How to Set Up Parental Controls on the Nintendo Switch

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The Nintendo Switch is a wildly popular gaming console for kids. While many of the games available on the Switch are kid-friendly, there are games, features, and other aspects of the console that you may wish to control.

Nintendo has created an app specifically for Switch Parental Controls. The app is free and easy to use; it lets parents control how their child uses the gaming console.

Parental Control Features

Play-Time Limit

Set a limit to how long your child plays on the Switch daily. You can customize the setting for each day of the week. When your child has reached their limit, they will receive a notification on the screen.

You can also set a bedtime alarm that shuts off the device at a specified time each night. Parents can use their personalized PIN to play on the device when play is suspended for children.

Restriction Level

Use the Restriction Level setting to prevent your child from playing age-inappropriate games, posting on social media, or communicating with others.

Choose from 3 Preset Age Restrictions:

  • Teen-rated for ages 17+, with no other restrictions
  • Pre-Teen-rated for ages 13+, restricts posting on social media and communication with others.
  • Child-rated for ages 8+, restricts posting on social media, communication with others, and VR Mode.

Or create a Custom Restriction setting. You can customize these restriction areas:

  • Restricted Software by age or rating country
  • Restrict Posting on Social Media
  • Restrict Communicating with others on all apps or individual apps
  • Restrict VR Mode (3D Visuals)

Create a PIN

Parents can create a unique PIN allowing them to play on the console without being subjected to time limits or age restrictions.


You can restrict eShop purchases on your Nintendo Account via your Nintendo Account Settings.

How to Set Up Parental Controls on Nintendo Switch

Setting Time Limits

  1. In the Switch Parental Controls App, select Console Setting in the bottom right corner.
  2. Select the top setting, Play-Time Limit
  3. Set the Play-Time Limit to the number of hours per day.
  4. Set the Bedtime Alarm to a time of day when play on the console is suspended.
  5. Save your settings

Set Restriction Levels

  1. In the Switch Parental Controls App, select Console Setting in the bottom right corner.
  2. Select the second setting, Restriction Level
  3. Choose from one of the 3 Preset Age Levels or Customize your restrictions.
  4. If you choose to Customize, you can restrict access to games by age and restrict social sharing, communication, and VR Mode.
  5. Save your settings

Create a Unique PIN

  1. In the Switch Parental Controls App, select Console Setting in the bottom right corner.
  2. Select the third setting, PIN
  3. Enter your unique 4-digit PIN
  4. Save your settings

Restrict Purchases

  1. Login to your account
  2. Select your Profile Icon in the top right corner
  3. Select Account Setting from the menu
  4. Select Family Group in the menu of your Account Settings
  5. Select your child’s name from the Members list
  6. Select the third setting, Spending/purchases on Nintendo Switch eShop or
  7. Check the box, To restrict this user’s spending/purchases (including automatic renewal of subscriptions) on Nintendo Switch eShop and, check the box and then select “Save Changes”
  8. Save Changes

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