Not every Apple TV is in a household full of self-realized adults. Apple knows this and has set up some restrictions, similar to the parental controls on iOS.
That way, you can make sure that your kids aren’t purchasing anything (or playing/watching anything) without your consent.
Here’s how to set it all up on your Apple TV.
With Restrictions on Apple TV, you can restrict a whole bunch of stuff, like:
- Purchasing movies, TV shows, and apps
- Making in-app purchases
- Playing iTunes movies or TV shows based on content ratings
- Opening apps based on age ratings
- Viewing content identified as explicit
- Playing multiplayer games in Game Center
- Adding friends in Game Center
- Changing AirPlay or Location settings
Apple says that Restrictions may not apply to some 3rd-party apps, so you’ll have to go into the individual app’s settings or Apps in the Settings app on your Apple TV.
Turn on Restrictions
To turn on restrictions, you’ll need to head into the Settings app from the Home screen, then click on General, then Restrictions. Turn them on, and enter a 4-digit passcode (preferably one your kids don’t already know).
Once you’ve entered and verified the passcode, the restriction options will enable in the Restrictions menu. If you need to change that passcode, just select Change Passcode and then enter the current one, then the new one.
Choose what to restrict
In the Restrictions section (in Settings > General > Restrictions), enter your passcode and then set up your restrictions.
You can click on Purchase and Rental to either Restrict or Allow anyone using the Apple TV to buy or rent stuff from the iTunes Store, and you can choose to Allow or block In-App Purchases as well. These are either on or off.
For Allowed Content, you’ll click on the Music and Podcasts to restrict those to Clean or allow Explicit lyrics and ratings, while you’ll choose from all the available ratings options in Movies, TV Shows, and Apps. Click on Siri Explicit Language to either obscure or allow explicit words in Siri’s on-screen feedback, then be sure to click on the Ratings For option to choose ratings systems from any country Apple TV supports.
Your Family Sharing restrictions (set on your iOS device or Mac) will carry over to your Apple TV, too, including Ask To Buy, which lets your kids buy specific iTunes stuff only with your approval.
Remove all restrictions
If you want to disable all your restrictions, say when your kids are gone for the weekend and you want to watch some grown-up movies, you can do so temporarily, then re-enable them later.
All you need to do is head into Settings > General > Restrictions. Once there, enter your passcode from above, and then choose Restrictions to OFF. Boom. Have fun, mom!