How to restrict content on YouTube for Nintendo Switch

Switch YouTube Parental
Switch YouTube Parental (Image credit: iMore)

Along with being an excellent gaming platform, the Nintendo Switch also lets you watch video on the go via the YouTube app. That's super convenient but can be scary if your kid is using the device to play some of the best Nintendo Switch games for young kids. Luckily you have the power to restrict YouTube content on Nintendo Switch to control what they watch.

Are there parental controls in YouTube for Nintendo Switch?

YouTube has a restricted mode that can be used on your desktop, Android and iOS devices, and Nintendo Switch. When active, this setting ensures that users will not see videos featuring mature content. The service uses a mix of metadata, video titles, descriptions, and community guideline reviews to determine what is inappropriate, but Google acknowledges the feature is far from perfect since everyone has a somewhat different view of what they think their kids can handle.

There is no way to refine your content preferences on the Nintendo Switch app — you can only toggle restricted mode on and off. When restricted mode is on, you also won't be able to see comments on videos.

How to restrict YouTube content on Nintendo Switch

If you've decided to use YouTube and want to make it a bit safer, we'll show you where to find the option. Just follow along:

  1. Open the YouTube app on Nintendo Switch by navigating to it on the home screen and pressing the A button.

Switch Home Screen (Image credit: iMore)
  1. On the left side of the app, tab down to the Settings icon, which is the final one listed on the screen. Selecting it will reveal a list of new options to the right.

Restrict YouTube content on Switch by showing YouTube Switch settings (Image credit: iMore)
  1. Scroll down to restricted mode in the Settings list and tap right.

Restrict YouTube content on Switch by showing YouTube Switch Restricted Mode (Image credit: iMore)
  1. Select the On option and press A to enable restricted mode.

Restrict YouTube content on Switch by showing YouTube Restricted Mode on (Image credit: iMore)

Your viewing experience should be a lot safer now. Again, it isn't a catch-all to block all the content you don't want your young ones seeing, but it's better than nothing.

Can you use YouTube Kids on the Switch?

The YouTube Kids app is designed to provide a safer experience for children, delivering family-friendly content and a variety of helpful features for parents like limits on screen time and the ability to block entire channels. Unfortunately, the app is only available on iOS and Android devices, not the Nintendo Switch. Google also has a Family Link app that can be used to monitor a kids' activity and set screentime limits, but again this only works on smartphones.

Stay safe!

Even with these controls that let you restrict YouTube content on Nintendo Switch, it's possible for your kids to view something that you deem inappropriate. Be sure to monitor their usage on the Switch and consider only allowing them to use YouTube on devices where you have a finer level of control. Also check out the Nintendo Switch's primary parental controls so you can make sure they're safe when playing games.

Jaz Brown