How to use the new parental controls and Family Accounts features on PS4

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Get to grips with the new 5.0 features with our detailed guide

As you may already have read, new Family Account features and improved parental controls have gone live today with PS4 system software update 5.0.

These new features give parents and guardians nuanced control over the console’s usage and settings, allowing them to stay in control of what younger children play, watch, and can access online, while older kids and adults are free to play games or watch movies suitable to their age group.

Let’s go through the new features together!

New family account names

The first big difference comes with the new terminology that allows us to bring you new levels of security, possibilities, and customisations. Family accounts replace the “master account” and “sub account” structure previously used for adults and children with the new categories “Family Manager”, “Adult Family Member”, “Parent/Guardian”, and “Child Family Member”.

  • “Family Manager” is the family administrator. There are no restrictions on the features a family manager can access: they can add members to the family and set permissions for the child family members on PS4.
  • “Adult Family Member” and “Parent/Guardian” are family members over the age of 18 and they have full unrestricted access to PlayStation Network as well as their own wallet for purchases from PlayStation Store. The difference between these two categories is that only “Parent/Guardian” can set parental controls for Child Family Members.
  • “Child Family Members” are the users under the age of 18 that can use PS4 and PSN within the limits of the parental controls set by the Family Manager or Parent/Guardian.

This is just a brief description of the new family accounts and what they can do. You can learn more on PlayStation.com.

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Setting up and managing your family accounts

Keeping your family safe with family accounts is incredibly easy. First things first, you’ll have to elect the Family Manager.

You can use your existing PSN account as the Family Manager and start setting up the other accounts currently on your PS4. Any sub accounts previously linked to your account will have already been added as Child Family Members and you can set individual parental controls and spending limits for each Child Family Member straight away.

If you’re using your PS4 for the first time, you’ll need to set up a local user on the system and create a PSN account as the Family Manager. Once your account is created, you can start adding family members by following the steps below.

Adding Adult Family Members

  • Log in to your PS4 as the family manager and go to [Settings] > [Parental Controls/Family Management] > [Family Management]. You may need to re-enter your PSN account password.
  • Select [Add Family Member].
  • From here, you can:
      Invite existing PSN accounts, using any of the following methods:

    • Send an invite to [Users on This PS4].
    • Invite [Friends] if the user is on your Friends list.
    • [Enter Sign-In ID] to send an email invite if you know the email address the family member uses to sign in to PSN.
      Create a new local user on the PS4 system.

    • You’ll need to enter a name for the user and their date of birth. You can also choose if you want to allow them access to parental control settings.
    • The first time the new user logs in to the PS4 system, they’ll be able to create their own PSN account.
    • Going back to [Settings] > [Parental Controls/Family Management] > [Family Management] you can select the adult family member you want to appoint as Parent/Guardian, by checking the box [Parent/Guardian].

    Adding Child Family Members

    • Log in to your PS4 as the family manager and go to [Settings] > [Parental Controls/Family Management] > [Family Management]. You may need to re-enter your PSN account password.
    • Select [Add Family Member] > [Create User].
    • Enter the child’s name and date of birth, then click [Next].
    • Accept the User Agreement and follow the on-screen instructions to set parental controls for this user.
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      Speaking of parental controls, let’s take a look at the restrictions that parents and guardians can use to keep their children safe during their time with PlayStation 4!

      Setting parental controls

      Thanks to the improved parental controls of system software 5.0, the Family Manager can ensure a fun, entertaining and safe PS4 experience for their Child Family Members by setting limitations on online access, age ratings, spending limits, what content is suitable for them to play or watch and more.

      For the complete list of the restrictions that can be set and to learn how to prevent children from changing parental controls by setting a system restriction passcode, visit this page on PlayStation.com.

      Here on PlayStation Blog we will learn how to set the most common limitations.

      How to restrict access to Network Features

    • On your PS4, go to [Settings] > [Parental Controls/Family Management] > [Family Management]. You may need to re-enter your PSN account password.
    • Select the user you want to set parental controls for.
    • Under ‘Network Features’ you can choose whether to allow a child family member to communicate with other players on PSN or view content created by other players.
    • When you’re done, your changes will be saved automatically.

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    How to set age rating levels for games

    • On your PS4, go to [Settings] > [Parental Controls/Family Management] > [Family Management]. You may need to re-enter your PSN account password.
    • Select the user you want to set the age level for.
    • Select [Parental Controls].
    • Scroll down to [Age Level for Games] and press the X button.
    • Choose the age rating level you would like to set on this account. If you want to know more about age ratings for games and movies click here.
    • When you’re done, your changes will be saved automatically.

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    How to set a monthly spending limit

    Family Managers and Parents/Guardians can allow Child Family Members to spend funds from the Family Manager’s wallet. Of course, Managers and Parents/Guardians can set the monthly spending limit of their Child Family Members or completely revoke this possibility.

    • On your PS4, go to [Settings] > [Parental Controls/Family Management] > [Family Management].
    • Select the user you want to set a spending limit for.
    • Scroll down to ‘Monthly Spending Limit’ and press the X button.
    • Choose a monthly spending limit for this user and press the X button.
    • When you’re done, your changes will be saved automatically.

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    We hope you enjoy the improved family accounts and parental controls, one the many new features of PlayStation 4 system software 5.0. Don’t forget to leave a comment if you have any questions and let us know your thoughts on the new features.

    For more information on the latest PlayStation 4 firmware, visit this page on PlayStation.com.

    That’s it for me, thanks for reading and see you soon on PlayStation Blog!

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