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


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.
    • TITLE


      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

      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.


    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.


    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.


    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

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

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11 Author Replies

  • There are games whose pegi rating is totally rubbish so we should be able to grant access individually to games, or even give our own rating. Also a single common wallet for the whole family is very limiting.

    • Hi yohonet,

      with the new family accounts and improved parental controls you can set the age ratings for each Child Family Member. Unfortunately you can’t give your own rating to the games but the possibility to differentiate the level of restriction between Child Family Members gives you a lot freedom during the set up of the limitations.

      Also you don’t have one wallet for the whole family as Adult Family Members and Parent/Guardians have their own. Funds for the purchases made by the Child Family Members yes, they do come from the wallet of the Family Manager and that can be only one per family.

  • Would it be possible in the future to share our game library with the family members ? And have family members that are from other regions too (moving across the world is a thing and not being able to add an account from another region is not that great).

    • Hi Vincenth69CA,

      technically, it is possible to share the game library with the family members if every family member activates the same PS4 as their primary.

      I guess that you are referring to a content share that goes beyond the same PS4 though, so I’ll take your suggestion and pass it over alongside the other one about family members from different regions.

  • What if you don’t have master account on your ps4 anymore what do you do

  • My 16 year old brother’s sub account is always restricted from playing any games, he can’t even play nfs rivals, I removed the restrictions still it’s not working out. Every single time i need to activate “temporarily disabled parental control restrictions” to let him play, didn’t find anything in family management either….

    Please help

    • I am having the exact same problem as fate-abhishek06. I have removed all restrictions in every category and allowed all games and my child family member still gets an error message that he can’t play due to parental control settings. The account was previously a sub-account under the old system and hasn’t been able to play games since the update.

      Please help

    • Hi guys,

      unfortunately I cannot give you assistance on PS Blog, but pop up on PS Forum to ask for help

  • Hi Francesco, please can you confirm if this affects the ability to “promote” a sub-account to a master account?… is this possible if the sub-account has been set as a child family member?

    • Hi Topov81,

      Child Account can manually graduate with the option that will popup as soon as they reach adulthood.

  • Little of topic here but can you make Sony android tablets use Ps4 as an access point in order to make Remote Play smoother ? My connection is choppy despite having great modem and using 5ghz. Only time i can get decent framerates is when i use ps vita in direct connection mode. So please consider this feature in further updates !!!

  • Problems with functioning reported by some, not being able to set single games against rating from “experts”, shared wallets… You know what? I’d rather create full-fledged accounts for my kids and just talk with them about games they buy than use those “features”.

    • Hi Finka_Karfein,

      we do our best to create a system that is safe for the whole family and we do encourage you to use our Family Accounts and Parental Controls to monitor the gaming activity of your children. Look at these methods as an extra layer of protection for you (you won’t believe how many unauthorized purchases kids do these days ) and your sons. Obviously Family Accounts and Parental Controls don’t replace the positive aspects of the parent-son relationship, so it’s always good if you play with your child and talk to him during a gaming session

      We do understand that issues and bugs might come out from time to time but you can help us improving the system by leaving your feedback here on PS Blog or on PS Forum

  • Well done sony now kids will read this blog and will know how to change all settings and update 5.00 should of added a invite blocker to stop getting community invites because invites are annoying and classed as spam

  • is it possible or maybe in the works for the master account to share the library to the child accounts. We have a house with 3 ps4s and i really don’t want to buy the same game 3 times.

    • Hi Hawkeye1906,

      you can share the library of the Family Manager on one PS4 if that PS4 is set as primary. I’ll pass your feedback about the extension of the possibility to more than one console.

    • I also have the same issue. Having a PS4 myself, and a ps4 for my son – which I want to activate this functionality. But do not want to migrate from my own ps4 :'(

  • Any advances in this area are welcomed, but the whole “Primary PS4” thing needs a rethink to make it work properly. It made sense as a way to curb game sharing when the PS4 first launched, but in 2017 at the very least there needs to be the option to activate a primary PS4 *and* a primary PS4 Pro on the same account

    Even with that, the 3DS and Kindle Fire would still wipe the floor with PS4 in terms of ease and flexibility of parental controls

  • Seriously, can the developer put more effort into features, which the community really asking for? Still waiting for the name changing feature. One global store like on Xbox would be awesome too. A game gifting system would be awesome. Cross play would be awesome.

    Are you even caring about your customers? The 5.0 firmware feels like a 4.5 update. And what about the followers? How can I unfollow people? It’s so annoying…

  • I am having the worst time with this. When I first got my ps4 we did not have any internet so I just create the single accounts. We just got internet and I went to set this up and I set the wrong person as family manager. Nothing is telling me how to switch it to another user. Nothing is on the internet about it and apparently since I just created the account I have to wait 6 to 8 hours to get help from the actual support chat. Does anyone know the way to switch the family manager position to another account on the ps4.

  • Any way i can delete family members? I found two of my old accounts are on there, and, I want to delete them from my family management. Anyway to do so?


    Please refer to the issue on the link above.

    That is not my post, but I am on similar ground.

    Clearly there should still be the usual option of a one user parental restriction setting. Why can’t you just bring that feature back to allow the normal parental restriction to be placed on a sole main account on the ps4?

    This is pretty frustrating, could you please change this and allow PS4 users to decide for themselves what they want should do on their device in terms of restrictions?

    Previously with a one account ps4, you could go to parental controls, ask a mate to put restrictions and turn off the browser. Currently, that setting is still somewhat there but takes no effect when you change Web browser from allowed to not allowed. Im sorry, but how dumb is that? Not every parent will want to create a family management account, simple restriction setting should be brought back.

    Please let me know how Sony can help.

  • blase_waviness7

    Hi – my son keeps switching from his account to my one/the family account in order to use more time when he has run out, please can you tell me how to prevent this?

    • Put a “login pass code” on your account that only you know. Goto settings… login settings… login passcode management

  • It seems my girlfriend and I have found a problem with the Family Management system, and it is proving to be quite difficult. She is moving out towards the end of the month, and is trying to make sure her son’s account is umder hers, but the way the program is set up is not accounting for a split household. Hopefully this can be addressed in a future update, but the way the Family Management system is currently is not set up to accomidate divorced families or split households.

  • Why does it keep asking me for my credit/debit card. Then tell me it doesn’t work because it’s attached to another account? OF COURSE IT IS… I’M TRYING TO ADD MY KID ON BY FOLLOWING THE STEPS ABOVE.
    Your lack of customer service is going to make me rethink my loyalty to PlayStation.

  • I have set a child account under my main account but how does he get access to the same playstation network as the main account so he can still play with his friends online? I don’t want to pay for 2 playstation networks.

    Alternatively, why can’t I set timers on my own account then he can use that one??

    I’m just trying to limit screen time here.


  • Recently purchased 2k21 and I have a PSN acct. I can start my career just fine. My son has a user profile but can’t start his career because it says he is not logged into the PSN. Please help, I’ve added him under family management, still can’t get it to work. Any ideas?

  • When I turn 18 will I be able to get unadded from family management?

  • To use money I had to join a family as a child member. I still can’t use any money because it says, This service can not be used on this account. So I wen’t on my family leaders account and set my spending limit to unlimited and still can’t. What should I do?

    • My son is being harassed online & would like me to change his online ID. I have yet to find a way to do that. All questions lead to the same steps: how to change MINE and not my child’s.

      Please help!

    • I have the same issue

  • I just want to ask, how can I add voucher code on my Child account? It doesn’t work there, but it works on my main account

  • I have an account which I can’t buy anything with my money because it is connected to the family wallet on PS4 and I want to buy stuff with my money is there a way to leave the family on ps4

  • ur still not telling us how to remove an account from parental controls .. smh

  • Is there a way for the family manager to take someone off of the family in general so that person is unrestricted? Or to put a child to an adult. Because my dad made my account a child so I can’t download adult games but he’s doesn’t even care what I play or anything so how do I change it

    • He will need to log into his account on sony interact entertainment and go to the family management tab. Then, he selects your profile. He should be able to set you up for “no restrictions” from there.

  • Hi, I have accidentally set my age to 16, now when i try logging into my call of duty on this new account i cant play due to a parental restriction. Is there any way to fix this so i still have a playtime limit but can play what i like

  • Is there a way to change my child’s birthday on the PS4 once a family management account is created?

    • Nope. Sorry but you’re stuck unless you delete their account and then create a new one with an older birthday. Alternatively you can wait it out until they’re 18. Stupid isn’t it?

  • Hi, my account is registered as a ‘minor’ even though I am not a minor. I have attempted to sign in, in order to change the date of birth on the account, as clearly something has gone wrong somewhere. However, when I try to do so it doesn’t allow me to; because the account is down as a minor. I wouldn’t mind as much if I didn’t have all of my achievements on this account. Is there a way this can be changed?

  • Hello I am a parent of two under 16 boys. When we got the PSA I set it up with my email and password, and added parental controls to the kids. My kids got hold of my password and started to play using my profile only. They both play under my profile name and they have never played using their own child accounts. This means that my parental controls that I set are totally irrelevant. Unfortunately it took me a long time to realise this. What can I do now? They tell me that they need to continue to play using my profile, otherwise they loose all the game stuff they have build up so far, and their connections. Effectively they would need to start from scratch. Is there anything I can do? Could I transfer my gains, and gaming history into their own respective profiles so I can set parental controls on them, and obviously change my password and keep it well hidden from them!

    • Did you get a response regarding this? As my son is doing the same thing and for some reason, PlayStation does not monitor game play time on adult accounts.

    • Seems like this hgappens a lot as my son has also done this !.
      Please there must be someone out there..for example Playstation tech that knows how to do this ? !!!

  • Hi, I have added my son to my PS4 and while I have PS+, it is not granting him access. I have already activated it as a primary device for both myself and my son. I have another son who currently has access. I have tried everything I know/can find online to grant access to this new account but have not been successful. Has anyone run into this problem?

  • My son is of age now and cant use the Playstation Now service I just spent $60 on. He is still under my family management account. Everything is unrestricted. So did I just waste $60 or is there a way he could still use it? Can I please get a refund into my account? Please help. Thanks in advance.

  • How do i change a child to a parent or how can i kick them out the family

  • My sons have already created an account and I cant add him to the Family management.

  • if you have 2 accounts on playstation and one is linked to parental controls, do you get and email if you download something on the other account that is not linked to parental controls?

  • This is completely ridiculous. My neighbour made this account to my son so he and my neighbours kid could play together, but now he’s apparently the “head of the family” and my e-mail that he used to sign him up is locked to a child account? We’ve tried to solve it for awhile now. Why do you make it so da*n hard Sony?

    How do I leave his family????

  • This is so stupid. I added a new account on my PS4 as I just wanted to play as a male in Red Dead Online. Now because my new account is under 18 I have restrictions. I “cannot access network features due to parental restrictions”. And ( even with my main account being a family manager), I STILL can’t change the age of my new account. I also can’t change nor access these ‘parental settings’ from my family management account. This is absolute hogwash and I sincerely hope it is fixed soon as I’m sure I’m not the only person peeved at Sony for this.

  • Hi… I used to be able to use the family managers wallet ups… Now I have bought wallet ups on the family managers account but I can’t access it anymore…did they change it or how can I access these wallet ups

  • So I have followed the steps I believe as best I can. The only issue I am having is my son got Minecraft. He got a PlayStation gift card so he can purchase add-ons for his profile. The only problem is when you go to the PlayStation store and look up Minecraft only one add-on pulls up. But if you log into my account you see every add-on for Minecraft ever made. I don’t understand why it will not show up for his profile. If you could please help me out that would be wonderful. Also the reason why I want to make sure he purchases them on his profile is when he gets his own for the future he does not need to be stuck on my console or does it move with him even though I purchased it? Please help.

  • The way Sony has handled minor accounts is unacceptable. They are playing big brother. I have spent hours just trying to setup a second Playstation 4 so I can play Battlefront II with my 7 yo son. The minor account is completely locked down even if I unrestrict everything. Sony decides what he can see based on his age, then within that I can make some decisions. A waste of $60 for a PS+ subscription he can’t really use. The only viable alternative is to make him an adult account, which is extremely risky because there are no ways to lock down an adult account. The status quo represents an increase in vulnerability to parents and minors over the policies that were in place two years ago. Sony needs to give parents full control, period.

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