How to Lock Apps Like YouTube on Your Smart TV?

Parental controls are a great tool to use when monitoring what kind of content your kids are viewing, especially on devices with internet access like a Smart TV. We all know how popular YouTube is with kids these days, so you may be wondering how you can lock this app on your TV. There are several ways of doing it.

There should be options available for most smart TVs to lock apps like YouTube with a PIN code. Depending on the brand, you should be able to find these features in the settings. 

Most of the time, you will need to set a unique pin to ensure your kids cannot bypass the settings. Make sure you don’t set it to something obvious, like your birthday. There are also other content control options and apps that you can use to block keywords and searches. This guide will take you through how to lock apps on several TV brands/Software and some extra tips to tricks to help you set up a more robust content control system.

How To Block YouTube on Your Smart TV (Depending on Brand)

While brands differ, the majority of them will follow a similar set of instructions. Here are a few specific guides to help you lock apps like YouTube.

How To Lock YouTube on a Samsung TV

For a Samsung Smart TV (on Amazon), follow these steps to set up your pin and then actually lock the app down.

Setting Up a Pin

  1. Find the Settings Menu, usually a cog symbol in the bottom corner.
  2. Open Settings.
  3. Find the General Tab.
  4. Find the System Management Tab and Click It.
  5. You should find a Change Pin button.
  6. Please enter the new PIN; it will want to confirm your choice.
  7. The PIN has been set.

Locking an App like Youtube on a Samsung Smart TV

Once you have a new PIN set up, follow these steps:

  1. Find the Apps button on your home screen and click through.
  2. There should be a dedicated App Settings button, find, and click. 
  3. Once you are in the App settings, navigate to the app you’d like to lock. In this case, YouTube.
  4. In the drop-down menu, select Lock.
  5. Enter your PIN.
  6. The app is now locked, and you should see a padlock icon on the tile on the home screen!

How to Lock YouTube on an Android TV

For users of Android TVs (on Amazon), you will need to set up a Restricted Profile to lock apps. Here is how to set that up:

  1. From the home screen, you should find a cog-shaped icon that will take you to the settings. 
  2. From here, you will want to locate the Personal tab.
  3. Select Security and Restrictions.
  4. Here you should see the option to create a Restricted Profile.
  5. Set up a unique PIN for the profile.
  6. From here, you should select YouTube or any other app and lock it from use. 
  7. Now, select the profile to use once you sign in.

How to Lock YouTube on an LG Smart TV?

  1. Hit the Smart Button on your home screen.
  2. Navigate to Settings.
  3. You should find a Lock somewhere on the menu.
  4. Select Application Lock.
  5. You should see a list of applications on the drop-down menu.
  6. Select YouTube to block.

Are There Other Ways to Block YouTube?

If you are worried your children might crack your PIN, or if you aren’t satisfied with the level of protection you get from the built-in parental controls, there are a few other options you can try.

Consider trying these out in combination with other blocking tactics:

  • Block the domain through your router – If your router is equipped with parental controls, you may block YouTube from being accessed on any device connected to your network. All you need to do is access your router’s settings through a web browser.
  • Most will have a tab dedicated to parental controls. Just add YouTube to the blocked domain list, and you are good to go. Although this may sound a little intimidating, logging into your router backend is a very simple task. Most routers have robust parental controls built-in, allowing you to go as far as setting certain times of day when Youtube can be accessed and when it can’t.
  • Use dedicated parental control software – Software like Circle offers an all-in-one service that is jam-packed with features. The gist is that you would have the circle app on your child’s devices and control what they can see and when. There is also a standalone piece of hardware that can filter the data coming from your router. 
  • This can be a great option if you don’t want to fiddle around with the router software, taking many of those features and making them more functional and polished.
  • Change restrictions on Google Account – While this option won’t fully restrict YouTube from being viewed, it will help thwart sensitive content. All you need to do is set this up in the settings portion of the account. Age restriction can be a great tool if you still want them to have access to YouTube but don’t want any less-than-savory content from getting to them. Keep in mind this will only block certain content.

Making sure your children are viewing age-appropriate content can be a struggle. With YouTube the way it is now, there is no way to have complete confidence your child isn’t viewing harmful material. Keeping up with your TV’s parental control settings and the settings across multiple devices will help you monitor your child’s content. 

Kids are smart, especially when it comes to technology. Being one step ahead, and understanding all the ways you can monitor their internet usage, will be the best strategy to keep them safe. 

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