How to Set Parental Controls on Roku App

Reshmita Das | September 06, 2023


With a myriad of streaming platforms that are available to us today, we are spoilt for choice when it comes to entertainment options. But navigating these options could become a danger zone for children as they could potentially be exposed to content that is unsuitable for them.

This article will give parents insight into how they can make use of parental controls to create a safe zone for their kids’ use of the Roku app.



What is Roku?

Since its release in 2008, Roku has been a widely used streaming device, similar to Amazon Fire Stick, that gives viewers access to a varied selection of television networks and streaming platforms like Amazon Prime Video, Netflix, Disney+, Hulu and so on. There are thousands of paid and free channels that you can access from across the world through this app.

Roku can be accessed in one of two ways:

  • Roku TV – a built-in Roku function that is available on smart tvs
  • Or, Roku streaming player – a streaming stick or set-top box which can be plugged into your TV


Why Do Parents Need Parental Controls for Roku?

Apps like Roku are popular because they offer so much variety in terms of entertainment in one streaming space. The downside to such variety is that content for all age groups can be easily accessed by whoever is using this platform, including children. The following are some ways in which children can misuse this otherwise wonderful platform.

Exposure to Inappropriate Content: Many parents want their kids to only consume content that is age appropriate and a platform like Roku will need extra controls in place for this to be possible.

Access to Unfiltered or Uncensored Channels: Since there are certain channels that contain adult only content, such as porn videos, these channels are unsuitable for minors.

Contact with Strangers, Scammers, Predators, and Cyberbullies: While online gaming is able to connect people from across the globe, there are increased chances of children being exposed to people who have unsafe motives.

Spending of Money on Paid Subscriptions or Rentals: This type of streaming format does require saving payment information, which may lead to children inadvertently using it to buy or rent subscriptions.

Addiction to Screen Time: This type of addiction is on the rise, especially among teenagers, so it is safe to take pre-emptive steps to curb this danger.


How Can Parents Set Up Parental Controls for Roku?

Despite these potential pitfalls, there is no reason why adults and children can’t enjoy safe content, provided a few parental controls are set in place. Here are some safety measures that can be set in place for your Roku use.

Creating a PIN

In just a few steps, you will be able to set up a customised PIN to lock your Roku subscription, although this is generally an optional function.

Step 1: Login to your account on the official Roku website.

Step 2: From the drop-down menu, select My Account.

Step 3: Under the Pin preference, you will see an Update option.

Step 4: Enter the new PIN which you wish to use in the Create PIN tab.

Hiding or Deleting Channels

Channels may be deleted or hidden once the PIN has been set up. Functions like News, TV Store, and Movie Store, for example, can only be hidden from the home screen and not deleted.

Once you have decided which channels or network options you find inappropriate on Roku, you can delete them in a few simple steps which are provided below:

Step 1: Select ‘My Channels’ from the Roku home screen using the Roku remote.

Step 2: Navigate to the top or bottom of the options listed using the up or down arrow buttons on the remote.

Step 3: Once you have chosen the channel you have decided to delete, without pressing Enter, just select the channel. A new window will show you the option ‘Remove Channel’ which you can click.

Step 4: Click on ‘Yes’ in the window to confirm the channel’s deletion.

Step 5: Repeat Steps 1-4 to delete as many channels as required.

In order to hide the Movie Store, TV Store and News options from the feed, simple follow the steps given below.

Step 1: Select Home Screen from the Settings menu on the Roku device.

Step 2: Choose the Hide option for the Movie/TV Store and/or News Feed from there.

The Hide option can always be turned off. Parents must note that even though the 4-digit number prevents inappropriate channels from being accessed and watched, it doesn't stop someone from exploring the channels, which can be a problem for parents as inappropriate titles of a few publicly accessible private channels can be seen.

Setting Up Ratings-Based Playback Restrictions

Roku’s parental controls, with the PIN-based playback control, applies only when you are streaming content in a signed-in state. When this feature is enabled, your PIN must be entered when someone tries watching content with certain ratings. What content can be played without a PIN depends on which of the four ratings levels you have selected when configuring your PIN preferences.

Setting Up Built-In Parental Control Features

Roku's parental controls feature enables you to limit access to the shows you view on the Live TV input, including streaming TV channels you can find via the Live TV Channel Guide and "over-the-air" HDTV channels from your HDTV antenna.

To set up the Roku parental controls for live TV input:

Step 1: Press the Home button on your Roku TV remote to bring up the menu.

Step 2: Scroll down and choose Settings.

Step 3: Click on the Parental Restrictions.

Step 4: Create a 4-digit PIN which will be required to enable and disable parental controls as well as to configure any settings.

It is important to note that your Roku account PIN and parental control controls PIN are two different 4-digit PINs.

Using a Parental Control App like Mobicip 

Another convenient option available to parents is using the Mobicip app which monitor’s the child’s digital habits, especially if the Roku account is accessed from his or her phone. With features like the screen time tracker, the website blocker and the social media monitor, it is a great tool to use when setting safety measures in place.


How do I know if my kid is using Roku?

If you have set the PIN and other parental measures in place, your children will not be able to access the Roku subscription without the PIN. Since Roku does not have a watch history function as most streaming platforms do, it is difficult to keep track of your child’s viewing activities outside of setting up parental controls.

How do I delete my kid's Roku account?

If you would like to delete your kid’s Roku account, select Manage Your Subscriptions from the menu option, and choose ‘Turn off auto-renew’ to cancel the subscription.

What are some alternatives to Roku for kids?

Roku can prove to be a great streaming tool with a comprehensive range of channels and streaming service providers under one umbrella. There is no reason why you can’t keep your children protected, provided the right safety measures are in place. Setting up parental control PIN and hiding or deleting unwanted channels can do the trick.

How can I talk to my kid about Roku and online safety?

Most children respond well to honest discussions about topics like online safety and the responsible use of platforms like Roku. Be open to answering their questions on the need for safety and what could go wrong if they are not careful. Explaining why certain safety measures have been put in place can create a healthy space for an on-going dialogue on online safety.

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