How To Restrict Child Playing Time On Nintendo Switch (Parental Controls)

The Nintendo Switch is the hottest gaming console nowadays as it can provide fun for both kids and adults. If you’re a parent though and you want to put some limitations on how long your child plays, or what content restrictions he or she can access, you can make use of the built-in Nintendo Switch Parental Controls feature. 

If you’ve not heard of Parental Controls before, or if you have no idea how to enable it, read on.

What is Parental Controls On Nintendo Switch?

By default, the Nintendo Switch does not impose content restrictions for users. This means that all contents that can be accessed by the console are readily available for each user, including mature games. As you can see, this is hardly ideal if you let a young child or teen use it for gaming.

In order to limit your child from downloading grown-up contents, you need to enable Parental Controls. This feature does not only restrict downloads but also provides a parent with an option to track a kid’s play activity, set his or her play-time limit, and even use the console as his or her alarm bedside alarm.


How to enable Parental Controls On Nintendo Switch?

If it’s your first time to unpack and set up your Switch, part of the system configuration is whether to enable Parental Controls. If you skipped that before, you can go under the console’s System Settings to use it. Here’s how it’s done:

  1. Go to the Nintendo Home screen.

  2. Select Settings icon.

    Navigate to the Gear icon and press A.

  3. Select Parental Controls settings.

    Scroll down to Parental Controls and press A on Parental Control Settings.

  4. Setup Parental Controls.

    If you don’t want to use the Nintendo Switch Parental Controls smartphone app, press X.

  5. Select Next.

    Read the prompt and hit Next.

  6. Set up Restriction Level.

    Press A on Restriction Level and select your preference.

  7. Read the restriction details.

    Once you’ve taken note of the limitations of a selected restriction, hit Next.

  8. Set up the PIN.

    Make sure that you don’t share this PIN to your child. Also, you want to ensure that you remember it as it’s needed to perform system changes like Internet settings or factory reset.

How to set up Parental Controls with an app

A more convenient way to configure Parental Controls for your Switch is by using a smartphone app. Both iOS and Android versions are supported. For demonstration purposes, I’m using an Android to show you the steps. The steps to do this on an iPhone should be generally similar.

  1. On your Android device, open the Play Store app.
  2. Search for “Nintendo Switch Parental Controls.”
  3. Download and install the app.
  4. Open the app and tap on Sign In/Create Account button.
  5. Tap Sign in under For existing users.
  6. Enter your Nintendo account email and password.
  7. If prompted, verify your account with CAPTCHA.
  8. Tap on Select this account. This will allow the app to link your account to your Nintendo Switch Parental Controls.
  9. Hit Next.
  10. On your console, go to System Settings>Parental Controls>Parental Control Settings and select If You’ve Already Downloaded the App.
  11. Enter the shown code from your smartphone to your Nintendo Switch console.
  12. Select Link button.
  13. Continue setting up Parental Controls by tapping on Set Play Time or Later on your smartphone.
  14. Follow the rest of the instructions on the Nintendo Switch Parental Controls app.

If you want a more customized restrictions instead of the presets (Teen, Young Child, Child, etc., you can select Custom Settings.

How to delete Parental Controls On Switch

In case you don’t need to use Nintendo Switch Parental Controls, you can easily delete your settings with these steps:

  1. Open System Settings on your Nintendo Switch.
  2. Scroll down and select Parental Controls.
  3. Select Change Settings on the right side of the screen.
  4. Enter your PIN.
  5. Hit Delete Settings on the screen or the X button on your controller.
  6. Confirm by selecting Delete.

How to unlink your Nintendo Switch from Parental Controls smartphone app

If you decide to unregister your Switch from your phone Parental Controls app, follow the steps below.

  1. Open System Settings on your Nintendo Switch.
  2. Scroll down and select Parental Controls.
  3. Select Unlink App.
  4. Enter the PIN.
  5. Select Unlink.
  6. Hit OK.

Suggested readings:

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