Apple Music Parental Controls: How to Block Explicit Songs

Give the kids access to Apple Music's clean version

Not all songs on Apple Music are suitable for children, and explicit content is easy to discover both deliberately and by accident. Fortunately, it's possible to use Apple Music parental controls to turn off explicit music tracks and albums and make the entire service family friendly. Here’s everything you need to know about how to block explicit songs on Apple Music.

How to Turn Off Explicit Apple Music on iPhone, iPad, and iPod Touch

Like many apps and services on Apple’s iOS devices, the controls for censoring Apple Music explicit content aren’t found within the Music app. Instead, song and radio options are controlled by the main Settings app.

Here’s how iPhone, iPod touch, and iPad users can block explicit songs on Apple Music.

  1. Open Settings on your iOS device.

  2. Tap Screen Time > Content & Privacy Restrictions.

  3. Tap the switch next to Content & Privacy Restrictions to activate Apple’s media restriction settings.

    Path to Content & Privacy Restrictions settings on iPhone
  4. Tap Content Restrictions.

  5. Tap Music, Podcasts and News.

    If you prefer to go by a different region’s ratings system, feel free to tap Ratings For to select a different one.

  6. Tap Clean to limit all music, podcast episodes, and news content to that marked safe for all ages. This will block any media marked with the Explicit tag.

  7. Tap Back to return to the Content Restrictions screen.

    Content Restrictions options on an iPhone

    While in the Content Restrictions menu, you may want to customize the settings for movies, TV shows, books and web content as well.

  8. Now that you’ve turned off explicit Apple Music songs, you also need to disable Music Profiles, as these can sometimes feature information on artists that aren’t child-friendly. To do this, tap Music Profiles.

  9. Tap Off.

  10. Tap Back.

    Music Profiles settings on iPhone
  11. You’ve now blocked explicit songs on Apple Music and also limited access to information on mature artists as well. Your changes are reflected on the Content Restrictions screen.

    It can also be a good idea to secure these settings. Just tap Settings > Screen Time > Use Screen Time Passcode.

How to Block Apple Music Explicit Content on Mac and PC

Media marked with the Explicit tag can be blocked in the iTunes app or Music app on computers and, fortunately, the instructions are the same whether you’re using a PC running Windows 10 or a Mac powered by macOS.

Here’s how to block explicit songs.

  1. Open either iTunes or the Music app (depending on your OS version) on your computer.

  2. Under iTunes (or Music) on the menu bar, select Preferences.

    ITunes menu showing Preferences selection
  3. Select the Restrictions tab.

    General preferences screen with Restrictions tab highlighted
  4. Next to Restrict, check the box beside Music with explicit content. Select OK to save your changes.

    Restrictions preferences with Music with explicit content checked

    Feel free to check the other boxes to apply restrictions to other content such as movies and shows of a certain rating and digital books with mature themes and content.

  5. A confirmation box pops up. Select Restrict Explicit Content.

    Confirmation box for restricting explicit content
  6. Explicit songs and albums are now blocked.

    If you’re worried about someone changing these settings, select the padlock in the Restrictions preferences screen (and don't give the kids your administrator password).

Is There an Apple Music Clean Version?

There’s only one version of the Apple Music streaming service and only one Music app for iOS devices. The songs that are made available to stream via Apple Music can be customized via the methods shown above, however.

If you still feel uncomfortable letting young users listen to Apple Music, you can always disable the service and restrict them to only listening to songs downloaded onto the device. There are also a variety of family-friendly podcasts that are perfect for kids to listen to on long trips or when they’re unsupervised.

After even more control of what your children consume on their smart devices? There are a number of popular parental control apps that can monitor and restrict almost everything that can be done on smartphones, tablets, and computers.