Amazon Firestick is popular because it provides easy access to all sorts of entertainment content at a very affordable cost. It’s super convenient to use and requires no complicated instructions to download, watch, or play whatever you want. And therein lies the problem for some users. Does that mean your little ones can also access and purchase whatever they want?
Fortunately, as a parent, you have access to some comprehensive Firestick parental controls to take make sure you keep control over what kind of content your kids (or anyone else) can access. In this article, we’re going to show you how to take advantage of this great feature.
But before we get there, let’s take a look at why you should be doing this.
Why You Need Firestick Parental Controls
As more and more families are cutting the cord, it has become increasingly important for parents to watch over their children for two reasons. First, they can rack up charges by making instant program purchases. Second, they can access inappropriate content.
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While many media players have very complex systems to lock down content that is not child-friendly, Amazon Fire TV and Firestick have a straightforward and easy to use mechanism in place. You’re prompted to set up controls the very first time you boot up the devices. You can restrict content by rating and also by limiting purchases. Not to mention, the Fire TV has access to Amazon’s incredible FreeTime system that offers your kid(s) an easy to navigate library of kid-friendly content.
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Unfortunately, FreeTime doesn’t come pre-built into your Firestick. It seems like Amazon wants to reserve premium features for its premium streaming devices. However, we hope they will roll out FreeTime for budget-friendly Firesticks sooner rather than later. If you still want this feature, you can install the Amazon FreeTime application on your Firestick or other Android devices. We’ll discuss that in a later section of this article.
With that out of the way, it’s time now to learn about how you can first set up your Amazon PIN and then lock down your device to restrict access.
Important Firestick Safety Note:
When you’ve set up Firestick parental controls and are ready to get back to streaming, it important that you’re browsing safely. Important steps you can take are to make sure that your WiFi router password is strong and that you’re using a safe, fast VPN.
There are already companies and government agencies collecting your browsing data, and it’s not as difficult as you’d think for hackers to do the same. You can make your browsing safe and anonymous through a VPN, which means you can be sure that no one is looking in on your activity.
Notice: Hackers create fake WiFi hotspots to steal your passwords when you log in to Starbucks WiFi. Secure your data.
As a bonus, there are tons of side benefits to using a VPN, like unlocking region restricted content on streaming services like Netflix, Hulu, and YouTube. Watch anything from anywhere! Check out our how to install a VPN on anything guide for a little extra help on the technical end of things.
Notice: Hackers create fake WiFi hotspots to steal your passwords when you log in to public WiFi. Secure your data.
How to Set Up Firestick Parental Controls PIN
A PIN is a Personal Identification Number. It helps you to prevent unapproved purchases as well as securing access to no-go areas. In case you’re just starting out with your first Fire unit, you will be prompted to enable the feature as soon as you run the setup. You can create a new PIN or use the existing Instant Video PIN to proceed. If you have a PIN from any other Amazon device, the same PIN can be used across all other devices. For instance, if your PIN for your Kindle Fire Tablet is “00000”, it will still work on Firestick, unless you want a different PIN.
How to Change Your PIN
If you forget your PIN, it becomes compromised or someone else set up the device when you first got it, changing it via the Amazon Dashboard is fairly straightforward.
Log in to your Amazon account and go to the Instant Video Settings page. Scroll down to the Firestick Parental Controls, as you can see in the screenshot below.
You can create a new PIN, reset the existing one, as well as toggle purchase restrictions on or off. We strongly recommend enabling this feature even if your streaming device isn’t being used by kids, just to avoid any accidental purchases. Moreover, keep in mind that, although you can access this feature in the main Amazon dashboard, you have to manually set it on your Amazon Firestick device too.
Setting up a pin is the key to all of your Firestick parental controls, so this step is important. Here’s how you can go about it.
How to Lock Down Your Amazon Device
Now that you have a PIN in hand, it’s time for you to enable Firestick parental controls and lock down the device once and for all. The following steps are applicable to both Amazon Fire TV and Firestick units.
Step 1: Turn your device on, Switch the TV input to display the Firestick home screen and then navigate to the Settings option.
Step 2: Choose Preferences and then select the Firestick Parental Controls option.
If your screen says that Firestick Parental Controls are On, skip to step 4.
Step 3: With the help of your Firestick remote, enter your Personal Identification Number (PIN) and press the OK button to continue.
Step 4: You can select which Firestick parental controls you need to activate. If you see ON under an option, it means that a particular feature is already active.
You can PIN Protect Purchases if you want. This way, every time someone using your device tries to download a paid app or make a purchase, they will need to enter your PIN. Similarly, you can also set content restrictions for your kids. To do this:
Step 5: Scroll down and Select Viewing Restrictions
Here you can see different categories like General, Family, Teen, and Mature. Set Firestick parental controls to lock the ones you want to restrict. A lock icon next to a category of programs means your kids are locked out of watching the corresponding programs without access to your PIN. Below is a breakdown of each category:
- General – The General category includes content suitable for general audiences (G, TV G, TV Y)
- Family – The family category includes content for General audiences, family and slightly older children (PG, NR Family, TV-PG, TV-Y7, TV-Y7-FV)
- Teen – The Teen category Includes content suitable for Teens, young adults, General and family audiences (PG 13, TV 14)
- Mature – The Mature category includes all kind of videos, including those that aren’t yet rated (R, TV-MA, NC-17)
Congratulations! You have successfully activated Firestick Parental Controls for your children. Now you can let your kids use Firestick without any worries. Your little ones will not inadvertently run up your bill or stumble across mature Firestick content.
Additional Firestick Parental Control Settings
- Under the Viewing Restrictions feature, you can see the PIN Protect App Launches option. When this feature is set, you will have to enter the PIN every time you launch an application.
- Secondly, you can also turn on the PIN Protect Prime Photos App option. When this feature is active, you will need to enter the PIN whenever you want to view any photos or videos stored in Amazon Drive.
How to Set Up FreeTime on Amazon Firestick
As we mentioned earlier, the FreeTime feature isn’t available on Firestick by default. However, you can download and install the FreeTime app on your Firestick and control each and every piece of content your kid has access to. This is a great way to augment your standard Firestick parental controls. The application also offers additional Firestick parental controls, like limiting screen time for your children across multiple devices simultaneously.
Once you activate the FreeTime app on your Firestick, your children won’t have access to the regular Firestick interface unless they know your PIN. Below is a step by step guide to setting up Firestick parental controls using the FreeTime app on your device.
Step 1: Download and Install
In the Amazon App Store, search for FreeTime and add it to your account. It’s an official app, so you don’t need to sideload it. Simply find the app on the app store, download, and install on your device like any other app.
Step 2: Launch FreeTime
Once you launch FreeTime, click on the yellow Get Started button. Afterward, enter your PIN.
Step 3: In the following screen, you will be asked to Add Child Profile. You will have to enter your kid’s information like name, DOB, and Gender to continue. Yes, you can add multiple child profiles if you want.
Step 4: In the following screen, select the Child Profile you want to give prime video access to and continue.
Step 5: You can add individual titles to your Child’s profile if you want or select all Kid’s Titles to choose suitable content. This includes access to both videos and apps. Once that is out of the way, scroll down and click on, continue to finish the setup process.
That’s just about it. FreeTime is now active on your Firestick. Repeat the same process if you want to add Firestick parental controls to multiple Child Profiles with access to different apps and videos. You can also launch the FreeTime app to switch from regular mode to FreeTime mode.
As long as the Freetime App is installed on your device, your child will not be able to see inappropriate content. Plus, you can also limit their screen time. Simply go to the Child Profile you want to set limits for and select Set Daily Goals & Time Limits. Click on the toggle to enable settings for your child.
The above procedures are necessary to enable Firestick parental controls. Once all of these features have been taken care of, your device will prompt anyone using your Firestick for a PIN while making any app purchases or accessing mature content. You can change your preferences any time you want in the settings menu.
What’s more, you can also download the FreeTime app on Firestick to manage Firestick parental controls in a much more granular way. To do that, you will need a Firestick remote. If you’re setting it up from a smartphone, you can use the Firestick remote app to perform any necessary actions.
That’s all for this article. Did we miss any critical details? Let us know your thoughts, feedback or suggestions (if any) in the comment section down below. Thank you for reading!