How to Use Roku Parental Controls

Use a pin and block or hide channels from the kids

Roku provides access to over 5,000 channels of streaming content, but not all content is necessarily suitable for all age groups. Parents have options to restrict access to channels and content they feel isn't right for their children, or prevent children from adding an unwanted channel or initiating a paid subscription using Roku Parental Controls.

Roku refers to streaming apps as channels. That label will be used in this article.

What Roku Parental Controls Do and Don't Do

Roku parental controls can be used to:

  • Set parental controls for adding or hiding channels.
  • Allow parental controls on the Roku Channel.
  • Allow parental controls for over-the-air TV broadcasts received on Roku TVs.

However, Roku devices don't provide access to parental controls within third-party apps. If a specific channel (YouTube, Netflix, Hulu, etc...) provides its own parental controls, that's what you need to check and set accordingly.

How to Create a PIN for Roku Parental Controls

To use Roku's parental control features, you need to create a PIN, which is required to access options such as adding channels and purchasing apps, movies, and shows from the Roku Channel Store.

  1. Log in to your Roku account through a smartphone or PC web browser.

    Roku Account Sign-in Page
  2. Under PIN Preference, select Update.

    Roku Account – Update PIN Preferences Prompt
  3. Enter a 4-digit number, verify the number, then save the changes. You have now established your PIN.

    Roku Account – Update or Enter Current PIN

    If you already have a PIN, you can enter that, rather than create a new one. If you enter a new PIN, write the PIN number down for reference.

  4. Scroll down below the PIN entry prompt and select the options you want the PIN to control.

    Roku Account – Making Purchases and Adding Content Selection

How to Remove and Add Channels on Roku

Adding and removing channels on Roku lets you customize the streaming service to your liking. It also lets you choose what you think is appropriate.

A PIN isn't necessary to remove a channel, so even if you have Parental Controls set, anyone can remove channels from your lineup.

  1. Using the Roku remote or Roku Mobile app, select the installed app you want to remove on the Roku homepage .

    Roku Home Page – YouTube Selected
  2. Press the Options button (*) on your Roku remote.

    Roku Options Button on Remote
  3. Select Remove Channel.

    Roku Remove Channel
  4. Select Remove to confirm the channel's removal.

    Roku Remove Channel – Confirm Prompt
  5. Repeat the above steps for other channels you want to remove. 

  6. If you set PIN preferences in your account, you'll need your PIN to add a deleted channel back in or to add a new channel.

    Roku PIN Required to Add Channel

How to Hide the TV/Movie Stores

In addition to removing channels, you can hide the TV/Movie store from the Home Page on your Roku device so they can't be accessed by children. 

  1. From the Roku Home Page, select Settings > Home Screen

    Roku Home Page – Settings – Home Screen Settings
  2. On the Home Screen Settings page, select the arrow in the right corner to proceed.

    Roku Home Page – Home Screen Settings Page
  3. On the next page select Movie Store and TV Store, then select Hide.

    TV and Movie Store Hide

    You can always come back to this page and select Show to see them on the home page again if you want to select TV shows and movies to watch. 

  4. Here's a look at Roku Homepage with the Movie and TV Stores (left) and when they're removed (right).

    Roku Home Page Movie and TV Stores Showing and Not Showing

Roku Parental Controls on Roku TVs

In addition to the above options, if you have a Roku TV and use it to receive over-the-air TV broadcasts via antenna, you can control what can be seen based on the TV/movie rating system (if a station provides that information).

  1. Go to the Roku Homepage.

    Roku – Select Homepage
  2. Select Settings.

    Roku Homepage – Select Settings
  3. Select Parental Controls.

    Roku TV - In Settings Select Parental Controls
  4. Enter (or create) your PIN.

    Roku TV – Select Parental Controls and Enter (or Create PIN)
  5. Upon PIN entry confirmation you'll be taken to the TV Tuner page. Select Enable Parental Controls

    Roku TV – TV Tuner Page – Select Enable Parental Controls
  6. Scroll down to the Movie ratings option you want to change. You will see the rating categories. 

    Roku TV – Movie Ratings List
  7. Select the rating restrictions you want to activate. A lock icon will appear to the right of the rating description.

    Roku TV – Movie Ratings Blocked Example
  8. If you want to block unrated content, including movies, select Block all Unrated Programs.

    Roku TV – Block All Unrated Programs

    Once the above two steps are completed, the option to block programs or movies will be inaccessible unless you re-enter the Roku PIN. 

  9. If you desire, you can select Reset parental controls to remove any changes you've made.

    Roku TV – Parental Controls Reset

    This screen prompt is not available on other Roku devices.

Parental Controls on the Roku Channel

In addition to Roku devices, Roku also has its own streaming channel, called The Roku Channel. If you have that channel installed, there are parental controls specifically for it.

To set up the Roku Channel's parental controls, log in to the Roku Account web page with your PIN, scroll down to the Roku Channel parental control section, select a Parental Control level, then select Save Changes

Roku Channel Parental Controls – Little Kids Settings

Once set up, when you browse movie and TV titles on the Roku Channel Page, the restricted movies and programs will still appear, but you'll need your PIN to override the rating restriction to view the content.

Roku Channel Parental Control – Enter PIN to Access Movie

If you want to change the Roku Channel's parental controls, you have to log-in to your Roku Account at https://my.roku.com/account/pin and follow the same procedure you used to set your restrictions and just undo them.

The Bottom Line

Roku parental controls work with Roku's Movie/TV store or content within the Roku Channel app. They're also applicable to TV programs and movies received via an antenna connected to a Roku TV.

However, Roku parental controls don't work within third-party streaming apps.

If you want to restrict content viewing with Netflix, VUDU, Hulu, Amazon Prime Video, Disney+, or other third-party apps, you have to use their own parental control features.

For Roku TV users, parental controls don't apply to external devices, such as DVD/Blu-ray Disc players, other media streamers, cable/satellite boxes, game consoles, etc. You'll have to use the parental controls on those devices (if provided) to limit viewing access.