How To Set Up Parental Controls On The Nintendo Switch

Nintendo Switch

If you’re a parent whose kid has a Nintendo Switch, you may want to set up parental controls on the console. This could be for any number of reasons. Whether it’s to limit the games they play or who they can play with online. If you’ve picked up a Nintendo Switch for your kid(s) as a gift for the holidays, you can get a jump start on learning how to set up parental controls before putting the gift under the tree.

Or at least know how to set them up ahead of time so you can get them in place first thing after the gift is opened. Whatever the reasons, if you want to set up parental controls, the process isn’t too hard and we’re here to help. This guide can help walk you through the necessary steps to get this completed.

How to set up parental controls on the Nintendo Switch

Getting parental controls set up on the Nintendo Switch is a simple process that won’t take too long. And if you have kids who are the primary uses of the console, it’s not a bad idea to get the parental controls working. Use the steps below to set them up and manage them going forward.


Power on the Nintendo Switch

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To start, make sure your Nintendo Switch console is powered on. You can do this in handheld mode or while the console is sitting in the dock.

Find the settings menu

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Next, you want to head to the settings menu on the device. This can be found in the bottom navigation bar, between the menus for controllers and sleep mode. Click the settings menu using the A button to enter settings and continue.

Scroll down to the Parental Controls menu

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Now that you’re in settings, scroll down to the Parental Controls menu, which is below the screen lock menu. Then click the A button to hit “ok.”


Optional: Watch the Parental Controls introductory video

Nintendo has put a helpful video in this menu to introduce parents to this setting. You don’t necessarily have to watch it but it’s not a bad idea. Simply click the A button to hit “ok” and let the video finish.

Click on Parental Controls settings

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After the video if you chose to watch it, click on the Parental Control settings and you’ll be taken to the next menu.


Download the Parental Controls app

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Next you’ll need to download the Parental Controls app onto your smartphone or tablet. You can find the app in the Google Play Store or the Apple App Store.

Register your Nintendo account with the app

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Once you have the app downloaded, you’ll need to register your Nintendo account with the app so you can register the app to your Nintendo Switch console. To do this you’ll need to log into your Nintendo account in the Parental Controls app. Upon doing so, you’ll be asked to enter a registration code into the console. This number will be displayed in the app on your phone.

Use the app to finish setup

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After the console is registered with the app, setup can be completed within the app itself. Follow the onscreen prompts to get the parental controls in place.


What can the Parental Controls app manage?

The app can manage a handful of different things. Including daily play time, the restriction level, restricted software, posting to social media, communicating with others, and VR mode which is for 3D visuals.

For the daily play time, you can set the limit to none, or you can set it up in 15-minute intervals, starting with 15 minutes and going all the way up to two and half hours. For restriction level, you can set it to teen, pre-teen, child, or create custom settings. Which is where you do each setting individually.

Restricted software is pretty self-explanatory and lets you restrict certain games and apps. The same goes for restricting posts on social media. Toggling this one will prevent kids from posting stuff to social media from the Nintendo Switch console. And if you want to disable communication with other users and the use of VR mode, toggle on both of those options as well.


Disabling communication will prevent talking with all other users, including sending and receiving messages and images. And that’s about it! You can always turn these parental controls off or change them at any time. Or just unregister the console from the app entirely.