How to Set up Parental Controls on a Roku Device
Roku is one of the most popular video streaming devices – just plug it in your smart TV and a stacked library of channels, movies, and TV shows will appear right in front of you.
However, with plenty of choices comes plenty of responsibility, especially if you’re a parent of a young kid. It’s not easy to keep all the content that your child is exposed to in check, but the parental control option is a good place to start.
Does Roku have one? Well, it does. But the method is a bit different than the parental control features elsewhere.
Control the Channels via PIN Code
Setting up a PIN code for your Roku device is the closest you can get to parental control. When you set a PIN for your account, it will prevent the user from adding and purchasing channels, movies, or shows from the channel store.
To set up a PIN, you have to follow these steps:
- Open a web browser via a computer or a mobile device.
- Go to the official Roku account page.
- Enter your credentials.
- Press “Sign In”.
- Select “Update” beneath the “Pin Preference” section.
- Choose “Always require a PIN to make purchases and to add items from the Channel Store.”
- Choose and enter a 4-digit PIN code that you’ll always have to use when adding channels from the store.
- Select “Verify PIN.” to confirm the selection.
- Click “Save Changes.”
Of course, you should save your PIN code somewhere so you don’t forget it. If you do, you’ll have to go through a long process of retrieval with the customer support team.
Using PIN to Control the Channels
When you set up a PIN code, each channel that you want to add from the store will require you to enter it. Therefore, you can control which channels are available to your children. If you don’t want your child to access a certain channel, simply remove it from the list before giving the remote to your kid.
If you’re unsure how to do this, follow these steps:
- Press the “Home” button on your remote to access Roku’s Home screen.
- Navigate to “Streaming Channels” using the remote buttons.
- Go to the channel that you want to remove from the list.
- Press the “Star” button to open the Channel Settings menu.
- Select “Remove channel.”
- Press “OK.”
- Do the same again when prompted.
You can follow the same steps to remove any channel from your Roku device. When you want to return the channel, movie, or Show back to the list, simply navigate to the store and add it again. Enter the PIN when prompted, and the item will return to the list.
Roku Devices Connected with an External Antenna
If you have an external antenna that’s connected to your Roku device via an antenna input, there’s another method to set parental controls. Since you’re receiving live television broadcasts, you can’t choose which channels will appear on the list.
However, you can limit the access to certain channels depending on their content rating score. If channels are rated above your designated limit, they won’t display audio, video, or the description.
Do the following:
- Go to the Home screen of your Roku device.
- Navigate to “Settings.”
- Select “TV Tuner” and wait for Roku to scan all the channels.
- Choose “Enable Parental Controls.”
- Toggle the option on.
- Adjust the content rating limits and choose whether you want to block unrated channels.
When you limit the channels and block the unrated ones (those that didn’t pass the content rating regulations), you can safely leave your kid to enjoy Roku, without having to worry about inappropriate content coming up.
Use the same steps from above to toggle the option off (steps 1-6) when it’s your turn to watch Roku.
What About the Non-Removable Channels?
You’re probably wondering about the channels that are pre-built into Roku. Since you can’t remove channels such as Hulu, Netflix, and Amazon Video from your channel list, your kid won’t need the PIN code to access them again.
Well, these channels have their own parental controls systems that are adjustable via your accounts. So, you just need to log in to your Netflix account via a web browser and find the parental controls options in the Settings menu. Since you’re using that same account on your Roku, the adjustments will instantly sync.
It Takes Time, but It’s Necessary
As you see, there’s a lot that you must do to keep your children away from inappropriate content. However, until Roku manages to release a proper parental control feature, the PIN code and the aforementioned steps are your only alternatives.
Do you have any other parental control methods that you’d like to share with the TechJunkie community? Which method do you prefer? Hit the comments section below and let us know.