Set up parental controls on Google Play

You can use parental controls to restrict the content you can download or purchase from Google Play on your device.

Why parental controls are helpful

By default, parental controls are turned off. This means that anyone who uses your device is able to download or purchase content of any maturity level.

If you want to restrict the content that can be downloaded or purchased in the Play Store app on your device, you need to setup parental controls.

Parental controls don't prevent:

  • Seeing restricted content when searching
  • Visiting restricted content through a direct link

Set up parental controls

If you set up content filters in the Play Store app before version 5.4, your settings were automatically mapped to the new content ratings system used by parental controls. However, we recommend you review your settings in the Play Store app to make sure everything looks right to you.

Note: Parental controls for each type of content aren't available in every country. If you travel to a country where they aren't available, they may not work until you get back home.

From the Play store app
  1. Open the Play Store app on your Android device Google Play.
  2. In the top left corner, touch Menu menu icon> Settings > Parental controls.
  3. Turn Parental controls On.
  4. Create a PIN so that other people who use your device can't change your parental controls. If you forget your PIN, you can remove parental controls by clearing the Play Store app's data.
  5. Choose your filters:
    • Apps, Games, Movies, and TV: Choose the highest maturity level of content you want to allow for download or purchase.
    • Music and Books: Choose whether you want to restrict downloads or purchases of explicit content.

Once you set up parental controls, you can turn them on or off. Each time you turn them back on, your old settings will be in place. This helps you share a device with family members who may or may not need parental controls.

Note: Parental controls only apply to the Android device you added them on, even if you use your Google Account on more than one device. If you want to add parental controls on other devices, repeat the steps above on each device. If you have multiple users on a device, you can set up different parental controls for each one.

From a browser

You can't set up parental controls using a browser. Use the instructions for the Play Store app to set up Parental controls.

Note: If you add parental controls to your device from the Play Store app, you won't be able to install apps that exceed your settings from the Google Play website on that same device.

How parental controls work

The way parental controls work varies across Apps & Games, Music, Movies, TV, and Books. Read the sections below to learn more.

Apps & Games

When you set up parental controls for apps and games, you can choose the highest content rating you want to allow for downloads or purchases.

However, you may still be able to see apps and games outside of your filter when you search, or by visiting them using a direct link to the app's page.

Note: You'll still be able to see any apps and games you downloaded before you added parental controls, even if they're outside of the rating you set.

How parental controls for games work in Play Games

Parental controls don't change the games you see in the Play Games app, including games you've bought or recommended games.

If you try to install a game using the Play Games app, you’ll be taken to the Play Store app where your parental controls settings may restrict access.

Movies

When you set up parental controls for movies, you can choose the highest rating you want to allow for rental, purchase, or playback.

However, you may still be able to see movies outside of our filter when you search, or by visiting them using a direct link to the content's page.

If movies are restricted because of parental controls, you won't see them in the Play Store app or in the Play Movies app, even if you've already rented or purchased them.

You can turn parental controls off to see these movies again.

TV

When you set up parental controls for TV shows, you can choose the highest rating you want to allow for purchase or playback.

However, you may still be able to see TV shows outside of our filter when you search, or by visiting them using a direct link to the content's page.

If TV shows are restricted because of parental controls, you won't see them on the Play Store app or in the Play Movies & TV app, even if you've already purchased them.

You can turn Parental controls off to see these shows again.

Books

When you set up parental controls for books, you won't be able to read or purchase most sexually explicit books from the Play Store app and the Play Books app.

However, you may still be able to see books outside of our filter when you search, or by visiting them using a direct link to the content's page.

You can turn parental controls off to see these books again.

While setting up parental controls won't catch 100% of sexually explicit books in Google Play, it should help you avoid most adult content.

Music

When you set up parental controls for music, you won't be able to purchase music that's marked Explicit by content providers.

However, you may still be able to see music outside of our filter when you search, or by visiting them using a direct link to the content's page.

Parental controls for music only apply to the Play Store app. Parental controls don't change the music you see in the Play Music app, including purchased music, uploaded music, or subscription tracks.

Troubleshoot issues

I forgot my PIN

If you forgot the PIN that you created when you set up parental controls, follow the instructions below to reset it.

Important: To reset your PIN, you have to clear your Play Store app settings. Before you follow these steps, you should note all your existing settings so you can set them up again.

  1. Open the Settings app on your device .
  2. Touch Apps.
  3. Touch Google Play Store.
  4. Touch Clear data.
  5. This will reset your parental controls and your PIN.
  6. When you go back into the Play Store app and add parental controls, you'll be able to set a new PIN.
My app or game won't update

If you've set up parental controls for apps & games and one of your apps isn't updating, it may be because the new version of the app has a higher rating than the version you have on your device.

If the new version of the app has a higher rating than your parental controls allow, you won't be prompted to update the app.

To get the app to update, you need to change your parental control settings to allow a higher rating.

Tip: You can turn off parental controls to update the app, then turn parental controls on again.

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Shana is a Google Play expert and author of this help page. Help her improve this article by leaving feedback below.

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