How to Restrict and Block YouTube App on Nintendo Switch

As a parent, you may be concerned about your child having access to inappropriate or excessive content on the YouTube app on their Nintendo Switch. While there is no way to completely block the YouTube app, there are methods to restrict access and control usage.

Set Up Parental Controls

The easiest way to manage and restrict usage of the YouTube app is to set up Parental Controls on your child’s Nintendo Switch (requires system update to version 5.0.0 or later).

On the Switch Itself

  1. Open System Settings
  2. Select “Parental Controls”
  3. Create a 4-digit PIN
  4. Select the desired age rating and content restrictions
  5. Under “Restricted Software”, add YouTube to the list of restricted apps

This will prevent the YouTube app from being opened without inputting the Parental Control PIN. You can also set daily usage limits.

Using Companion Mobile App

For more advanced control, download the free Nintendo Switch Parental Controls app on your smartphone. This allows you to:

  • Set daily usage limits for the YouTube app specifically
  • View daily and monthly usage reports of the YouTube app
  • Receive notifications when limits are reached
  • Temporarily disable restrictions as needed

The mobile app provides greater insight into how much time your child spends on YouTube and when they are accessing it.

Activate YouTube’s Restricted Mode

YouTube has a Restricted Mode that filters out more mature content:

  1. Open YouTube app on your child’s Switch
  2. Select the Settings icon (gear shape)
  3. Scroll down and enable “Restricted Mode”

This uses automated filters to block inappropriate videos. It’s not 100% comprehensive but provides another layer of protection.

Set YouTube Account Restrictions

Rather than restricting the app itself, you can restrict access to content through your child’s Google/YouTube account:

  • Enable YouTube Kids mode for a more restricted, child-friendly experience
  • Turn off search and watch history to limit video recommendations
  • Disable comments to prevent exposure to inappropriate comments

Managing settings on your child’s YouTube/Google account can help block mature content without limiting use of the app itself.

Alternative Parental Control Options

If the above options still allow access to unwanted content, here are some alternatives:

Router-Level Blocking

Use parental control settings on your WiFi router to block the YouTube website and app. This prevents access on any device connected to your home network.

DNS Filtering

Services like OpenDNS Home allow you to filter content across all devices. By filtering at the DNS level, you can block categories like social media and specific sites like YouTube.

Third Party Apps

Apps like Circle and Mobicip can monitor usage across devices, filter content, and set time limits for apps like YouTube, even when not connected to your home WiFi.

Additional Tips for Parents

  • Occasionally check your child’s YouTube watch and search history for unwanted content
  • Remind children not to give out any private information on YouTube
  • Set viewing time limits and take breaks for physical activity
  • Watch videos together and discuss online safety
  • Frequently communicate your expectations and rules regarding YouTube usage

While YouTube can be a useful source of entertainment and information for kids, parents need to take an active role in monitoring and restricting access when necessary through Nintendo Switch Parental Controls and other means. With the proper controls in place, children can safely enjoy age-appropriate YouTube content.