How to Block YouTube on Echo Show
The latest Amazon Echo Show has high-definition resolution and a larger display ideal for watching Prime Video and other streaming services. That said, you wouldn’t want other household members, especially the young ones, to abuse these exciting features when you’re away.
Fortunately, the device has plenty of features that can limit the use of your Echo Show and restrict access to certain skills. With YouTube, the situation is a bit unclear, as there isn’t a particular YouTube skill for Alexa (the well-publicized Google and Amazon spat may have something to do with that).
However, there are ways to access YouTube and also ways to restrict it. This article will explain everything.
Accessing YouTube on Echo Show
As mentioned, Alexa doesn’t have a YouTube skill so you can’t access YouTube as quickly as some other streaming services (Prime TV or Netflix, for example). However, this doesn’t mean that you can’t watch YouTube on Echo Show. Anyone can play YouTube videos by using one of the device’s built-in browsers.
You can open Silk or Firefox via the home screen or by speaking “Alexa, Open Silk/Firefox.” All that’s left is to type the YouTube address on the search bar and wait for the page to load. When it comes to YouTube videos, Mozilla Firefox edges Silk browser since it’s the only browser that’s compatible with YouTube TV (besides Google Chrome).
From here on out, you can type or pick one of the suggested videos and it will play on your Echo Show screen. Although the experience won’t be as smooth as with some other devices that have a native YouTube app, it’s still a viable alternative.
Block Users from Accessing YouTube on Echo Show’s Web Browser
Since the only way to play YouTube on Echo Show is via a web browser, the only way to block YouTube on the device is to restrict web browsing completely. You can do this easily in Settings.
Follow these steps:
- Swipe down from the top of the screen to display the quick access bar (control panel).
- Tap the ‘Settings’ button (gear icon) at the right of the bar.
- Go to the ‘Restrict Access’ menu.
- Enable the restriction next to the ‘Web Browser’ option.
The device will now take you to the account verification screen, where you’ll need to verify your Amazon account before you can restrict browser access.
- Tap ‘Continue.’
- Input your password. Note: It’s the password for your Amazon account (if you shop for things or log in to Amazon Alexa).
- Select ‘Done.’ You should receive a verification code on your cell phone.
- Enter the verification code on the following screen.
Once you’ve entered the code, the device will return to the settings screen, where you’ll notice that the web browsing option has been toggled off. You can try to open Silk or Firefox, but Alexa will inform you that web browsing is disabled on the device.
Before you finish up, make sure that you tap the Back button (the arrow pointing to the left at the top of the screen). This is essential since, having verified your account, anybody would be able to toggle web restriction on or off on the settings screen.
Can You Block Only YouTube on Your Browser?
Unfortunately, Alexa’s browser skill can’t block an individual page. Therefore, to restrict access to YouTube, you’ll have to disable the web browsing feature altogether. That is until YouTube gets its own skill. But will it?
Since the Amazon and Google feud is over, you may expect the YouTube skill for Alexa in the future. However, this isn’t going to make YouTube blocking any easier. You’d have to restrict the service both ways – by disabling the skill and blocking web browsing.
Make the Most of Echo Show Restrictions
In the ‘Restrict Access’ menu, you’ll find many other options other than disabling web browsing. You can also disable watching movie trailers, web video search, and video providers such as Amazon Prime, Hulu, Netflix, and others.
With the wide range of restricting options, you can maintain full parental control over your Echo Show and allow your children to use it with relative peace of mind.
Which content would you block on your Echo Show and why? Leave a comment below for the TechJunkie community.