BT Parental Controls: Keep your children safe online

Our free BT Parental Controls now includes Google SafeSearch, an additional tool to keep your children safe when browsing the web.

BT knows 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.

This network-based filter covers all internet-enabled devices connected via the BT Hub in the home – such as desktop computers, laptops, games consoles, smartphones and tablets. We are the only major UK broadband provider to offer Parental Controls that are active when you're at home and when you're out and about using our Wi-Fi network. Every customer joining BT is given the choice whether or not to activate the parental controls when setting up their internet connection for the first time.

[Read more: How to keep your children safe on social media]

Parental Controls are one of three ways as a BT Broadband customer, you can fortify your home and stay safe online. BT Virus Protect safeguards your devices against malware attackes, like viruses, phishing and ransomware and BT Cloud securely backs up your precious files such as photos and videos. Find out more.

Follow our quick-activation link or our step by step guide below.

Step 1: Setting up BT Parental Controls

BT Parental Controls

Log in to My BT with your BT ID. Scroll down to the Your Package section and click  'Manage your extras.'

Look for BT Parental Controls and click the Manage BT Parental Controls link.

After clicking you will see an activation page telling you that we are activating your Parental Controls, by default you are automatically given the ‘Light’ filter. A confirmation screen will appear to confirm activation. This may take up to two hours.

Step 2: Changing filter levels

BT Parental Controls

There are three pre-defined filter levels –  'Light,' 'Moderate' and 'Strict,' use the slider to select the filter level you want.

You'll see a list of what categories will be blocked by that filter setting. Customise this even further by selecting Custom and selecting each blocking category you want to change.

To make the changes, go to Save changes and your new filter level will be active within 10 minutes.

[Read more: Do you have a smart TV? discover how to make it safe for your children]

Step 3:  Setting filter times

BT Parental Controls filters


Providing your BT Parental Controls are switched on, your filters are on by default 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. You can also set a period of time when your BT Parental Controls are disabled. During this time, protection against inappropriate content will be disabled on all devices that are connected to your Hub.

Remaining in the Parental Controls section click the Set filter times tab.

To turn off filters simply choose the days from the top drop-down menu and then select a start and end time for the filters to go off and reactivate.

After you have selected the days and times, click Save and your settings will be saved, you'll see a confirmation message at the top of the page.

Step 4: Adding filters for Homework Time

BT Parental Controls - homework time


Turn on additional filters to block children from using social networking, gaming and cheating websites when they should be doing homework.

Remaining within the Set filter times tab, go to Additional security for homework time.

Choose the days from the drop-down and select times for the additional homework filters to start and end.

Click Save and you'll see a confirmation message at the top of the page

Step 5: Blocking and allowing websites

BT Parental Controls - allowed websites


Adding websites to your blocked list means that any device connecting to your Home Hub will not be able to access the website, even if the category it is listed under is not blocked.

Adding websites to your allowed list means that anyone connecting will be able to see the website, even when the category it is listed under is blocked.

Click Manage allowed & blocked sites tab.

Under My Blocked websites type the address of the website you wish to block in the box starting with http://

Do the same with websites you are allowing, using the box starting with http:// under My Allowed websites.

Once entered, click the + button at the end to add the website to your blocked list or allowed list. You'll then receive a confirmation message at the top of the page and the address will be shown in your blocked or allowed list (this can take up to 10 minutes)

If you want to remove any websites from your lists, simply click the X next to the website.

[Read more: 12 tips to stop oversharing online]

Step 6: Overriding a blocked page

There are two simple ways to gain access to a blocked site, either turn off BT Parental Controls for one hour or always trust the specific site. You will need to be the account holder to do this.


a: Turn off BT Parental Controls for one hour

BT Parental Controls

On the blocked page select Allow access - Turn off BT Parental Controls for one hour and enter your BT ID log in details.  Select the Access page link to access the newly unblocked site.

This turns off the filters for one hour, so you will be able to access previously restricted content. It may take an additional 10 minutes for the filters to come back on during an active browsing session

b: Always trust this site

BT Parental Controls


On the blocked page select Allow access, click Always trust this site and enter your BT ID log in. Select the Access page link to permanently unblock the website.

Any device connected to your hub will always be allowed to view this site despite any filter settings applied. If you want block the site again, you can remove it from your allowed list at any time.

[Read more: What does Cyberbullying mean? Advice for parents]

Step 7: Turning off BT Parental Controls

BT Parental Controls box


You can temporarily turn off Parental Controls at any time, without losing your settings.

Remaining within My BT, scroll down to the Your Package section and click  'Manage your extras.'

Look for BT Parental Controls and click Manage BT Parental Controls. Turn the slider Off.

At any time you can reactivate Parental Controls simply by moving the slider to On and any settings you have saved will be restored. 

Introducing SafeSearch

We’ve recently updated our Parental Controls, turning on a feature called SafeSearch, which helps protect your children from finding explicit content if they are searching the web using Google or Bing.

If you’ve got our Parental Controls turned on, websites with content unsuitable for children are automatically blocked. However because Google and Bing get images, videos and content from other websites, which would typically be blocked, explicit content could appear in web searches. SafeSearch is a feature found on both search engines which filters pornography and sexually explicit material from internet search results.

You don’t need to do anything to start benefiting from SafeSearch - as long as your Parental Controls are turned on, you’ll be protected. SafeSearch works with any device that connects to your BT Hub and if you are away from home, it works when you are connected to one of our 5 million BT-Wi-Fi hotspots using your BT ID. Find out more

Activate BT Parental Controls 

Fortify your home with BT Broadband

More from BT