Tired of seeing inappropriate and adult content pop up on your or your child’s YouTube account?
It’s a problem many face, me included.
That’s why I’ve tested and compiled the 4 best ways to block inappropriate and adult content on YouTube.
Each one in this list comes with step-by-step instructions you can follow.
I recommend using all of them together but feel free to choose one or mix and match the methods that work best for you.
Here they are at a glance:
- Top Pick: Canopy – An advanced parental control app offering real-time filtering on YouTube (and beyond)
- Method 2: YouTube’s own Restricted Mode (free but not completely reliable)
- Method 3: Blocking specific videos and channels through YouTube’s built-in settings
- Method 4: Using YouTube Kids for a more child-friendly environment
Keep reading for in-depth guidance and details on implementing each one.
Best Method Overall: How to Block Inappropriate Content on YouTube Using Canopy
Here’s the first method, its unique benefits, and step-by-step instructions to help you block adult content.
See how Canopy works in the short video below:
Canopy is a parental control app and porn blocker that blocks and filters out explicit content on your device. It’s great for parents and adults who want to create a safer digital world for their families or for themselves.
Check out this guide on parental control to learn more about why protecting children from the internet and sites like YouTube are important.
Canopy’s real-time content filtering feature, which is AI-powered, weeds out explicit content before it has the chance to load on the screen. So you (or a child) can explore YouTube without worrying about what will pop up on the screen.
Beyond that, Canopy has a downtime setting that limits access to apps and the internet during specific times of day, enforcing healthier screen-time habits and removal prevention to ensure all your settings stay in place.
There’s also a sexting prevention feature that keeps your child from sending or receiving explicit images.
What makes it number one:
Canopy has proven to be more than just an app – it’s an essential tool for nurturing better digital habits and crafting a safer online environment.
This tool caters to children and adults alike, ensuring that everyone can enjoy a secure YouTube browsing experience without stumbling upon inappropriate content.
If you want to block YouTube altogether, you can read this guide which has more methods and walks you through how to do just that using Canopy.
How to Block Adult Content on YouTube with Canopy (Step-by-Step)
Here’s how I set up Canopy to block adult content on YouTube and beyond:
1. Create a Canopy account: Start with a free trial and create an account.
2. Download the Canopy for Kids app: You want to install this on the device(s) you’re protecting. While it’s designed to manage the digital experience of children, it serves adults just as well.
3. Step back and be protected: Once the app is installed, you’re all set. The app will automatically start to filter out adult content in real-time across YouTube and other websites or search engines.
Using Canopy will filter out nudity and pornography from your YouTube search results. It also works to block inappropriate content from browsers and other web pages.
That means the entire internet just became a whole lot safer.
Sounds too good to be true? → Download Canopy and find out for yourself. ←
Method 2: How to Block Inappropriate Videos on YouTube using YouTube’s Restricted Mode
Let’s look at the second method, its benefits, and how you can use it to block adult content on YouTube with step-by-step instructions.
YouTube has its own built-in setting for filtering mature content. Known as “Restricted Mode,” it’s free and easily accessible. This option is essentially YouTube’s version of a content filter, which aims to block explicit content from being shown. However, bear in mind that while it’s useful, it’s not foolproof, and some inappropriate content might slip through.
The clear advantage of using YouTube’s Restricted Mode is its ease of use and availability. Since it’s a built-in feature, you don’t need to install any additional apps or software. Plus, being a free option makes it accessible to all users. This mode helps in limiting access to mature content, making YouTube a bit safer for young viewers.
Why it’s second best:
The Restricted Mode on YouTube is a viable method for those who wish to implement quick and cost-effective content filtering.
But if you’re looking for a more robust and reliable solution, you might want to consider an external application like Canopy.
It’s also worth noting that your Restricted Mode only applies to the device you set it up on. So you have to turn it on separately for your desktop, laptop, phone, and tablet.
How to Block Adult Content on YouTube with YouTube’s Restricted Mode (Step-by-Step)
Step-by-Step for Turning YouTube’s Restricted Mode On (Computer)
Here are the steps I followed to block content on YouTube using its built-in Restricted Mode on my computer.
Below you can find the steps for turning Restricted Mode on from your phone.
1. Open YouTube: Start by launching YouTube on your device. If you’re not already logged in, make sure you do so.
2. Access Settings: Click on your profile icon at the top right corner of the screen, then select ‘Restricted Mode’.
3. Turn on Restricted Mode: Toggle the switch that says ‘Activate Restricted Mode’ to turn it on.
Step-by-Step for Turning YouTube’s Restricted Mode On (Phone)
The steps you need to follow for turning on Restricted Mode from your phone are slightly different:
1. Open YouTube: Start by launching YouTube on your device.
2. Access Settings: Click on your profile icon at the top right corner of the screen, then select ‘Settings’.
3. Choose General: Find ‘General’ in your Settings menu and click on it.
4. Turn on Restricted Mode: Find ‘Restricted Mode’. Toggle the switch to turn it on.
And there you have it—you’ve activated YouTube’s Restricted Mode, effectively blocking a significant amount of mature content.
But for the most comprehensive protection, consider using Canopy, which provides real-time, AI-powered filtering across the board.
Method 3: How to Block Specific Channels on YouTube Using YouTube’s Built-In Settings
Here’s the next method, its benefits, and how you can use it to block adult content on YouTube with step-by-step instructions.
YouTube provides users the option to limit the type of content and channels that get shown to them on their homepage. This feature is handy when you’ve come across inappropriate content, or if there’s a particular channel you find unsuitable for viewing.
The primary benefit of blocking specific videos and channels is the personalized control it provides. This allows you to tailor the YouTube experience according to your specific needs or concerns.
Why it’s a good choice:
This method is great if you’re only concerned about a few problematic videos or channels. But it requires manual intervention and constant monitoring. For a more automated, comprehensive solution, Canopy remains the top choice.
How to Block Specific Channels on YouTube (Step-by-Step)
Here are the steps I took so that YouTube stopped recommending a specific channel on my homepage.
1. Open YouTube and Locate the Channel: Start by opening YouTube and find the video on your homepage that you don’t want to see.
2. Click on the Three Dots: Hover over the video square and click the three dots to open its settings.
3. Block the Channel: Select ‘Don’t recommend channel’.
This is far from foolproof and requires you to pay close attention to the videos that appear on your or your child’s YouTube homepage.
And if you wish to block specific videos, you can’t do it directly from YouTube. But you can block or limit them by using parental control apps such as Canopy, which filters out inappropriate content in real-time.
Method 4: How to Block Inappropriate Content Using YouTube Kids
YouTube Kids is a separate app designed specifically for a younger audience. It offers a more controlled environment and curates age-appropriate videos.
YouTube Kids offers an extensive range of kid-friendly content while minimizing the risk of exposure to adult content.
It has built-in parental controls that enable you to further tailor the viewing experience.
Why it’s a good choice:
If your primary users are children, YouTube Kids can be an effective solution. However, the filtering isn’t perfect, and potentially inappropriate videos can still slip through.
For seamless, comprehensive protection, Canopy’s real-time filtering capabilities come out on top.
How to Block Inappropriate Content on YouTube with YouTube Kids (Step-by-Step)
Here are the steps I took to install YouTube Kids for my child.
1. Download the App: Download and install the YouTube Kids app from the App Store or Google Play Store.
2. Set up the Account: Follow the on-screen prompts to set up an account for your child.
3. Choose the Content Level: You’ll be asked to choose a content level suitable for your child’s age.
4. Set a Custom Passcode: This ensures that your child cannot change the settings without your knowledge.
Remember, no system is perfect, and it’s always a good idea to monitor your child’s viewing habits. Consider using Canopy for a more reliable, real-time filtering experience.
Is YouTube a Safe Site For Children?
Even though YouTube is a popular site for children, it isn’t entirely safe.
According to Pew Research Center, 80% of all parents with a child aged 11 or younger say their child watches videos on YouTube, and 53% do so daily.
This raises some concerns as YouTube is notorious for its auto-play feature, which can lead to inappropriate content even when targeting children.
That same study revealed videos targeting or featuring children are among the most popular content on YouTube. And some of these videos contain inappropriate or adult content.
Parental supervision and the use of tools like Canopy are essential for ensuring a safe online environment for children.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Can I restrict content on the YouTube app?
Yes, you can restrict content on the YouTube app by enabling Restricted Mode. This mode helps filter out potentially mature content.
This setting can help block adult content, but it is not 100% foolproof. For a more comprehensive solution, consider using a tool like Canopy.
How do I set up YouTube Kids?
Setting up YouTube Kids is easy:
- Download and install the YouTube Kids app from the App Store or Google Play Store.
- Open the app and follow the on-screen prompts to set up an account for your child.
- Choose the right content level for your child’s age.
- Set a custom passcode to prevent your child from changing the settings.
For the full instructions, see the guide above.
Remember, while YouTube Kids is safer than regular YouTube, it isn’t perfect. Monitoring your child’s usage is still important.
What can I do to ensure my child only views age-appropriate content on YouTube?
There are several steps you can take to ensure your child only views age-appropriate content:
- Use YouTube Kids: This app offers curated content suitable for children.
- Enable Restricted Mode: This mode can filter out potentially mature content.
- Block Certain Videos and Channels: If you find specific videos or channels that are inappropriate, block them.
- Monitor your child’s activity: Regularly check your child’s viewing history to understand what they’re watching.
- Use Canopy: Canopy offers real-time filtering of inappropriate content on YouTube, providing a more comprehensive solution.
Remember, the goal is to create a safe digital environment for your child, not just on YouTube but across all digital platforms.
Other Guides for Blocking Adult Content Across Browsers and Devices
The dangers of the internet extend far beyond YouTube. Explore these guides to safeguard your and your child’s experience across other browsers and devices.
- How to block specific websites
- How to block YouTube on Mac
- How to block websites on iPhone and iPad
- How to block adult websites on iPhone
- How to block websites on Android
- How to block websites on Chrome mobile
- How to block websites on Safari
- How to permanently block adult websites on phone
- How to block websites on Firefox