, and a secondary account for kids is connected to the master account.

      Netflix has been around for a long time now. If they wanted to, they could make this change.

  • I’ve just cancelled with them after 3 years of complaining about this. It is outrageous that ANYONE with a remote can have full access to ALL their mature content. Spent an hour on the chat with them trying to fathom their reasoning for not implementing a PIN system. They gave a load of BS about “looking in to it” and “trying to iron out bugs”, just like they’ve done for years. As if it’s hard to add a PIN. Parents be warned!

  • I am concerned that my kids can just as easily click on MY profile and watch anything they wish. I would love to have a password to be able to get into the adult folder. I trust my kids, however, they don’t know from the look of a picture if the movie is bad or not. I would feel more safe if my kids weren’t able to access my profile.

    • You could always see the ‘recently watched’ under your profile to see if they have been using yours to watch movies outside of their range.

  • Netflix! You NEED PARENTAL CONTROLS! Period! We have completely banned our kids from watching Netlix anymore. And if this issue doesn’t get fixed quick, you will be losing us as a customer.
    Also, if you do finally wake up and realize the importance of Parental Controls, PLEASE make it so movies above the rating limit we choose, don’t even show up on the menu. There are so many trashy covers as well as titles. It would be nice to have the option to hide covers as well. The rating of “UR” has such a mix of good and trash movies. I don’t want my kids accidently seeing a trashy cover. Even though they may not be able to actually view the movie without a PIN, the image is already in their mind. It’s aweful. If you want to claim your company to be a great option for the whole family, then get this taken care of! As of right now, we can have different profiles set up, but what good does that do, when anyone can get on it and create their own profile of their choice of ratings. Completely Stupid.

  • I don’t undetstand why we can’t block shows. Or have an option to only show them the instant que list so that can Only watch what I have watched first. I don’t like her watching shows where the humour is to adult worded. Or where they treat each other so mean even when they are friends. Barbie might seem innocent buy why is my girl being taught that it is ok to try sabatodge your Friends and backstab them to get what you want

  • Very cynical of Netflix for not providing PIN code or password feature for parental control in US,
    considering that they offer it for Netflix Germany.
    Clearly they have implemented the feature.
    They are just not turning it on for the US, because there is no law requiring them to do so.

  • Ooo! Thanks for the Amazon FireTV suggestion. We currently have Amazon Prime and I haven’t heard of that. We’re had Netflix for YEARS and absolutely love it, but we need more parental controls and password protection options for Profiles. Also, certain shows Netflix is “kid worthy”, I wouldn’t agree and want to option of removing it. I’ve been in communication with Netflix several times regarding my concerns. I had an issue recently where I couldn’t view the “recently viewed” list for the Kids Profile. And it’s important to me to see what my kids been watching. I also brought up setting up passwords or a PIN for profiles and they said they were working in it too. This was at least six months ago. Hurry up, Netflix so you don’t start losing customers!

  • I just had an online chat with netflix, and they stated that profile pins are part of their development strategy. They wouldn’t provide an ETA, so hopefully it’s not too far away?

  • We too have not been pleased with using a profile as a parental control for our children. We have today figured out other reasons why this is not a good option. When your child is in their profile there are ways to edit what they see. There is a box that has “kids” checked. If your child unchecks the box then all the Pg13 and rated R movies will be back again. also, when a child opens up netflix on the television before they select their profile there is an option to add a new profile. They can freely add a new profile and watch any movie they want even rated R ones. Then simply delete the profile when they are finished watching. When the profile is deleted it also erases the viewing history so parents can not go back and see what they were watching. maybe a separate profile works for very young children who cannot read. But if you have older children or teenagers they will have very easily figure out a workaround.

  • Is it possible to limit access by time of day? Our oldest daughter has a propensity to watch Netflix late at night on her iPhone when she should be sleeping. Other than change the password every night, any way to manage time of day?

    Thanks!

    • You can add a time range in your wireless router. My daughter has 07:00 to 21:30. If you don’t know the device ip address it can be found on the device to match it to the routers ip address as you might have a few.

      • Hi Andy,
        Can you set wifi access to individual devices? Can you point me to an article or resource that shows me how to do this?

    • To control time of day you need to set up restrictions on your router/modem. Older models won’t have anything built in, but you can use software for it. Newer ones generally have this ability built in and you can set it by device, thereby allowing you access while cutting off your kids’ access (unless you gave them a phone or other device with a data plan – in which case maybe there’s something you can set up on the device itself).

  • I’m trying to turn the automatic play off of my daughters 12 and under profile, but there is not an option to do so. I was able to diable the auto play on the adult profiles, but not the kids. Can someone explain how to do this? Thanks

    • To disable autoplay for kids, set the account to be an adult account. Then disable auto play as you would for an adult. Turn back to a kids account and the setting remains.

  • I got tired of waiting for Netflix to catch up with the times when it comes to parental control; so I ended up going the Amazon Fire route and get all the controls I need using the “Free Time” feature.

    • Thanks for the suggestion. I may go the Amazon FireTV route too. It is amazing to me that Netflix does not have this simple feature — like how tough would it be to add a passcode feature to the profiles as controlled by the main owner of the account?

  • The work around you suggested at (8) does not work for me. Every time I login, it gives kids option only and I cannot exit kids. I have to create a new adult profile every time to watch adult contents, this is painful.

    Am I missing something?

    Thanks,
    /Sankar

  • By choosing ‘Kid 12 & Under’ it will switch to ‘Older Kids’ but leave ‘Kid 12 & Under’ turned on, trying to figure out if this changes ratings of TV and movies to watch or it is as Netflix states just a control to keep kids off facebook connection via Netflix . Thanks .

  • I noticed using Netflix recently they have changed back to using a Teen profile. What we are having issues with is choosing ‘older child’ and turning off 12&under, Each time we turn that selection off it reverts to ‘Adult’. Trying to figure that out now. Thanks.

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