Apple TV

How do I use BBC iPlayer parental controls on Apple TV?

Apple TV remote control
No control: iPlayer parental controls on Apple TV are poor

If you’re using the BBC iPlayer on Apple TV, you may discover a lack of settings within the app. Indeed, you can’t even switch accounts, meaning parents are quite likely to have their viewing history filled with In The Night Garden! If you don’t want your kids watching Mrs Brown’s Boys (and let’s be honest, who does?) where do you find iPlayer parental controls on Apple TV?

When using iPlayer on most TVs the parental controls will be right in the app settings. On Apple TV, however, the BBC is piggybacking on the universal Apple settings. So, set them up in the main Apple TV settings and iPlayer will follow them. Here’s how to get that done.

Time needed: 2 minutes

How to switch on parental control on Apple TV

  1. Head into the Restrictions option in Settings

    From the home screen, go into Settings and then select General and then Restrictions.

  2. Turn on Restrictions

    By default, Restrictions will be turned off. Click on it and you’ll be prompted to set up a PIN. This needs to be entered twice.

  3. Set your TV restriction

    Now scroll down and select the age ratings for the TV shows you’re prepared to let your children watch.

The downside of the BBC’s approach here is that this doesn’t only affect iPlayer, but any app that uses the parental control settings. And because there’s no way of changing profiles from within the iPlayer app, those parental control settings will also restrict the shows that you can watch too.

It’s all a bit of a shambles, and a poor show from companies as big as Apple and the BBC. We wouldn’t be surprised if most parents decide to leave the parental controls switched off, which isn’t exactly ideal.

Delete your Apple TV history

About the author

David Artiss

Works for Automattic Inc., the company behind and Tumblr. Tech geek, international speaker and occasional PC Pro podcaster. Lover of Lego and video games.

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