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What is YouTube Restricted Mode? How to Turn it On or Off

Last updated: May 15, 2024 9 min read
What is YouTube Restricted Mode How to Turn it On or Off

YouTube is filled with video content that can pop up on your feed and search results, whether you find the videos appropriate or not. If you repeatedly come across content you find inappropriate, YouTube has provided a Restricted Mode feature that helps you permanently block it from reappearing. Read on to learn how you can activate or deactivate it on YouTube using any device.

Imagine not having to constantly monitor your children’s YouTube activities. With Restricted Mode, you can set age restrictions and can remove any potentially unsuitable material.

What is YouTube Restricted Mode?

What is YouTube Restricted Mode?

Restricted mode is basically a settings function on the YouTube platform. The feature helps to control the types of video content that appear on your YouTube screen. Once activated, it filters out offensive or harmful videos from your suggested feeds, search results, and the entire platform.

Although the feature has a note that suggests that the filter isn’t 100% accurate, you can use it to block potentially mature videos.

YouTube’s restricted mode allows you to limit your kids’ exposure to unsuitable content online. This feature is suitable for public networks. An instance is a school’s network administrator, who can use it to make sure no student uses the network to stream inappropriate content.

What Content Does YouTube Restricted Mode Filter Out?

What Content Does YouTube Restricted Mode Filter Out?

The Restricted Mode uses an automatic system alongside reviews from users to block videos that contain the following content:

  • Violence: Videos that show a graphic description of violent acts, natural disasters, tragedies, or news violence.
  • Alcohol and drugs: Content that encourages excessive drinking and drug abuse through talk or action.
  • Mature topic: Videos that discuss matters related to events like terrorism, crime, political protest that led to severe injury or death, and war. Although these videos may have no graphic image, Restricted Mode will not show them.
  • Sexual situations: Videos that show an excessive description of sexual activities will not be displayed in this mode. However, you may still find videos that provide educational and straightforward content on sexual education, identity, or affection.
  • Mature and profane language: This includes any content that uses inappropriate language, such as swearing or rude words.
  • Demeaning and incendiary videos: Restricted Mode blocks any video that aims to insult another individual, group, or organization.

Apart from videos, the feature also prevents you from seeing the comments under a video, whether they are appropriate or not.

Steps to Turn On/Off YouTube Restricted Mode

On Windows

On Windows

Here’s how you can enable or disable Restricted mode on your Windows PC:

  1. Launch the browser on your laptop.
  2. Visit the YouTube webpage and log in to your account.
  3. Click on your account’s Profile picture, which will be in the upper-right corner.
  4. On the drop-down menu that appears, clicks on Restricted Mode.
  5. Switch the tab Activate Restricted Mode.

If you enable Restricted Mode, note that it will only be effective on the browser you logged in from. If you log out of your account, you can’t view restricted content, as YouTube cannot confirm your age.

On Mac

On Mac

Follow the steps to turn on or off restricted mode on your MacBook:

  1. Launch the browser on your laptop.
  2. Visit the YouTube webpage and log in to your account.
  3. Click on your account’s Profile picture, which will be in the upper-right corner.
  4. On the drop-down menu that appears, tap Restricted Mode.
  5. Tap to switch the button besides Activate Restricted Mode.

On Android

On Android

Here’s how to do it:

  1. Open your YouTube app and make sure that you are logged in to your account.
  2. Tap on your account’s Profile picture from the bottom panel.
  3. Head to the Settings page by tapping the gear symbol in the upper-right corner.
  4. Click on General.
  5. Scroll down until you see Restricted Mode and turn it on.

On iOS

On iOS

It’s simple to activate restricted mode on iOS. Follow the steps below to learn how:

  1. Open your YouTube app and log into your account.
  2. Tap on your Profile picture from the bottom panel.
  3. Now, head to the Settings page by tapping the gear icon in the upper-right corner.
  4. Tap on General.
  5. Scroll down until you see Restricted Mode and toggle the switch.

How Can I Lock YouTube Restricted Mode?

How Can I Lock YouTube Restricted Mode?

Once you turn on Restricted mode on your browser, the page will reconnect. Find and move to the settings page of your Restricted Mode, and you will see an option with the header Lock Restricted Mode on this browser. Upon clicking on this header, you will need to enter your Google account’s login credentials.

Locking Restricted Mode means that any account that logs into YouTube on that browser will automatically be unable to view inappropriate content. As long as you are the only one who knows the username and password of the Google account, no one will be able to lock or unlock restricted mode on your PC.

If you ever want to unlock the mode, you can select that option again, which would have turned into Unlock Restricted Mode on this browser. However, you will still have to enter your login details again.

Why Can’t I Deactivate My YouTube’s Restricted Mode?


Sometimes, you may find it hard to get out of YouTube Restricted Mode. Some of the reasons why this could happen include the following:

  • Your browser add-ons are preventing you from deactivating the restrictive mode.
  • Your router DNS settings are restricting some YouTube content.
  • Your internet security software may be restricting YouTube content.
  • Your browser cache and cookies may have stored old settings even when changed.

What to Do if Your YouTube Account is Stuck in Restricted Mode

What to Do if Your YouTube Account is Stuck in Restricted Mode

If you are struggling to deactivate YouTube Restricted Mode, you can try out any of these methods to solve this issue:

  • Double-check your account: When you share your device with multiple people, like your family, different Google accounts may be logged into the account. Confirm that you are logged into your Google account and not someone else’s on restricted mode.
  • Confirm that you didn’t lock Restricted Mode: If you discover it is indeed locked, you must enter your Google username and password again. Once you unlock it, you can deactivate the restricted mode.
  • Clear your app cache: Your YouTube app can store cache data that it may rely on instead of focusing on your current settings. So, you can try clearing your YouTube app cache on your device.
  • Clear the browser cache: Your browser may choose to live in an old-school manner, depending on outdated settings that may leave you locked in Restricted Mode. By clearing its cache, you can cope with this.
  • Reinstall your YouTube app: If you are using the YouTube app, not the web version, you can try reinstalling the app. You will need to log into your account again once the installation is complete.

How to Use YouTube Safely

Restricted mode is one method that helps you avoid inappropriate content online. However, you can still take additional measures to ensure the YouTube platform is safe.

First, we highly recommend that you protect your account with a strong password and enable two-step authentication to ensure that no outsider can easily hack your account.

When creating a password, make it long and ensure it’s a mixture of Uppercase and Lowercase letters, symbols, and numbers. This can help ensure that you create a unique and unhackable password. Use ExtremeVPN’s free password generator to get yourself a strong password.


If you want to limit the content your kids are exposed to on YouTube, you can easily set up a kids’ account, or you can try using YouTube alternatives. YouTube Kids is a safety net shielding children under 13 from graphic images. If your kids stream on your device, you can lock the screen so they don’t click on inappropriate videos.

If they still show videos you don’t find appropriate on your feed, you can always flag the content by clicking on Report. Although the reporting process may take time, it will help protect kids online in the long run.

Get Past YouTube Restrictions with a VPN


YouTube is one platform you may find unable to connect to, depending on your location or the network you are using. For instance, if you use your company’s Wi-Fi, the network administrator may have configured the network so that browsing specific keywords online may be impossible. But you don’t have to worry about such restrictions when you have a top-notch YouTube VPN.

ExtremeVPN ensures that your online data passes through an encrypted tunnel before reaching the Internet. As your data travels through this encrypted tunnel, it hides your online identity so the network administrator will never know what online platform you are visiting. This means that you will be able to access YouTube freely while using a network that restricts it without stress.

ExtremeVPN also offers extra security features, like an internet kill switch, IPv6/DNS leak protection, and 256-bit military-grade encryption, which ensures your online safety at all times.


Is Restricted Mode the same as age restrictions on YouTube? Up
No. Unlike Restricted Mode, videos with an age restriction always require viewers to verify that they are over 18 years old once they log in. However, once they confirm their age, they will unlock the age restriction on their account, making it easy for them to stream suggestive videos, graphic images, violent content, and other graphic images. 
How can I get past YouTube content restrictions at my school? Up
Most organizations, like schools, prevent users connected to their networks from accessing social media sites and other popular platforms. This helps network administrators conserve bandwidth. However, you can bypass such restrictions by connecting to a VPN. A high-quality VPN service like ExtremeVPN will give you the freedom to access the content of your choice without stress.
Can I turn off the Restricted Mode on YouTube comments? Up
You can only view comments if you turn off Restricted Mode completely. It’s impossible to be on Restricted Mode and read comments.

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Thomas is a talented writer and digital privacy fanatic. He loves exploring the world of cybersecuri...
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