Whether you’re concerned about your child being exposed to online dangers, or simply want to limit how long your child spends on their device, Nintendo has you covered. After unveiling a variety of fully customisable parental controls, Nintendo was praised in the news for their Bowser and Baby-Bowser themed video showcasing the variety of parental features available on the Switch.

It can be challenging to keep your children safe without imposing on their privacy, that’s why we’ve create this in-depth guide to the Switch’s parental features on offer and how to get the most out of them.


Parental controls available on the Nintendo Switch

Although the Nintendo Switch offers a ton of customisation to help control your child’s virtual environment, there are so many controls and settings available – it can easily seem daunting to first-time users. That’s where our breakdown of the key parental controls you need to know can help you make sense of it all.


Parental Control Features

Apply and use parental controls via the system or app.

Flexible and allows you to change parental controls on the go

Relies on a safe, working phone.

Available on iOS and Android but doesn’t appear to be on Windows devices.


Automated social media restrictions for children under thirteen.

Only effective if the Nintendo account is registered to a child under 13.

This feature cannot be controlled or changed by parents.


eShop password restrictions.

Prevents young children from accidentally purchasing items.

Reliant on different users on the device.


Controls can be amended or deleted at any time.

Allows parents to decide when they want to apply controls.

Older children could potentially manage to turn off parental controls.


Limit sharing of in-game text and images.

Minimises communication preventing vulnerable children from speaking to strangers.

Technology may not be able to differentiate between friendly and unfriendly users.


Monitor game and software usage through daily reports.

Allows parents to see when children ignore time limits and what games they play.

May be viewed by some as too intrusive.


Receive push notifications when games are downloaded.

Parents receive instant warning of when downloads are occuring.

Notifications could become irritating to parents and may not be necessary under supervision.


Restrict the ability to post screenshots to social media from system.

Prevents children from posting content on social media.

May not filter based on age group and type of content.


Set alarms and game suspension features to limit time on console.

Offers a choice of restriction for parents and allows them to interrupt games.

System is forced into sleep mode and alarms can be ignored.


Set software restrictions based on age.

Parents can pinpoint what level of control they want over software usage.

May be seen as too intrusive and heavily relies on software ratings.

Setting up premade parental controls on the Nintendo Switch console

  • 1

    Turn on the Switch and choose System Settings from the home screen.

  • 2

    Scroll down and select Parental Controls.

  • 3

    Select Parental Controls Settings.

  • 4

    Choose Use this console.

  • 5

    Pick Teen, Pre-Teen or Child to create a premade setting.

Setting up premade parental controls on the Nintendo Switch console

  • 1

    Follow the same first four steps above, then select Custom Settings instead.

  • 2

    Select Restricted Software to manually choose your software rating restrictions.

  • 3

    Select Software Rating Organisation to change the region of the ratings regulations.

  • 4

    Select Post to Social Media to restrict the ability to post screenshots to social media accounts.

  • 5

    Select Communicating with Others to restrict sent and received messages, user profile information, as well as viewing and sharing images.

  • 6

    Once finished, click Next to save your settings.

  • 7

    When prompted, choose a four to eight digit PIN. Make it memorable as this will be needed whenever you access Parental Controls in the future


Setting up parental controls on the Nintendo Switch Parental Controls App

  • 1

    Launch the Nintendo Switch Parental Controls app on your phone.

  • 2

    Sign in (or create) your Nintendo account.

  • 3

    Select Next when asked to confirm that your Switch will be registered to the app.

  • 4

    Follow the instructions to enter the code on your phone in your Switch.

  • 5

    Launch System Settings on your Switch.

  • 6

    Select Parental Controls.

  • 7

    Choose Parental Controls Settings.

  • 8

    Pick Use Your Smart Device.

  • 9

    Select Yes when asked if you have the app.

  • 10

    Choose Enter Registration Code.

  • 11

    Enter the code on your phone and click OK.

  • 12

    Select Register.

  • 13

    On the app select Set Parental Controls.

  • 14

    Set a daily limit on play time from no hours to six hours.

  • 15

    Tap Next.

  • 16

    Under Select restriction level tap None.

  • 17

    Select Teen, Pre-Teen or Child to create a premade setting or select Custom Settings to manually configure them.

  • 18

    Press Next.

  • 19

    When prompted to enable push notifications for a monthly summary of game activity, tap Continue and then Allow.


Enabling password restrictions on the Nintendo eShop

  • 1

    Launch System Settings on your Switch.

  • 2

    Scroll down and select Users.

  • 3

    Select the account you want to set eShop password restrictions for.

  • 4

    Scroll down and select Nintendo eShop Settings.

  • 5

    Scroll further down to Password-Entry Settings and select Change.

  • 6

    Press Enter.

  • 7

    Hit Save (or A on your controller) to save.


Removing parental controls from the Nintendo Switch Console

  • 1

    Launch System Settings on your console.

  • 2

    Scroll down and select Parental Controls

  • 3

    Select Parental Controls Settings.

  • 4

    Enter your PIN.

  • 5

    Press Delete Settings (or press X on your controller)



Unregistering your Nintendo Switch from the Parental Controls app

  • 1

    Launch System Settings on your Switch.

  • 2

    Scroll down and select Parental Controls.

  • 3

    Select Unregister App.

  • 4

    Enter your PIN when prompted.

  • 5

    Select Unregister when prompted.


These are some of the frequently asked questions for Nintendo Switch parental controls that might not have already been covered in the step by step guides:


What if the Nintendo Switch parental controls don’t work?

Nintendo constantly work to update the console, so be sure to keep an eye out for updates. Alternatively, there is an online support forum where users can feedback and discuss questions and concerns.

Is the app available on all mobile devices?

The Nintendo Switch Parental Controls app is currently available on iOS and Android devices, but does not seem to be on Windows at this time.

How to bypass the Nintendo Switch parental controls?

Parental controls cannot be turned off without the unique PIN. If you have forgotten or lost your PIN, you will need to reset your controls.

How to reset the Nintendo Switch parental controls?

This largely depends on whether or not you have been utilising the Nintendo Switch Parental Controls app. Either way, Nintendo offers a full walkthrough to reset your pin via the Nintendo Support page.


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