How to use the Nintendo Switch's Parental Controls features

Use the smartphone app to remotely manage your child's screen time and help control their spending.

The Nintendo Switch console is the perfect family gaming device thanks to its portable design and a huge range of original child-friendly games including from the Mario franchise.

It's also great for parents as it has some of the most advanced parental control features available. It does however require some pretty fiddly steps in order to get it up and running - read on for instructions on how to do this.

You will need a computer, your smartphone and the Nintendo Switch console.

Getting started

Head to MyNintendo and create a My Nintendo account: just follow the instructions on screen.

Now download the Switch Parental Controls app on the App Store or Google Play and log in using your MyNintendo login details.

Follow the instructions on the app, linking it to the Nintendo Switch console. Make sure you’ve got your Switch to hand as this will involve entering a registration number on the console. The smartphone app will finally ask if you want to set up Play Time. Tap Later.

Tap on the settings icon in the top right-hand corner. Now tap on your name and press Continue. Tap on Family group and then Add member. Tap on Create an account for a child.

Fill in all the boxes listed. Note: The nickname (e.g. Mario) is the name that other players will see when playing online. The Sign-in ID (e.g. MarioNintendo) is the username you’ll use to sign in to the Switch console.

Now unlock your Switch console and tap on System Settings – Add New User – Create Nickname (e.g. Mario) - Sign In and Link – Enter your PIN (to find the PIN tap on Settings in the bottom right hand corner of the app and then tap on PIN) - Sign in using an email address or Sign-In ID – Enter the Sign-in ID (MarioNintendo) and password that you used when you first created the child account - Link.

How to set screen limits

Open the Parental Controls app, tap on Settings in the bottom right-hand corner and then tap on Play Time.

You can now either set a time limit that applies to every day or by turning on Set Days Individually you can customise your child’s screen time to giving them a bit more game time on the weekend while controlling their gaming on school nights.

Finally, you can set a bedtime alarm to remind your child that it’s nearly time for bed and even force the game they’re playing to close immediately as soon as the time limit is reached. Note: Your child could lose their progress in a game if you turn this on.

How to set age limits

Open the Parental Controls app, tap on Settings in the bottom right-hand corner and then tap on Restriction Level.

You now have a choice of either some preset ages or you can customise it yourself. As you’ll see at the bottom each setting limits the age-rated games your child can play, determines whether they can post images from the game to Twitter and Facebook and whether or not they can communicate with other players inside the game.

If there’s a game that you feel is the exception to the rule, you can still let your child play that game. Just open it on the Switch and then when prompted, add it to the Whitelist.

Stop your child buying games without your permission

Once you’ve turned these on your child will no longer be able to buy games without the PIN number. They also won’t be able to see games that are too old for them.

Open the Parental Controls app, tap on Settings in the bottom right-hand corner and then tap on Parental Controls in Nintendo Account.

Tap on the name of your child, now scroll down and tap on Spending/purchases on Nintendo Switch eShop and Tick the box and tap Save changes at the bottom.

Now scroll down and tap on Viewing of content on Nintendo Switch eShop. Tick the box and tap Save changes at the bottom.

BT Parental Controls

Being able to browse the web safely is important, especially if you have children – and with our free BT Parental Controls, we help to keep them safe online. You can filter content and even set homework time to block them doing things like gaming, when they should be working.

It's a network-based web-filter which means that works on all your home devices such as smartphones, tablets, laptops and computers as long as they are connected to your BT internet. It's also the only web filter offered by a major UK broadband provider that'll keep you protected when you're out and connected to BT's public Wi-Fi networks.

Keep your children safe online: Turn on BT Parental Controls in My BT

For more advice on keeping your kids safe online visit Internet Matters 


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