How To Set Up PS4 Parental Controls

The Sony Playstation 4 (PS4) encompasses more than just video gaming — users can stream music, movies, and TV, as well as browse the web. Because of this, the PS4 can create potentially harmful situations for children, so it’s important to monitor and restrict access to inappropriate content.

Sony's Video Game Rating System

All PS4 video games hold ratings based on the criteria and judgment of the Entertainment Software Rating Board (ESRB). The most common of these ratings include "E" for games appropriate for everyone, "T" for content acceptable for most teenagers, and "M" for content deemed appropriate only for mature players.

It is important to remember that the ESRB rating system provides only a general idea of a video game's content. While this can help parents determine what games are appropriate for their children, parents are greatly encouraged to research and review games before purchasing to determine the content they'd like their children to access.

A simple breakdown of how to use ESRB ratings in conjunction with Sony's parental controls (which use numbers 1-11) include:

  • Level 0: ESRB RP - RATING PENDING
  • Level 2: ESRB EC - EARLY CHILDHOOD
  • Level 3: ESRB E - EVERYONE
  • Level 4: ESRB E10+ - EVERYONE 10+
  • Level 5: ESRB T - TEEN
  • Level 9: ESRB M - MATURE
  • Level 10: ESRB AO - ADULTS ONLY

Setting Up PlayStation 4 Parental Controls

Sony provides parental control options to help ensure the safety and security of children. Before establishing other parental controls, Sony recommends that you set a system restriction passcode. This allows you to alter and adjust your settings later and prevents others from accessing and changing the restrictions you put in place.

How to create a child account on PlayStation 4

  1. Access the PlayStation's main Settings menu, then select Parental Controls/Family Management.
  2. Select Family Management.
  3. If this is your first time adding a family member, you will see a screen that gives you a brief overview of the console’s family system. Click Set Up Now. (Note: You will not see this screen if you already have multiple members in your family on the console).
  4. Select Create User. (Note: If you already have multiple members in your family on the console, you will need to select Add Family Member and then select Create User).
  5. Enter your child’s name and date of birth, and then select Next.
  6. You’ll be taken to a User Agreement page. Select Accept.
  7. If this is your first time setting up a child account, you will be required to pay $0.50 to verify that you are an adult. The money will be deposited into your PlayStation wallet. Select Next to continue.
  8. Enter your payment information and select Verify to confirm your purchase.
  9. After the payment is made, select OK to continue.


How to set a system restriction passcode

  1. Access the PlayStation's main Settings menu, then select Parental Controls/Family Management.
  2. Navigate to PS4 System Restrictions. Before setting a custom passcode, you'll need to enter the default code ("0000").
  3. Choose a passcode that is simple for you to remember.

After setting up your own system restriction passcode, you'll be able to set up other parental controls on your console, including by each individual user if you have multiple children.


How to implement parental controls on PS4

  1. From the PlayStation's main Settings menu, select the Parental Controls/Family Management menu.
  2. Select the child account you'd like to manage. We recommend that you create an individual account for each PlayStation user to allow for multiple control options; an older child can access games and other content acceptable for older users, while younger children in the same household can only access content appropriate for younger children.
  3. Choose from the following what you’d like to restrict:
  • Restrict games by age level: Using the system explained above, prevent access to certain games and applications based on Sony's rating system (1-11).
  • Restrict Blu-rays and DVDs: Restrict the use of Blu-ray discs or DVDs.
  • Restrict internet access: Through the PlayStation 4's default settings, access to the internet browser can be completely disabled for all websites.
  • Restrict communication with other players: Setting this parental control prevents communications from other PlayStation players. Chat, messages, friend requests, and game invites will not be received by restricted accounts.
  • Age filtering for PlayStation store content: Hide games and game features based on your child's age.
  • Restrict use of internet browser: You can completely disable the PS4’'s Internet Browser from launching.
  • Restrict use of VR: Control whether or not your child can use PlayStation VR.
  • Viewing Content Created by Other Players: Control whether or not your child can view videos, pictures, and text created by other players and shared on the PlayStation Network.
  • Monthly Spending Limit: Set the amount of money your child can spend on content in a single month.
  • How to disable guest profile creation


    How to access Play Time parental controls

    1. After you have set parental controls for the settings above, select Confirm.
    2. Select your time zone and select Confirm.
    3. Next, you will be taken to a screen that allows you to control the amount of time your child can play games on the console each day. If you want to set this later, select Do This Later. If you would like to set up the feature now, change Do Not Restrict to Restrict by clicking the box next to Play Time Restrictions.
    4. From here you can set different time restrictions for each day or make it standard across every day of the week.
    5. You can then choose what happens when your child’s Play Time limit has been reached. By default, PS4 will notify your child every five minutes once the limit is reached, but you can also set it so that they are automatically logged out when they reach the limit.
    6. When you are finished, select Confirm.

    How to disable guest profile creation

    Disabling the creation of guest profiles or additional profiles is important, because this is a popular workaround for kids who want to bypass the set parental controls. Here's how to prevent that:

    1. On your PS4 system, log in as the family manager and navigate to Settings.
    2. Next, select Parental Controls/Family Management. Then, select PS4 System Restrictions.
    3. You'll need to enter the system restriction passcode. If you haven't set this yet, the default is 0000.
    4. Select New User Creation and Guest Login and select Not Allowed.
    5. Sony recommends selecting Change System Restriction Passcode and changing it to a memorable 4-digit code to prevent other users from gaining access to the parental controls.
    6. When you're done, your changes will be saved automatically.


    Bark - The Internet Safety Solution

    Bark is dedicated to helping keep kids safe online and in real life. In 2018, we helped protect nearly 3 million kids with our groundbreaking products for families and schools.

    By monitoring text messages, YouTube, emails, and 24+ different social networks for potential safety concerns like cyberbullying, self-harm, violence, sexual predators, and more, Bark allows busy parents to rest easier knowing their kids are better protected from digital dangers. Sign up today to start your free, one-week trial or visit Bark.us to learn more.