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How it is, what it is for and how to activate or deactivate YouTube’s ‘Restricted Mode’

26 mayo, 2021

Not all content posted on YouTube is appropriate for everyone. For example, many parents may not want their younger children to access videos showing violence, bad-sounding words or obscene content. Therefore there must be methods for the user to can filter certain types of content whenever you want.

YouTube’s ‘Restricted Mode’ is one of the tools that the online platform offers to establish a kind of parental control. As it is not a very publicized tool, today we are going to explain what it is exactly, what you can expect from it and how you can activate or deactivate it on your mobile or PC.

And before starting an ad, YouTube already warns that its mode is not 100% effective, and a good example of this are the controversies related to the discrimination suffered by some groups because certain innocuous videos have been filtered. Still, it tries to be a simple and easy-to-use method of trying to filter “potentially objectionable” content on YouTube.

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What is ‘Restricted Mode’ and how does it work


YouTube has a number of resources for parents to control the content that their children access. Many of these resources are methods of reporting inappropriate comments or videos, or cases of harassment. It also allows you to complain about privacy violations or moderate the comments of the channel that is being managed.

It also has other passive tools like restricted mode, which YouTube defines as a method “to help remove potentially objectionable content that you may prefer not to see or do not want other members of your family to see on YouTube. “It is disabled by default, but you can turn it on and off 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 signs that the online platform prefers not to reveal. What they do say is that it is available in all languages, although the quality of it may vary depending on the different cultural sensitivities of each country or region.

At this point you have to keep two things in mind. The first is that when you are reporting a video as inappropriate, you will be cooperating so that it does not appear in YouTube’s restricted mode, and the second is that we could see some cultural differences applied in the videos it shows. There is the example of his latest controversy with LGBT content, possibly in some countries we think that they have been filtering this content, while in others they might 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 turn it on or off

Mobile restricted

Activating this mode in the YouTube mobile application is extremely simple. You just have to click on the icon with the three dots at the top right to enter Settings, and choose the option general. You will see several settings that you can activate and deactivate, and one of these last options is precisely that of the Restricted mode.

On the PC, on the other hand, the thing is somewhat more complex, although not for that reason 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 of them, you will have to activate it in each of them. You also have a way to block the option in Chrome so that no one can disable it.

To activate the restricted mode on the PC, you just have to go to YouTube, and in any of its pages do scroll to the bottom of the screen. There you will see a button that says Restricted mode: No. When you click on it you will see the message in the image, in which they inform you about what the mode is and give you the option to activate it by choosing the value Yes and giving it to save.

Restricted mode

Once you have activated it, a message will automatically appear Block restricted mode in this browser on which you can click, and that after asking for your credentials will block the mode so that no one else 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 restricted mode enabled, and they won’t be able to disable it even if they try. Therefore, you will have to be the one who, with the credentials of your Google account, deactivate this option again so that everything returns to normal.

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 strong and reliable password, which is not easy to find out through social engineering.

What do I do if someone has activated this mode for me?

In the event that you live in a shared flat or with your parents, it is very 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 they can deactivate it. If you live with your parents, it is possible that they were the ones who limited your browsing, so it is with them that you should talk.

There is also the possibility 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 speak to the system administrator. Of course, it will hardly make exceptions if you have activated this mode to avoid content conflicts.

Images | Jorge Caballero Jiménez and Amy
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