Not all content published on YouTube is appropriate for everyone. For example, many parents may not want their younger children to access videos showing violence, bad words or obscene content. Therefore there have to be methods for the user to filter certain types of content whenever he wants.
The ‘Restricted Mode’ of YouTube is one of the tools that the online platform offers in order to establish a kind of parental control. As it is not a much publicized tool, today we will explain what exactly it is, what you can expect from it and how you can activate or deactivate it on your mobile or PC.
And before starting a warning, YouTube already warns that its mode is not 100% effective, and a good example of this are the controversies referred to the discrimination suffered by some groups because certain innocuous videos have been filtered. Still, try to be a simple and easy to use method to try to filter “potentially objectionable” content on YouTube.
What is ‘Restricted Mode’ and how does it work?
YouTube has a number of resources so that parents can control the content their children access. Many of these resources are methods for reporting inappropriate comments or videos, or instances of harassment. It also allows you to complain about privacy violations or moderate comments on the channel being administered.
It also has other passive tools such as Restricted Mode, which YouTube defines as a method “to help eliminate potentially objectionable content that you may prefer not to see or wish other members of your family to watch on YouTube.” It is disabled by default, but you can activate and deactivate it whenever you want.
This mode restricts the videos that appear on your YouTube based on the reports made by the users themselves , as well as age restrictions and other identifying signals that the online platform prefers not to disclose. What they do say is that it is available in all languages, although the quality of it may vary depending on the different cultural sensibilities of each country or region.
At this point you have to consider two things. The first is that when you are reporting as inappropriate a video you will be cooperating so that it does not appear in the restricted mode of YouTube, and the second is that we could see applied some cultural differences in the videos shown. There is the example of his latest controversy with LGBT content, possibly in some countries we think that they have filtered through this content, while others may even think that they have fallen short.
Therefore and summarizing, the restricted mode is YouTube’s alternative to parental control . If you want a total filtering of the content you can always go to YouTube Kids, but if you want an intermediate point and practically imperceptible by whoever is using the portal this mode can be a successful solution despite not being 100% effective.
How to activate or deactivate it
Activating this mode in the YouTube mobile application is very simple. You only have to click on the icon of the three points on the top right to enter Settings , and choose the General option . You will see several settings that you can activate and deactivate, and one of these latter options is precisely that of Restricted Mode.
In PC instead the thing is something more complex, although not for that complicated, since this mode is activated at the browser level. Browsers like Chrome allow you to create different profiles, so if you want to use the mode in all you will have to activate it in each of them. You also have a way to block the option in Chrome so no one can disable it.
To activate the restricted mode on the PC, you only have to enter YouTube, and scroll through any of its pages until you reach the bottom of the screen. There you will see a button with Restricted Mode: No. When you click on it you will see the message of the image, in which they inform you about what the mode is and they give you the option to activate it by choosing the value Yes and giving it to save.
Once you have activated it, you will automatically get a message Block restricted mode in this browser that you can click on, and after asking for your credentials you will be blocked so that no other person can unlock it in this browser. It would be something like activating parental control.
With this option enabled, when other users are using YouTube with this browser they will have the restricted mode enabled, and will not be able to deactivate it even if they try. Therefore, you will have to be the one with the credentials of your Google account again to deactivate this option so that everything returns to normality.
In fact, if you want to prevent anyone from trying to disable it using your credentials, it is recommended that you end your session on YouTube so that no one uses your account to try to do so. When dealing with family or a classroom, it is also advisable to have a powerful and reliable password, which is not easy to find through social engineering.
What do I do if someone has activated this mode?
In the event that you live in a shared flat or with your parents, it is quite possible that someone else will activate this mode for you. What you can do is see in your browser which users are created in Chrome, and talk to them to see who has activated it and if you can deactivate it. If you live with your parents it is possible that they were the ones who limited your navigation, so it is with them who you should talk to.
It is also possible that when you visit a public library or some other establishment with their own computers this option is activated in all. In this case, if you want to try to reactivate it, you will have to talk to the system administrator. Of course, it will hardly make exceptions if you have activated that mode to avoid conflicts over the content.