How to Set Parental Controls on the PlayStation 4

Use these settings to help make gaming safer for kids. By Caroline Knorr
How to Set Parental Controls on the PlayStation 4

If you're going all out for your young gamers, the PS4 is a top pick. The console's exclusive games combined with virtual reality capabilities make PS4 games feel lifelike and immersive -- just how players like it. But those features, as well as the device's ability to play movies, do multiplayer, and browse the internet also mean you may want to set some limits on what kids can do and how much time (and money) kids can spend on the console. (Learn more about using parental controls.)

Fortunately, the PS4 includes parental controls. To enable them, you have to first create a Family account and designate yourself as the Family Manager. Then you create "sub" accounts -- kids' accounts -- under yours. You can set any of these controls on the console, in the browser, or in the PS4 app, which you can download from the app store. Here's a quick guide to setting key parental-control features on the PS4. 

Time Limits

How to set time limits on the PlayStation 4 using the console
The PS4 allows you to create unique settings for each player. Make sure you set a System Restriction Passcode to prevent your kids from changing your settings.

  1. On your PS4 system, go to Settings > Parental Controls > Family Management and select your kid's account.
  2. Input your local time zone and then select Play Time Settings.
  3. Go to Play Time Restrictions and select Restrict.
  4. Move to the next section, Duration and Playable Hours. You can limit screen time by day of the week, duration, and end time.
  5. Next, move to When Play Time Ends. You can decide to notify your kids that their time is up or log the machine off when the clock runs out. (Notify Only allows them to keep playing but sends a message every five minutes. If you select Log Out, it prevents them from saving their game.)
  6. Once you have set your restrictions, select Save to apply the changes.

How to set time limits on the PlayStation using the browser
You can change the Play Time amount here, too.

  1. Sign in to Account Management.
  2. Select Account > Family Management > Go to Family Management and click your kid's account.
  3. Click Edit next to the Play Time restrictions you would like to set or change.
  4. For Play Time restrictions, click "Restrict."
  5. Move to the next section, Duration and Playable Hours. You can limit screen time by day of the week, duration, and end time.
  6. Next, move to When Play Time Ends. You can decide to notify your kids that their time is up or log the machine off when the clock runs out. (Notify Only allows them to keep playing but sends a message every five minutes. If you select Log Out, it prevents them from saving their game.)
  7. Save your settings.

How to set time limits on the PlayStation 4 using the app
Make sure you've connected your device to the app.

  1. Open the PlayStation app on your mobile device and tap the PlayStation symbol at the bottom of the screen.
  2. Go to Settings > Family Management and log in to your Family Manager account.
  3. Tap your kid's account name and tap Edit by the Play Time restrictions you would like to set or change.
  4. For Play Time Restrictions, click "Restrict."
  5. Move to the next section, Duration and Playable Hours. You can limit screen time by day of the week, duration, and end time.
  6. Next, move to When Play Time Ends. You can decide to notify your kids that their time is up or log the machine off when the clock runs out. (Notify Only allows them to keep playing but sends a message every five minutes. If you select Log Out, it prevents them from saving their game.)
  7. Select Save to apply the settings.

Chat

How to turn off chat on the PlayStation 4 using the console

  1. Go to Settings > Parental Controls > Family Management. (You may need to enter your account password.)
  2. Select your kid's account, and then select Applications/Devices/Network Features.
  3. Under Network Features, you can choose whether to allow your kid to communicate with other players on PSN or view content created by other players.
  4. Save your settings.

How to turn off chat on the PlayStation 4 using the browser

  1. Sign in to Account Management.
  2. Select Account > Family Management > Go to Family Management and click your kid's account.
  3. Select Applications/Devices/Network Features.
  4. Under Network Features, you can choose whether to allow your kid to communicate with other players on PSN or view content created by other players.
  5. Save your settings.

How to turn off chat on the PlayStation 4 using the app

  1. Open the PlayStation app on your mobile device and tap the PlayStation symbol at the bottom of the screen.
  2. Go to Settings > Family Management and log int o your Family Manager account.
  3. Tap your kid's account name.
  4. Select Applications/Devices/Network Features.
  5. Under Network Features, you can choose whether to allow your kid to communicate with other players on PSN or view content created by other players.
  6. Save your settings.

Mature Content

How to limit mature content on the PlayStation 4 using the console
You can turn off internet browsing entirely or use Sony's subscription-based web-filtering service.

  1. Go to Settings > Parental Controls > Family Management. You may need to enter your account password.
  2. Select your kid's account, and then select Applications/Devices/Network Features and select the content you would like to restrict.
  3. Scroll down to Use of Internet Browser and select "allowed" or "not allowed." 
  4. Save your settings.

How to limit mature content on the PlayStation 4 using the browser

  1. Sign in to Account Management.
  2. Select Account > Family Management > Go to Family Management and click your kid's account.
  3. Select Applications/Devices/Network Features and select the content you would like to restrict.
  4. Scroll down to Use of Internet Browser and select "allowed" or "not allowed."
  5. Save your settings.

How to limit mature content on the PlayStation 4 using the app

  1. Open the PlayStation App on your mobile device and tap the PlayStation symbol at the bottom of the screen.
  2. Go to Settings > Family Management and log in to your Family Manager account.
  3. Tap your kid's account name and then select Applications/Devices/Network Features and select the content you would like to restrict.
  4. Scroll down to Use of Internet Browser and select "allowed" or "not allowed."
  5. Save your settings.

Purchasing

How to block purchases on the PS4 using the console
This allows you to set up a monthly spending limit in the PlayStation Store.

  1. Go to Settings > Parental Controls > Family Management.
  2. Select your kid's account, and then select Applications/Devices/Network Features.
  3. Select Monthly Spending Limit and input a maximum amount of money your kid can spend per month.
  4. Save your settings.

How to block purchases on the PS4 using the browser

  1. Sign in to Account Management.
  2. Select Account > Family Management > Go to Family Management and click your kid's account.
  3. Select Applications/Devices/Network Features.
  4. Select Monthly Spending Limit and input a maximum amount of money your kid can spend per month.
  5. Save your settings.

How to block purchases on the PS4 using the app

  1. Open the PlayStation app on your mobile device and tap the PlayStation symbol at the bottom of the screen.
  2. Go to Settings > Family Management and log in to your Family Manager account.
  3. Tap your kid's account name, and then select Applications/Devices/Network Features.
  4. Select Monthly Spending Limit and input a maximum amount of money your kid can spend per month.
  5. Save your settings.

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About Caroline Knorr

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As Common Sense Media's parenting editor, Caroline helps parents make sense of what’s going on in their kids' media lives. From games to cell phones to movies and more, if you're wondering "what’s the right age for…?"... Read more

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