How to Use TikTok Parental Controls and Family Pairing

Manage screen time and restrict content on your child's TikTok account

TikTok has different ways to help parents control how long kids spend on the app, who they talk to, and limit inappropriate content. In this article, you'll learn:

  • How to set screen time and video restrictions limits on a TikTok account directly on a child's phone.
  • How to connect your account to your child's account and use Family Pairing to remotely control a child's TikTik account restrictions.
  • How to unlink Family Pairing.

How to Quickly Set TikTok Screen Time Limits

You can limit your child's daily screen time on TikTok to 60 minutes just by accessing the child's account directly. On the child's phone, follow these steps to set that limit:

  1. Open TikTok and tap Me (Profile). It's on the bottom right of your screen.

  2. Tap Settings which is the three vertical dots at the top right of your screen.

  3. Tap Digital Wellbeing.

    The TikTok Digital Wellbeing option.
  4. Tap Screen Time Management.

  5. Tap Turn on Screen Time Management.

    Turning on Screen Time Management on TikTok.
  6. Enter a numerical passcode.

    This passcode will be used for both Screen Time Management and Restricted modes.

  7. Tap Next.

  8. Confirm the passcode by entering it again.

    Setting and Confirming a passcode on TikTok.
  9. Tap Next.

How to Restrict What Your Child Can Watch

You can somewhat restrict the type of content your child sees but TikTok is not very clear about how it determines appropriate vs. inappropriate content for children. However, setting algorithm-related limits is better than setting none.

Again using the child's account on their phone, follow these steps to set TikTok-controlled video content restrictions:

  1. Open TikTok and tap Me (Profile). It's on the bottom right of your screen.

  2. Tap Settings. (Three vertical dots in the upper right-hand corner of the screen.)

  3. Tap Digital Wellbeing.

    The TikTok Digital Wellbeing option.
  4. Tap Restricted Mode.

  5. Tap Turn on Restricted Mode.

    The Restricted Mode option on TikTok.
  6. Set a numerical passcode. If you already set time limits, you must use the same passcode.

  7. Tap Next.

  8. Confirm the passcode.

    Confirming the Passcode for Restricted Mode on TikTok.
  9. Tap Next.

Direct messaging is automatically disabled for registered users between the ages of 13 and 15.

How to Connect Your TikTok Account to Your Child's Account

Although a parent can set TikTok limits directly using the account on a child's phone, they can easily be changed by anyone who has the 4-digit passcode. If you prefer, you can set up an adult account and link it to the child's account to remotely control the settings from the adult's phone instead.

This is done using the Family Pairing feature in TikTok and requires that you have your own TikTok account. After you've set up your own TikTok account on your phone, follow these steps to link the two accounts:

  1. Open TikTok on the parent's phone. Click Me (Profile). It's on the bottom right of your screen.

  2. Tap Settings. (Three vertical dots in the upper right-hand corner of the screen.)

  3. Tap Family Pairing.

  4. Tap Parent.

  5. Tap Next.

  6. Tap Continue. A QR code will appear on the parent's account prompting the use of the child's account to scan the code.

    Family Pairing on TikTok from the parental side.
  7. Open your child's TikTok account on their phone. Go to Profile > Settings, just like you did on your phone.

  8. Tap Family Pairing.

  9. Tap Teen.

  10. Tap Next.

  11. Use the child's phone to scan the QR code on the parent's phone by tapping Scan Code and holding the child's phone over the code on the parent's phone.

  12. Once scanned, TikTok will display a message on the child's phone indicating that the child's account is now linked to the parent's account.

  13. Tap Link Account.

  14. Confirm your selection again by tapping Link.

  15. Family Pairing on both phones will now display messages indicating that the parent and child accounts are now linked.

How to Set Parental Controls Using Family Pairing

Now that Family Pairing is set up, you can control the child's account from your phone and change settings at any time. Your child will be unable to break any passcodes because everything is controlled remotely from the parent's account on their phone.

Screen time and content restriction limits are set up exactly as the steps outlined above. Additional options for Search and Direct messaging controls are now accessible through Family Pairing.

To limit search capabilities on TikTok, toggle the Search feature to Off.

To control who your child can send messages to or receive messages from, tap Direct messages. Tap your choice: Everyone, Friends, or Off.

How to Unlink Family Pairing

If you decide to remove Family Pairing from your child's account, follow these steps:

  1. Open TikTok on the parent's phone. Click Me (Profile). It's on the bottom right of your screen.

  2. Tap Settings. (Three vertical dots in the upper right-hand corner of the screen.)

  3. Tap Family Pairing.

  4. Tap the child's account you want to be removed.

  5. Tap Unlink.

    Unlink a child's account in Family sharing on TikTok.
  6. Tap Unlink again.