The Nintendo Switch is a fantastic console for adults and children alike, but as always parents will want to put limits on how their kids use it. Restrictions on age-inappropriate games can be added on the console itself, but the Nintendo Switch Parental Controls app allows for further options like limiting playing time and monitoring activity.
So how do you set up the Nintendo Switch Parental Controls app and what exactly you do with it? Keep reading to learn more and click the buttons below to download the app from the Google Play Store or Apple App Store.
What can the Nintendo Switch Parental Controls app do?
The Nintendo Switch Parental Controls app offers a spread of tools beyond just limiting games based on ESRB ratings. The keystone feature is limiting playing time, which allows you to set an hour limit for each individual day of the week. This means you can set longer limits for weekends when children generally have less schoolwork.
You can also set age restrictions for each child, and whitelist other games as you see fit. You can also remove the ability to buy new games for each user, which is useful if you have your purchase information saved on the console. A handy overview shows which game each child is playing and for how long, and the app delivers a push notification each time your kids add a new game.
The app also allows you to control how children interact with others online, both in-game and when sharing on social media. And of course, all of these restrictions are locked behind a PIN, so you don’t have to worry about your child adjusting the settings, even while using your phone.
How to set up the Parental Controls app
Setting up the Parental Controls app takes just a few minutes, but you’ll need both your phone and Nintendo Switch console handy before you start.
- Install the Parental Controls app from the Google Play Store or Apple App Store.
- Launch the app and log in to your Nintendo account.
- When prompted to enter a code, pick up your Switch console.
- Navigate to System Settings > Parental Controls > Parental Control Settings > I have the app installed, what’s next?.
- Enter the code from your phone, tap OK, then Register.
Your Switch console is now tied to the Nintendo Switch Parental Controls app on your phone, and you can proceed to set limits on each user’s gameplay. You may also be prompted to set a PIN, so be sure to pick something you can remember.
Once set up, the app is fairly intuitive and easy to use. Under the Console Settings tab you can select Play-Time Limit or Restriction Level, or just see an overview of activity under the Time Played or Monthly Summary tabs.
I forgot my Nintendo Switch Parental Controls PIN
If you forget your Parental Controls PIN but have the app installed on your phone, it’s very easy to recover it. Simply open the app and tap Console Settings, then PIN. Your current PIN will be listed on the screen.
If you don’t have the Nintendo Switch Parental Controls app installed or aren’t able to access it, you can still reset your PIN using the console, although there is a $.50 charge to make sure children can’t access it. Resetting the PIN will also delete the play history and settings on the Parental Controls app.
- On your Switch, tap the Parental Controls icon and enter an incorrect PIN six times.
- After the incorrect PIN prompt, press the + or – button.
- Scroll down to the bottom of the page where the Inquiry Number is listed. Do not leave this page.
- On a browser, navigate to https://parentalcontrols.nintendo.com/?sys=switch.
- Follow the prompts on the screen to enter your Switch serial number, Inquiry Number, contact information, and credit card info.
- A master PIN will be generated to reset your forgotten Parental Controls PIN.
How to remove Nintendo Switch Parental Controls
Removing Parental Controls from your console is simple, and can be done from the console itself. If you don’t have the Parental Controls app installed on your phone, it’s very quick and easy.
- On your Switch, tap System Settings > Parental Controls > Change Settings.
- Enter your PIN.
- Press the X button to delete all parental control settings.
If you have the Parental Controls app installed, there are a few more steps but it’s still relatively painless. You will lose play history and settings on your phone.
- On your Switch, tap System Settings -> Parental Controls.
- Select Unregister App and enter your PIN.
- Select Unregister when prompted.
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