YouTube’s Restricted Mode allows parents to block their children’s access to videos that may contain mature or potentially dangerous content. It also helps network administrators to block access to content that is inappropriate to view in the context of their organization.
Restricted Mode plays a valuable role in keeping the social media platform safe for users of all ages. It’s best to keep your YouTube account in Restricted Mode if you’re regularly around children, as an inappropriate video could be a few clicks away.
Unfortunately, it can be frustrating for users who inadvertently have Restricted Mode enabled or cannot disable the feature. Luckily, it’s often as simple as a few clicks to be able to watch restricted videos freely.
What is Restricted Mode on YouTube?
Content on YouTube ranges from playing video games to car repair tutorials and just about everything in between. With such a wide range of user-generated content, it’s natural that not all videos are permissible for all audiences.
To make the platform safe for all users, YouTube restricts access to mature content deemed unsuitable for all ages.
Restricted Mode is an optional setting on YouTube’s website and mobile app that screens potentially objectionable content from being viewed and removes user comments from all videos.
Why Are Videos Restricted on YouTube?
There are several reasons that a video on YouTube could be age-restricted:
- Child Safety: restrictions include videos of people participating in activities that could be dangerous when imitated by a minor. For example, lighting off fireworks, playing violent video games, or dangerous physical challenges.
- Harmful or dangerous activity: restrictions include videos containing potentially harmful pranks and references to drugs or other regulated substances.
- Nudity and sexually suggestive content: restrictions include videos intended to sexually arouse viewers – including provocative dancing, posing, and clothing that wouldn’t be considered appropriate in a public setting, like lingerie.
- Violent or graphic content: restrictions include videos containing violent, graphic, and gory images, whether real or from video games and movies.
- Vulgar language: restrictions include videos containing profanity in the audio, video, title, thumbnail, or metadata.
While these are the most common reasons a video may be restricted, it is not an exhaustive full list. YouTube reserves the right to age-restrict any video or channel for any reason it sees as valid.
What Happens if Content is Age-Restricted?
YouTube users under the age of 18 or those users logged out of their YouTube accounts cannot access age-restricted content. Restricted video cannot be embedded in third-party websites or shared in third-party apps like Reddit. YouTube will redirect users to the YouTube website or mobile app.
To view the restricted content, users must log into their YouTube accounts and be over 18 to view the content. Age restriction on a video or channel may also affect how content creator can monetize their work.
Though ads can monetize age-restricted videos, many advertisers prefer to only advertise on family-friendly content. As a result, age-restricted videos may have limited or no ads for monetization.
How You Can Turn Off Age Restriction on YouTube
To turn off YouTube’s Restricted Mode, you will need to update your account settings on the YouTube website or mobile app.
Since Google purchased YouTube in 2006, YouTube and Google accounts are integrated with Youtube. So, if your Google account’s birthdate is below 18 years of age, you won’t be able to turn off Restricted Mode.
If your birthdate is set incorrectly on your Google account or no birthday is set, you can easily update it by following the given steps:
Step 1) Visit google.com and sign into your account.
Step 2) Click on your user profile photo at the top of your screen.
Step 3) Click on Manage Your Google Account in the dropdown menu.
Step 4) Then, click on Personal Info.
Step 5) Under Basic Info, update your Birthday to the correct date and click Save.
How to Watch Age-Restricted YouTube Videos on Your Phone
Turning off YouTube’s restricted Mode on your phone is pretty straightforward. It can be disabled using the YouTube mobile app or your phone’s web browser.
To disable Restricted Mode on your mobile phone using the mobile app:
Step 1) Open the YouTube App
Select and Open the YouTube app, and sign into your account.
Step 2) Click on your user profile
At the top right of the app, click on your user profile photo to access the user settings menu.
Step 3) Select the Settings button.
Check the left corner of your YouTube screen, and select the setting button.
Step 4) Select the General option
Enter the setting menu and select the General option.
Step 5) You’ll see an option to toggle on or off Restricted Mode. If the switch is blue, the Restricted Mode is still on. When Restricted Mode is toggled off, the switch will turn gray.
How to Turn Off Restricted Mode on Your Phone’s Browser
To turn off age restrictions on your phone using the web browser:
Step 1) Open your web browser and visit youtube.com. Sign into your account.
Step 2) In the top right of your browser, click your user profile photo to open the user settings menu.
Step 3) Click Settings, then open the Account settings dropdown menu.
Step 4) Turn Restricted Mode on or off. If the switch is blue, the Restricted Mode is still on. When it is off, it will turn gray.
You’ll only need to complete this process once if you’re using the same YouTube account in the mobile app and your phone’s browser.
How to Remove Age Restrictions on YouTube on a PC or Laptop
To disable Restricted Mode on a PC or Laptop, you’ll need to toggle off the option in your YouTube account settings. To watch age-restricted videos on a computer or laptop:
Step 1) Visit youtube.com and sign into your account.
Step 2) Click on your user profile photo at the top of your screen.
Step 3) In the drop-down menu, click Restricted Mode.
Step 4) At the bottom of the box that pops up, toggle off Restricted Mode. When turned off, the switch will go from blue to gray.
If you’re having trouble disabling YouTube’s Restricted Mode, you may be on a computer or network with a filter. Public libraries, universities, and other shared public spaces often turn on Restricted Mode on their computers.
How You Can Turn Off Restricted Mode on YouTube as a Network Admin
As a network administrator, you can restrict which YouTube videos are accessible by users in your organization and your network. Restricted Mode settings can be controlled via the Google Admin console.
How to Turn Off Restricted Mode Using the Google Admin Console
Google Admin offers four distinct permission settings in the Admin console:
- Moderate Restricted access: These permissions filter videos using an automated system to determine accessibility.
- Strict Restricted access: The Strict setting will remove access from more videos, while the Moderate setting will allow a much larger, but still limited, library of videos.
- Unrestricted YouTube access: It will turn off Restricted Mode completely, allowing users in your organization to watch restricted videos on YouTube.
- Can approve videos will allow designated YouTube video approvers in your organization to manually approve individual videos that signed-in users may watch.
Individualized restrictions can be set for different groups in your organization. To apply different settings to different groups of users, create organizational units for each distinct group. You can then apply different YouTube Restrictions Mode settings to each group.