PlayStation Parental Controls

Sony’s PlayStation is a worldwide symbol for home entertainment. Even though Sony released its PlayStation 5 in 2020, the PS4 still eclipses its popularity because of its affordability. Though the tide will probably turn, the PS4 remains very popular. The PS4 has many excellent features like PlayStation VR and Sony-exclusive games. But, it’s still an internet-capable device with all of the risks that it involves. So it’s a good idea to familiarize yourself with the PS4’s parental control features.

Setting up a family account

To begin with, you’ll want to create a Family Account. You can create kids’ accounts under the ‘Family Manager’ (you).

We’ll tell you how to configure these settings on a PS4, browser, or PlayStation app. Setting up a PlayStation account doesn’t cost anything, but you’ll need to verify your payment information. Sony adds a charge of 50 cents for this, but it’s credited to your PlayStation wallet. You’ll automatically set up an adult account when you complete your PlayStation’s set up at the time of purchase. When you’re ready to add family members to your account, these are the steps you’ll follow.

  1. Go to ‘Settings’
  2. Scroll down to ‘Family and Parental Controls’
  3. Select ‘Family Management’
  4. Click to ‘Add Family Members’
  5. On creating a new user page, you’ll be able to choose between an adult account and a child account. Entering your child’s date of birth is a required part of this step
  6. Once you’ve toggled through the signup process, you’re all done. Repeat as necessary for each child. You’ll then be able to set age-appropriate limits for each child

For the PS5 console, the steps are very similar, though you can complete the setup with a QR code.

Setting Up PS4 time limits

Before you get started, you should set up your system restriction passcode; doing so prevents anyone (including your children) from changing the settings you set up. Setting time limits is a great way to follow your screen time rules. PS4 games can feel addictive, and it can be challenging to keep an eye on how long your child has spent playing. Luckily, the PS4 can do it for you.

  1. From your PS4 home screen, go to ‘Settings’ > ‘Parental Controls’ > ‘Family Management’. Then click on your child’s account
  2. Select your local time zone from the options, then choose ‘Play Time’ settings
  3. Select ‘Restrict Play Time’ and toggle restrict
  4. You can limit screen time by duration and weekday in the next section
  5. You could choose to notify your child or log the machine off automatically. Selecting to log off automatically prevents their game from being saved. Then, you can move on to ‘When Play Time’ ends
  6. Finalize the changes, and you’re done

Adjusting time limits in the browser

  1. Go to ‘Account Management’
  2. Open ‘Family Management’ and find your child’s account
  3. Click ‘Edit’ (next to Playtime settings)
  4. Enable restrictions
  5. Proceed to the next section and click the right arrow. You can decide to notify your children when their time is up or log the PlayStation off
  6. In the following section, ‘Duration and Playable Hours’, you can adjust screen time limits by day or duration
  7. Finalize by confirming your settings

Setting Time Limits on the App 

  1. Log in to the app on your cellphone and open ‘Settings’
  2. Scroll and open ‘Family Management’, find your child’s account, and select edit ‘Playtime Settings’
  3. Toggle ‘Restrictions’
  4. Then click the arrow next to ‘When Playtime Ends’. You can choose to notify your child when their time is up or log the machine out
  5. In the next section, ‘Duration and Playable Hours’, you can limit screentime by duration or days of the week
  6.  Save and confirm your settings

Restricting contact with other players

You can chat with other players, particularly those with whom you’ve played video games online. But it can be difficult to control precisely who your child is talking to, so it’s better if you turn this option off (at least, where young children are concerned). Though rare, there have been cases of predators using online gaming platforms to contact children. For peace of mind, you should turn this option off.

Turning off chat on the PS4

  1. First, open ‘Settings’ > ‘Parental Controls’ > ‘Family Management’. Enter your password if prompted
  2. Select your child’s account and open ‘Applications/Devices/Network Features’
  3. Under the ‘Network Features’ option, you can edit your PSN settings and restrict/prevent your child from contacting other players
  4. Confirm your settings

Turning off chat using the browser

  1. Log in to the PlayStation app on your smartphone and open the ‘Settings’ screen
  2. Scroll down to ‘Family Management’ and select your child’s account
  3. Click the ‘Edit’ option next to ‘Communication and User-Generated Content’
  4. Confirm restriction and save the settings

Restrict Access To Mature content 

Since the PlayStation 4 is geared towards all ages, there are many ways that your child could stumble upon mature content. You could access mature content in the PlayStation Store and the browser. You can avoid this by restricting their account and setting parental controls.

Deactivate Browser

  1. Open ‘Settings’ > ‘Parental Control’ > ‘Parental controls/Family Management’. Enter your password if prompted
  2. Choose your child’s account, then open ‘Applications/Devices/Network Features’
  3. Scroll to the Internet Browser and click ‘Not Allowed’
  4. Finalize and save your settings

Block purchases on web browser 

  1. Open ‘Account Management’
  2. Open your child’s account under the ‘Family Management’ tab
  3. Open ‘Network Features’
  4. Edit the monthly spending limit. Set it to 0 to block purchases
  5. Confirm your settings

Block purchases with the App

  1. Open the App, then head to ‘Settings’
  2. Open ‘Family Management’ and open your child’s account
  3. Open ‘Network Features’
  4. Edit the monthly spending limit. Set it to 0 to block all purchases
  5. Confirm your settings

Limit mature content on the browser 

  1. Open ‘Account Management’
  2. Open ‘Family Management’ and select your child’s account
  3. Click to edit age level for PS4 and PS3 games
  4. Use the drop-down bar to toggle the maturity level of the games you want your child to be able to access. You can choose from 1-11 (1 representing the youngest)
  5. Now scroll to the ‘Network Features’ section
  6. Edit and restrict age filtering for online content, be sure to save the setting

You can also totally turn off access to the browser, as we’ve already covered.

Limit content using the App 

  1. Open the App and go to ‘Settings’
  2. Open ‘Family Management’
  3. Open the ‘Applications and Devices’ section, then edit the age level
  4. Again, use the drop-down bar to select the age rating you want your child to use
  5. You can turn on age filtering by going to the network features section and editing the age filtering setting
  6. Select ‘Restrict’ and tap ‘Save’

Check out our parental control guides 

Summing up

The PlayStation is a fun way to pass the time and has web browsing capability and a blu-ray player. The PlayStation network includes excellent offers, including free games every month for premium subscribers. Overall, there’s little risk to your child using the PlayStation 4 or 5. But to further reduce the risk of accidental purchases, inappropriate content, or online predators, you should ensure that your PS4 restrictions are stringent for child family members. Thankfully, Sony offers comprehensive parental control settings for all consoles and apps.

This article has been reviewed and approved by Officer Banta.

Officer James Banta

Officer Banta is the official SecurityNerd home security and safety expert. A member of the Biloxi Police Department for over 24 years, Officer Banta reviews all articles before lending his stamp of approval. Click here for more information on Officer Banta and the rest of our team.