Manage your organization's YouTube settings

This article is for admins who manage YouTube settings in Google Workspace. To manage these settings on your personal Google Account, go to Turn Restricted Mode on or off.

As an administrator, you can help restrict which YouTube videos are viewable by signed-in users in your organization and on your network using YouTube's Restricted Mode settings.

Note: If you see content that's inappropriate, report it. When you report something, it isn't automatically taken down. Google first reviews the content to see if it's in line with the YouTube Community Guidelines. For details, go to Report inappropriate content.

YouTube Restricted Mode

With YouTube Restricted Mode, you can filter out potentially mature videos while leaving most videos available. When you turn on Restricted Mode for any version of Google Workspace:

  • Users can't see comments on the videos they watch or upload videos to YouTube.
  • Ad personalization settings aren't modified.

To add additional content, you can designate users to be approvers. These users have Can approve videos permissions and can search for and approve additional videos to make them viewable by signed-in users in your organization. For details, go to Add YouTube video approvers for your organization.

Restriction levels

There are 4 YouTube permissions settings in the Admin console:

  • Strict Restricted YouTube access—This setting is the most restrictive, but it doesn't block all videos. Strict Restricted Mode filters out many videos based on an automated system, while leaving some videos available for viewing. 
  • Moderate Restricted YouTube access—This setting is similar to Strict Restricted Mode, but makes a much larger collection of videos available.
  • Unrestricted YouTube access—Use this setting to turn off both Restricted Modes (Strict and Moderate). Only apply this setting if you want to let users in your organization have unrestricted YouTube access.

    Users with this setting turned on can browse all of YouTube when signed-in even if you also set network-level restrictions.

  • Can approve videos—Use this setting to designate individuals or organizational units to approve additional videos so that signed-in users in their organization can watch them. Individuals who manually approve videos and channels should share those videos with links; they won't appear in YouTube search results. For details, go to Add YouTube video approvers for your organization.

Apply different settings for different people or groups

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To apply different settings to a group of users or Chrome devices, place them in their own organizational unit. You can then apply settings, including YouTube Restricted Mode, to just that group. For details, go to How the organizational structure works.

Do restrictions also apply to recommendations, related videos, and search?

Yes. Restrictions apply to all recommended and related videos and videos available in search.

What happens if a user on a restricted network tries to watch a video that's not approved for viewing?
  • If you haven't given unrestricted YouTube access to a user, they see an alert, indicating that the video isn't available.
  • If a user has unrestricted access and is signed in to their Google Workspace account, they can view most videos on YouTube.
  • If a user is an approver and is signed in to their Google Workspace account, the option to approve the video displays below the video player.
  • If a user doesn't have unrestricted access or approval permissions, they can't view or approve a video. The domain administrator can approve the video or make the user an approver. 
What if there’s a difference between YouTube settings configured in the Admin Console and settings configured for your network or device?

For signed-in users, the Admin console settings override network or device settings. For example, if a user is on a network with Strict Restricted YouTube access, but their organizational unit has Moderate Restricted YouTube access, then the user has Moderate Restricted YouTube access.

Changes to access for Google Workspace for Education users

Starting September 1, 2021, access to YouTube changes for Google Workspace for Education users based on new age-based access settings in the Google Admin console. Make sure to identify teachers and staff as over the age of 18. Otherwise, they lose access to teaching content that they created on YouTube. For details, go to Control access to Google services by age.

Note: Even if YouTube is turned off for students, they can still view videos that teachers share in Classroom and other Google Workspace apps as long as YouTube is turned on for teachers.

Set Restricted Mode

Before you begin: If needed, learn how to apply the setting to a department or group.

  1. Sign in to your Google Admin console.

    Sign in using your administrator account (does not end in

  2.  In the Admin console, go to Menu and then Appsand thenAdditional Google Servicesand thenYouTube.
  3. Click Content settingsand thenSetup.
  4. Check the Signed in users in your organization can only watch restricted and approved videos boxand thenclick Save.
  5. (Optional) To let verified Classroom teachers approve YouTube videos:
    1. Click Special approvers.
    2. Check the Verified Google Classroom teachers can approve videos boxand thenclick Save.
  6. (Optional) To review videos that your organization has approved, click See approved videos.
  7. Click Settings for YouTubeand thenPermissions.
  8. Optional: To apply the setting only to some users, at the side, select an organizational unit (often used for departments) or configuration group (advanced).

    Group settings override organizational units. Learn more

  9. Choose a permission level.
  10. Click Save. Or, you might click Override for an organizational unit.

    To later restore the inherited value, click Inherit (or Unset for a group).

Applying restrictions to signed-out users

Admin console settings don’t apply to signed-out users. To apply restrictions to signed-out users and update your network configuration, follow the instructions in Restrict YouTube content available to users.

Additional content restrictions

Note that for YouTube videos within Google Workspace for Education services - like Google Classroom - some videos may not be playable, including private videos and some videos with music.

If a video is unavailable to be played in Google Workspace for Education services and is available to the user, viewers may be offered a link to YouTube when they attempt to play the video.

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