How to Set Up PS4’s Parental Controls to Protect Your Children


The PlayStation 4 is undoubtedly a great console for kids. There’s a wealth of amazing games they can play in single-player and online with friends, and it gives them access to media apps like Netflix and Spotify.

However, you might want to enable the PS4’s parental controls so that you can manage your child’s activity. Using the parental tools, you can control how long your child spends gaming and how they interact with others.

Here’s everything you need to know about the PS4’s parental controls.

What Parental Controls Does the PS4 Offer?

Before we delve into the details on how to set up parental controls, let’s explore exactly what the PS4 offers to protect your children.

Play Time Restrictions

You can limit when, and for how long, your child is allowed to access the PS4. For example, you can stop them from playing games past their bedtime, or from launching Netflix when they should be getting ready for school.

Related: PS4 Streaming Services: What’s Available and How to Download the Apps

You can apply different restrictions for each day, which is great if you want to allow more play time at the weekend.

When the child signs in to their PS4 profile, a screen will show how long they have left to play and when their active play time is. If applicable, the screen will say, “It’s not your play time now”.

You can choose what happens if play time is reached while the child is on the console; whether it notifies them or logs them out.


Spending Limits

If you trust your child to buy their own games, but not quite enough to have free rein of the credit card, you can impose a monthly spending limit on purchases in the PlayStation Store.

These funds come from the family manager’s wallet, which means the child doesn’t have any direct access to a payment method. Instead, they can buy multiple products up to the limit you impose. Anything more than that and the transaction is declined.

Limit Communication and User-Generated Content

Playing games online and chatting with others can be great fun, but can also be like the Wild West. As such, you can prevent your child from communicating with others through voice chat, messages, and game invitations.

This also blocks them from seeing content (be it text, images, or videos) created by others.

However, children can request to use communication features in some games as an exception. These requests will be sent to your email.

Set Age Ratings for Games, Blu-rays, and Online Content

Every game and movie comes with an age rating to let you know how appropriate it is for your child. You can set an age limit on your PS4 so that your child can only play and view things suitable for them. This applies to both digital and physical media.

Related: Do Video Game Age Ratings Still Matter?

You can also limit access to some online game features and PlayStation Store content based on age.

Restrict Use of Certain Apps

If you don’t want your child to use the PS4’s internet browser, you can stop them from using the app entirely.

Also, PlayStation VR will be inaccessible to any child under 12, though you can limit this manually too.

How to Set Up and Enable PS4’s Parental Controls

On the PS4, you have parent and child accounts. If you only have one profile, it’ll be a parent account.

To get started setting up parental controls on your PS4:

  1. Go to Settings.
  2. Select Parental Controls/Family Management.
  3. Select Family Management.
  4. Enter your PlayStation Network password and select OK.
  5. Select Set Up Now.

From here, you can add users to your family. Select Enter Sign-In ID if they already have a PlayStation Network account, or Create User if they don’t. If the latter, enter their name and date of birth.

Next, you can customize the parental controls for that child. Follow the wizard through and confirm each stage.

Alternatively, you can set this up through PlayStation’s online account management.

How to Edit a Child’s Parental Controls

To customize a child’s parental controls after you’ve created their account:

  1. Go to Settings.
  2. Select Parental Controls/Family Management.
  3. Select Family Management.
  4. Select the child’s account.

Within the play time section, you can limit how long the child spends on the console.

Within the Applications/Devices/Network Features section, you can set age limitations on games and movies, limit use of PlayStation VR and the internet browser, limit their communication and exposure to user-generated content, and set a monthly spending limit.

You should go through each of these settings in turn and customize them to your liking for each child account.

How to Filter Content on the PS4’s Internet Browser

The PS4 has an internet browser which allows your children to access anything on the web.

If that concerns you, the PS4 offers a web filtering service through Trend Micro Kids Safety. This helps stop children seeing inappropriate or harmful material.

Unfortunately, this is a paid subscription service available through the PlayStation Store.

trend micro kids safety for ps4

To find out more and buy the service:

  1. Go to Settings.
  2. Select Parental Controls/Family Management.
  3. Select PS4 System Restrictions.
  4. Select WebFilter.
  5. Select Trend Micro for PlayStation 4 Settings.
  6. Select Go to PlayStation Store.
  7. Here you can browse and purchase the Trend Micro products.

Trend Micro also offers a Web Security package, which helps protect you from phishing and scam websites.

Related: Sites All Parents Should Add to Their Block List Right Now

You may feel the cost is worthwhile. However, it’s likely your children have access to the internet through computers or phones in the household, and it’s better to protect those instead. As such, consider disabling the internet browser app entirely through Family Management.

How to Set a Passcode on the PS4

It’s important you set a custom passcode on your PS4, otherwise it’s easy for your child to overwrite your settings. To do this:

ps4 change system passcode

  1. Go to Settings.
  2. Select Parental Controls/Family Management.
  3. Select PS4 System Restrictions.
  4. Enter the default passcode, which is 0000.
  5. Select Change System Restriction Passcode.
  6. Set your new passcode.

Keep Your PS4 Safe for Kids

The PS4 is a fantastic console for all ages and your kids will have a brilliant time with it. However, it’s always best to use parental controls to help keep them protected, along with keeping an eye on them yourself to ensure they stay out of harm.


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