Streaming Streaming Devices How to Use Roku Parental Controls Use a pin and block or hide channels from the kids By Robert Silva Writer Robert Silva has written about audio, video, and home theater topics since 1998. Robert has written for Dishinfo.com, and made appearances on the YouTube series Home Theater Geeks. our editorial process Facebook Twitter LinkedIn Robert Silva Updated March 16, 2020 Streaming Devices Roku Chromecast Fire TV Apple TV Tweet Share Email 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. Log in to your Roku account through a smartphone or PC web browser. Under PIN Preference, select Update. Enter a 4-digit number, verify the number, then save the changes. You have now established your 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. Scroll down below the PIN entry prompt and select the options you want the PIN to control. 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. Using the Roku remote or Roku Mobile app, select the installed app you want to remove on the Roku homepage . Press the Options button (*) on your Roku remote. Select Remove Channel. Select Remove to confirm the channel's removal. Repeat the above steps for other channels you want to remove. 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. 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. From the Roku Home Page, select Settings > Home Screen. On the Home Screen Settings page, select the arrow in the right corner to proceed. On the next page select Movie Store and TV Store, then select 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. Here's a look at Roku Homepage with the Movie and TV Stores (left) and when they're removed (right). 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). Go to the Roku Homepage. Select Settings. Select Parental Controls. Enter (or create) your PIN. Upon PIN entry confirmation you'll be taken to the TV Tuner page. Select Enable Parental Controls. Scroll down to the Movie ratings option you want to change. You will see the rating categories. Select the rating restrictions you want to activate. A lock icon will appear to the right of the rating description. If you want to block unrated content, including movies, select 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. If you desire, you can select Reset parental controls to remove any changes you've made. 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. 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. 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.