Using Parental Controls For Blocking Shows On Netflix

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Streaming services like Netflix understand that more than one family member is often watching content in the house. Those family members can have very different interests. While this often comes down to a matter of taste—like when you and your significant other find different comedies funny—younger children often also use the same Netflix account as their parents. While a child might be old enough to be trusted with the Netflix account without constant supervision, there’s enough on Netflix that children of certain ages should avoid that it’s not hard to imagine them stumbling on it by accident.

With the newest updates to their settings, Netflix has shown they’re listening to their customers and adding the changes people have wanted for years. In addition to the parameters and parental controls you have always been able to set up from your account, which limits what different users can see, you can now use PIN codes to restrict specific content from your child, allowing them to enjoy Netflix content without you having to watch their usage like a hawk.

This lets you keep watching all the action, horror, and romance you want on your account, without worrying about the kids in your house. Let’s look at the various parental controls offered by Netflix.

Applying Parental Controls on Netflix

Though Netflix’s parental controls started out basic, the company has added more and more functionality to the service throughout the last two years. Adding features like PIN codes to restrict specific content, Netflix’s parental controls have become difficult to use and apply to every profile on your account. Plus, with some features like PIN blocking restricted to every single title on Netflix, it became increasingly frustrating to use Netflix’s parental controls, especially since most children require different settings on their profile.

While there is something to be said about the importance of setting up parental controls on all of the profiles on your account, the times have changed, and Netflix is recognizing that without specific settings for each profile, there’s nothing stopping your kids from switching profiles to access unblocked content.

So, in 2020, Netflix has finally adapted to the times and completely redesigned their parental controls dashboard, while also adding even more control to each profile. You can only control account usage from a desktop browser, so once you’re ready to place parental controls on your account, grab your computer and head to Netflix’s website, then follow the steps below:

  1. When Netflix loads into the profile selection screen, select any of the profiles associated with your account from the opening display. Since Netflix’s new dashboard allows you to control every profile, it doesn’t matter which one you use to set it up.
  2. Once that profile’s home screen has loaded, locate the name of the profile in the top-right corner of the display. Click on the name of your profile to access the drop-down menu inside of Netflix. This menu allows for you to change profiles within your account, as well as access your profile settings and watch history.
  3. Click on Account to continue into your account settings.
  4. At the bottom of your account settings page is the “Profile and Parental Controls” dashboard Netflix integrated into your account in 2020.

There are a lot of controls you can use here to change how Netflix works between profiles, so it’s worth looking at each of these individual settings one at a time, in order to discuss how each impacts your viewing experience.

Viewing Restrictions

Netflix used to use custom names for applying viewing restrictions to their profiles, but in 2020, they reverted back to using standard TV and movie ratings. This makes it a lot easier to control, especially if you’re already familiar with how TV and movie ratings work.

  • TV-Y and TV-Y7: These are the most restricted ratings you’ll find on Netflix, perfect for children aged six and below. Program examples include She-ra and the Princesses of PowerKipo and the Age of the WonderbeastsHildaYu-Gi-OhThe Magic School Bus, and many other shows designed for children. It’s worth noting that, at these ratings, Netflix’s movie section is largely limited to animated TV movies. If you want to include standard theatrical releases, you’ll have to bump your rating up to the next tier.
  • TV-G and G: In theatrical releases, G refers to general audiences, which means these movies are appropriate for all ages. TV-G is the television equivalent of a G rating, designed for content made for TV. This is probably the best rating for kids of all ages, since it nets you the widest set of kid-friendly TV shows while also allowing access to classics like TarzanThe Princess and the Frog, Jimmy NeutronShaun the Sheep in Farmageddon, and The Rugrats Movie.
  • TV-PG and PG: If you’re looking to create a profile for an older child who might not be ready for teen-specific content yet, opening their profile to more movies and TV shows primarily aimed at tweens and viewers of all ages. While most PG content made in the last twenty years is pretty kid-friendly, older PG films include more mature titles like Jaws and Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom.
  • PG-13 and TV-14: When your child starts getting close to the end of middle school, you can open them up to new content. Setting the slider to Teens allows your profiles to access all of the aforementioned content from Little and Older Kids, along with the addition of PG-13 and TV-14 content. Most films released these days are rated PG-13, including all of the Marvel Cinematic Universe films and Star Wars: The Force Awakens. These films might be fit for younger eyes, but PG-13 can also include raunchy comedies or other content that may be questionable for certain demographics. Likewise, shows like Mad Men and Better Call Saul both content violence and sex, but are rated TV-14.
  • R and TV-MA: Once you’re allowing this level of content, you’ll have most things available on Netflix to stream. That includes all TV shows (TV-MA is the highest rating for television) and R rated movies.
  • NC-17: Because of theater policies in the United States, there is very little NC-17 content available anywhere, both on and off Netflix. Still, if you allow up to NC-17 content, you’re allowing anything and everything on their service to be streamable.

If you aren’t sure what something is rated, try playing it on Netflix. In 2018, the company added rating information in-display when the movie or show begins, similar to what’s offered when a show or film begins airing on network or cable television. This rating information appears as on overlay, so as not to distract you from the content, and offers immediate context on what’s about to be displayed on-screen.

Title Restrictions

In 2018, Netflix finally add a feature their customers had been asking for for years: the ability to block certain shows and movies specifically, in order to better customize the experience for their children. Whether it comes down to content that Netflix subscribers find problematic or offensive for their families, TV shows and movies that feature messages deemed inappropriate for the children in their household, or content that is simply frustrating and annoying to listen to for hours each day, parents everywhere asked Netflix to improve how they managed their parental controls, and two years ago, the company finally delivered. Now, in 2020, they’ve taken it one step farther.

When you hide a title using Netflix’s new title restrictions, it removes the title entirely from view for that profile. Just enter the title of a show or movie into the search box and select it from a drop-down menu.

Profile Lock

One of the best new features Netflix added in 2020 is a profile lock, allowing you to place unique pins on each profile on your account to only allow your children access to their own individual profiles. To set a profile lock, head to the dashboard, then select Profile Lock from the list of options. Enter your account password to make changes, and Netflix will prompt you to create a pin for this account.

Once you return to the main menu on Netflix, you’ll notice a small lock icon next to any locked profile. Clicking on this lock will prompt you to enter your pin to load the profile. While you could consider putting this on all profiles, it’s especially helpful for profiles where most or all content isn’t blocked. A pin keeps your kids from loading your own profile, without you having to input a code every single time you want to watch an R-rated movie on your account.

Profile locks can be placed on all accounts, regardless of the level of content allowed.

Viewing Activity

Though the new pin feature should put an end to your children clicking on a new profile, if you are still worried about what your kids are watching, you can view each profile’s viewing history using this menu in the new dashboard. Click on ‘View’ under ‘Viewing Activity’ to load a full list of both watched media and rated media under each individual user. When you’re done, hit “Back to Your Account” to return back to the parental controls dashboard.

Playback Settings

Playback settings aren’t something you would probably consider a parental control option, but some parents might want to modify how playback works on their kids’ accounts—especially considering Netflix’s autoplay setting. Autoplay can be dangerous for many children, especially since it encourages kids to keep watching without moving from the couch.

To control how autoplay works, head to the autoplay section of your profile controls and use the checkboxes at the top of the page to change your settings. Turning off autoplay in a series will stop your favorite shows from progressing without manually starting a new episode while turning off auto-playing previews will let you browse Netflix without trailers playing in the background.

Setting Kids-Only Access to a Netflix Profile

It’s worth noting that Netflix also has a Kids-Only access mode built into the application, allowing you to easily block all mature content from view, helping you maintain control without having to worry about what your child is viewing while browsing through the app. This mode is automatically enabled when using specific content controls on profiles as detailed above. Though the Teens level of content blocking will allow for a normal Netflix display, both the Little and Older Kids options will reformat Netflix into the Kids version of the app, hiding all teen and mature content.

To set any profile on Netflix to Kids-Only access, head to the “Manage Profiles” display detailed in the instructions above. From this screen, click on the profile you’d like to set to Kids-Only. In the corner of the profile display, you’ll find an option to set the account as Kids.

Check the box next to this display and save the profile settings. When you load back into the profile, only PG-and-lower content will be displayed on the account, blocking any other content from younger eyes.

You can also switch to a permanent Kids-Only mode inside the profile switcher by tapping on the Kids icon. This eliminates the need for your children to have their own profiles, instead of relying on the Kids profile. The Kids view highlights specific characters along the top of the screen and their related content, along with family-safe Netflix Originals like Fuller House, The Adventures of Puss In Boots, and Dreamworks’ Dragons series. 

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The addition of specific title blocking is one of Netflix’s most-requested parental features, judging by sources in online communities and in our comments below, and we’re happy that Netflix has finally begun rolling out these changes.

As services like Netflix continue to become the go-to choice for entertainment in your living room, parental controls and content blockers become more and more important to use. Setting up parental controls and PIN locks on profiles with Netflix are the perfect way to help your child find appropriate content while remaining independent.

30 thoughts on “Using Parental Controls For Blocking Shows On Netflix”

Avatar Joe joe Blew a Fart says:
Is there a way to block just Uncut Gems because that’s just a horrible movie and want my 2 hours back… and it keeps suggesting the movie over and over.
I dont want to do child restrictions to block it. I just tired of it being suggested. It’s just a horrible movie! I can do this on Hulu to remove and easy to do.
Avatar Karen says:
It would be great if R rated shows were in a separate category from Adult Porn and extreme nudity programs. To block Porn in my adult household means blocking many R Rated series.
Avatar jaiho says:
Sorry, how are you meant to use specific title blocking? I came here looking for instructions but it’s just an article talking about how great Netflix is at listening to customers. If you read the comments it doesn’t sound like this article is based in truth. I contacted Netflix last night in frustration to find out how to block specific titles and I was told to mark content as offensive so that all the votes from customers would result in having it removed. So ridiculous, just because it’s not appropriate for my easily startled child doesn’t mean that all children should be prevented from watching particular shows. And this isn’t immediate!
Avatar Ruby says:
When you log into Netflix on a browser or computer, click on your profile. (You can’t do this from the app on your phone.) You then go to your profile icon on the top right and a drop down menu shows up, click on Account. From there scroll down to Parental Controls. You’ll need to enter your account password to access. Once you’re in Parental
Controls, scroll down and you’ll see where you can enter specific titles to restrict.
Avatar susie says:
nope, I would never ever do that for my kids, rather I would teach them right between wrong and honestly if they do it then they do it, I cant help it because if I block it on Netflix they would still have so many other places to turn to. And I personally think that the more you block things from kids the more curious they grow to try and see what you are trying to hide from them. so when you think your doing good for your children in a way your not really doing that
Avatar B.F. Skinner says:
Alrighty, then. Glad you’ve got it all figured out.
Avatar Deb says:
When I was 13, 54 years ago, my Dad was away on a business trip and my Mom let my sister and I stay up late to watch TV. My Mom fell asleep and when the show was over at 11 pm we decided to not wake her up as she asked and watched the news and then the Saturday movie, which started at 11:30. The movie was the Boston Strangler (with Tony Curtis). It scared us so much that we ended up waking up our Mom. I can still tap into that fear and for a very long time wished that my Mom hadn’t fallen asleep. All this is by the way of saying that as parents we need to shield our kids to that which can be harmful. And, kids will be kids and will always push the envelope to test boundaries. Our kids count on us to keep them safe based on their age and what is age appropriate. Just my 2 cents.
Avatar Sstronf says:
Is there a way to block all NR movies?
Avatar Mr. T says:
Nope and this is the most glaring example that Netflix really doesn’t care….
Avatar Wayne Hancock says:
The fact that you can’t put pins on PROFILES is a HUGE loop hole!! What’s to stop my kid from selecting my profile and being exposed to inapropriate thumbnail photos when they start to type Power Rangers? I don’t need them seeing Porn thumbnails even if they can’t actually play them because they don’t have the pin. PINs should be applied to Profiles directly!!! (Note, We use the TiVo Netflix App for all our viewing)
Avatar Carlee says:
Agreed! This would solve a lot of the complaints that parents/customers have.
Avatar K.morgan says:
If a kid has access to Netflix on an Apple device then they also likely have the password memorized into their device… which means any sufficiently motivated kid can figure out how to get past the parental controls by just entering the password and changing the PIN and changing permissions and watching whatever they want. Netflix needs to create a family plan with different logins all managed under a paid parent account, similar to amazon, Apple, etc.
Avatar Meg says:
I’d also love to have a way to block genres, even for myself, not just my kids. Just to help with cont by overload when I’m picking a show or movie myself. For example, I never watch scary/horror movies because I don’t like them/ I’d love to block those so I don’t have it as a choice. I’d also love to pick my own categories to pick from. I love old musicals, so it would be nice to individualize the content to my liking.
Avatar jaiho says:
Yes!!!! Me too!!! And I know people who don’t like chick flicks etc so it wouldn’t just help those who aren’t into horror ‍♀️
I’d love to be able to find Australian content easily as I’m OS and home sick but there doesn’t seem to be an option for that either.
Avatar Nathan John says:
Well, it is a useful tutorial for parents to prevent children from various TV shows.
Avatar John says:
Can the Adult rating be split into two sections one for 15 and one for 18. Setting the appropriate level for older teenagers is not possible and I have to block out all 15 and 18 content or control via a PIN which means I have to be present to allow my older teenagers to view 15 level films and shows
Avatar Dan says:
Agree wholeheartedly. The current level of control is not granular enough. If Netflix is able to categorise content as 15 vs 18, they evidently recognise that some content is suitable for 18 year olds but not 15 year olds. So, why is there no option to allow 15-rated content but not 18-rated content? Madness, and surely an easy fix.
Avatar Robert Gregory says:
Please provide the option of blocking shows by their content not by their rating. You can still find nude pictures in PG shows! I realize you can block the rating, but that does not necessarily block all of the bad content. We experienced that tonight while watching a show with our children. It’s not safe to assume all PG shows are free of nude content and by the time you discover it it’s too late!
Avatar Lisa Bergen says:
I would suggest using common sense media to review content before watching it. I do this with my children so that I don’t have to always preview PG shows.
Avatar Samantha Ryder says:
I want an option to block out single shows and then it has a block list to edit or unblock the shows you block
Avatar Lacy Crook says:
PLEASE provide the option to block single shows! It’s something your customers really need. Thank you!
Avatar DeliaT says:
If Netflix does not come up with the option to control the kids’ content we will have to sadly stop our subscription. There have now been once too many offenders and I cannot keep arguing with a 5 and a 6 year old.
Avatar Jaiho says:
Exactly! That’s what Netflix doesn’t Understand
Avatar samantha wallace says:
When I log into the my account I don’t see parental controls
Avatar Marie Knutson says:
I too agree that specific shows should be able to he blocked. I have taught my toddler manners by saying please and thank you, but he has been watching Masha and Bear in which the girl is very whiney. Also he has started saying “gimme, gimme, gimme”, which i discovered came from that show.
Avatar Kassie says:
Hey guys. Just a heads up. Don’t respond to comments like “Joe.” That’s a troll, and more than likely not even a real person. In a message board where almost everyone is supportive and you see some stupid comment like that, it’s just to sow discord. Like a stray cat, if you feed it, more will come, and they spray and can’t be neutered.
Avatar J Hunter says:
The bummer about this option is that while setting the parental controls at Teen requires a password for “Adult” viewing, all the “Adult” shows are still able to be scrolled through and often previewed. Sometimes even the splash screen is inappropriate. I’d really love a way to be able to actually block the R + show options from being viewed if that’s where the parental controls are set.
Avatar My Take says:
I agree.
Avatar K says:
I agree! This is the info I was looking for. Not a customer & now probably won’t be.
The reason I stayed with Verizon was that the titles of shows that are blocked don’t even show – just says “blocked title” saves lots of arguments
Avatar Liz Gilchrist says:
There is a show I believe 13 reasons, that is bad for teens to watch about suicide and we received an email from her high school warning for the kids not to watch it
Really wish that show could be blocked
Avatar Kelly says:
That’s so stupid. That show’s message is anti-bullying, not pro-suicide. Stop being a helicopter parent and let your kids discover a good show with a good message.
Avatar Larry Plum says:
underlying good message. bad show. don’t blame the school or the parents.
Avatar Holly says:
Please yes make it so we can block certain shows my daughter has been watching horrid Henry which is rated tv g I definitely don’t think it’s a good show to watch the kid is always getting into trouble now my daughter is starting to act out!! So frustrating I wish I could block it but I can’t now I’m going to have to look over her shoulder every minute to make sure she isn’t watching a bratty kid on Netflix when she grabs my phone
Avatar Julio says:
I hate that show too! I’m very frustrated with Netflix for not allowing to block specific TV shows.
This show has the worst reviews all over the Internet. It’s a terrible role model and a very bad example for my 5 year old. I’m actually considering just blocking Netflix as a solution.
Avatar Stephanie says:
I am so glad to see I am not the only one completely disgusted with this show and also frustrated that it is not an option to completely block just this show.
Avatar Kat says:
I really want to individually block one or two of the kids shows. I don’t think I can stand watching another episode of Animal Mechanicals with my 3-year-old, but every time we open the kids’ profile–BAM–it’s right there front and center. Screaming fit ensues if we don’t turn it on. I now avoid using netflix just to avoid these fights over shows Netflix keeps serving that I don’t want to watch on never-ending-mom-again-mom-again-until-tv-time-is-over-MOM-AGAIN loop.
Avatar lori says:
Here’s what I did to solve that issue. When the kids weren’t around, I clicked on shows that I do approve of (like 4 or 5) and played them long enough so that it registers under ‘continue to watch’ section. So now, those shows come up front and center. It has helped a lot.
Avatar Tammy says:
Great idea!!
Avatar Victoria says:
Individual show blocking would be good for anyone, kids or no kids. Getting certain shows, like the gagworthy Santa Clarita Diet, off my profile would be great. It would be nice not having to have shows I absolutely loath constantly popping up. I had hoped someone would have a solution for this but it seems like too much hassle to constantly put in a password to see other things I actually want to see, just to get one or two off.
Avatar Pawel says:
That is so necessary to be able to block certain shows from Netflix. Some of them are like candies to kids, nice to watch and bring nothing to their lives. But difficult for parents to talk them out of it.
Avatar D. Adams says:
I would also like the ability to grant permission for a show above the rating I have selected for my child. Some PG shows are okay in my opinion. (Isn’t that what PG stands for?). I trust my kid to only watch the shows he is allowed to watch. However, I don’t want MA and R shows, often with sexual images, appearing in his browsing window.
Avatar Suzana says:
We really need this option to block specific shows/movies on Netflix ASAP! Netflix please help and fix This problem for us..
Avatar D. Adams says:
I would also like the ability to grant permission for a show above the rating I have selected for my child. Some PG shows are okay in my opinion. (Isn’t that what PG stands for?). I trust my kid to only watch the shows he is allowed to watch. However, I don’t want MA and R shows, often with sexual images, appearing in his browsing window.
Avatar Shelley Ringelstetter says:
Thanks for the info. I agree that Netflix needs to have better parental controls which allow the flexibility to block certain types of shows, specific titles and ratings. Some TV-14 shows are appropriate for my 12 year old son, and others are not.
Avatar Amy says:
Netflix, PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE come up with a way to allow us to block certain movies. Shows are inappropriately rated and even if I put on little kids for parent control, pokemon comes through which is not ok for my kids to watch but they want to. Same with Star Wars/Clone Wars. And my 6.5 year old can watch intellectually older shows, just not with so much violence! PLEASE help us with this. We have no cable and will have to cancel Netflix if I, as a parent, cannot control what my kids see, even if it is on the selection page. Once they see it, like all humans, they want to watch it.
Avatar Joe says:
Why don’t you watch your kids. Then they won’t watch inappropriate shows. It’s called parenting.
Avatar Jeroen says:
Sounds like you don’t have kids on your own. Watching kids 24/7 isn’t an option and they are smart enough to switch shows.
Avatar Elmo says:
I would really like this function, since we have a long term house guest that refuses to stop watching Friends on a constant loop.
Avatar Larry Plum says:
you truly don’t understand and your comment shows your ignorance Joe.
Avatar Cindy says:
I have called Netflix as there are individual shows that I would like blocked for various reasons. It is not just because some are inappropriate, one other reason is there is a series of books by a certain popular author that our kids need to finish reading before they watch the series that Netflix has recently produced. When I called Netflix they are willing to put a ticket into the developers but that is all they will say on blocking individual shows. Perhaps if more people call them they will actually add that feature to their parental controls.
Avatar Jenn says:
Thank you for posting this how-to – I needed to block Family Guy and a few other grossly inappropriate shows from our Netflix account, and since there is not currently a way to block shows on an individual basis, rating-based blocking is how it’s going to be. Thanks again!

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