As a parent in the digital age, keeping your kids safe online is a top priority. With popular streaming services like Hulu, it can be challenging to regulate what content your children are accessing. Thankfully, Hulu offers robust parental control features to help parents manage their kids' viewing habits.
In this comprehensive guide, we'll walk through how to setup and use Hulu's parental controls to create a safer streaming experience for your family.
Why Parental Controls Matter on Streaming Services
Gone are the days when parental controls just meant locking channels on the TV or blocking certain websites. Modern streaming platforms give kids access to a huge range of content, making monitoring what they watch even more important.
Services like Hulu have movies and shows ranging from preschool programs to R-rated horror films. Without the proper restrictions in place, children can easily stumble upon content that may be too mature for their age.
Parental controls allow you to restrict certain types of content and monitor what your kids are watching. With the right settings enabled, you can have peace of mind knowing your children won't be exposed to inappropriate or explicit media on streaming platforms.
An Overview of Hulu's Parental Control Options
Hulu offers several parental control tools to help families manage viewing across devices:
- Kids profiles – Create a separate profile for your child that only displays kid-friendly content.
- MATURITY ratings – Block shows and movies above a certain maturity rating (TV-PG, TV-14, etc).
- Profile PIN – Require a PIN to switch profiles or access mature content.
- Explicit content blocking – Completely block any media with nudity, violence, and other adult themes.
- Recent watch history – Monitor what profiles have been watching recently.
These settings are easy to set up and can be configured from Hulu's website or mobile apps. Best of all, they work across any device signed into your child's Hulu profile, from smartphones to smart TVs.
Next let's look at how to get started with Hulu's parental controls.
Creating a Kids Profile
The best way to ensure your child sees age-appropriate content is to set up a dedicated Hulu Kids Profile. This profile will automatically filter content to only display programming suitable for children based on content ratings and maturity levels.
Here's how to set up a Kids Profile in just a few steps:
- On Hulu's website, click your profile icon in the top right corner and select Manage Profiles.
- Click Add Profile and choose a name for your child's profile.
- Toggle the Kids switch on when creating the profile. This ensures only kid-friendly content is shown.
- Click Create Profile to finish setting up the Kids Profile.
Once created, simply have your child log into Hulu using their dedicated kids profile to start streaming approved content. They'll only see shows and movies that are rated TV-Y, TV-G, TV-PG or G, ensuring age-appropriate viewing.
Using Maturity Ratings
Along with Kids Profiles, parents can further customize what content is visible by adjusting maturity rating settings. This allows you to decide the maximum ratings your child can watch based on content ratings systems like TV Parental Guidelines or movie ratings.
To update maturity settings:
- From the Hulu website, click your profile icon > Account
- Select Manage Profiles > Edit on your child's profile
- Under Maturity Ratings, choose the highest rating you want to allow
- Click Save Changes
For example, setting the maturity rating to TV-PG means your child will only see shows rated TV-Y, TV-G, or TV-PG. Setting it to R allows TV-MA and R-rated movies as well. Choose the option that matches your family's viewing preferences.
Requiring a Profile PIN
Another great way to maintain control is to require a PIN to access mature content or switch profiles.
By enabling the Profile Lock PIN, your child won't be able to exit their Kids Profile or watch higher-rated content without entering the PIN first.
Here's how to add a PIN lock:
- Under your child's Profile > Account, select Manage Profiles
- Choose Edit on your kid's profile
- Scroll to Profile Lock and toggle it on
- Enter a 4-digit PIN and confirm
- Click Save Changes
Now a PIN must be entered to exit the Kids Profile or access any TV-14, TV-MA, R or NR rated programming. You can also turn this off or change the PIN at any time through the Profile Lock settings.
Blocking Explicit Content
For maximum protection, Hulu allows you to completely block any movies or shows that contain nudity, sex, violence and other adult content. This gives you complete control over what your kids can watch.
To block all explicit content:
- Go to your child's Profile > Account > Preferences
- Under Allowed Content, uncheck Allow Mature Content
- Click Save to apply the changes
With this setting disabled, any content containing adult themes or explicit material will be completely hidden and inaccessible in the Kids Profile.
Monitoring Recent Watch History
Hulu allows you to see what profiles have been watching and when. Check this periodically to ensure your Kids Profile is only being used to view approved content.
To see recent watch history:
- From Hulu's website, click your profile icon > Account > Viewing Activity
This will display the names of profiles that have recently watched videos, along with the movies/shows, times, dates and devices. Make sure only approved content is being viewed on your child's profile.
Setting Time Limits
While not natively included in Hulu, you can still set time limits on your child's viewing by using your device's parental control settings:
- On iPhone/iPad, use Screen Time in Settings to limit Hulu app usage
- For Android devices, use the Google Chrome Parental Controls app timer to cap Hulu time
- On Amazon Fire Tablets, set a pin and time limits under Parental Controls
- For game consoles like Xbox and Playstation, restrict screen time through device settings
Combining Hulu's profile restrictions with device-level time limits provides comprehensive parental supervision.
Using Third-Party Parental Controls
While Hulu has built-in parental controls, you can add an extra layer of protection by using third-party parental control apps and software. These give you additional ways to filter, monitor, and limit viewing across devices.
Some top options include:
- Qustodio – Cross-platform app that allows filtering, screen time limits, location tracking, and more.
- Kidslox – Lock down devices and block apps and content across platforms.
- Norton Family – See browsing history, set content filters, limit screen time, and track locations.
- McAfee Safe Family – Filter website content, get alerts for mature apps, set time limits.
- MMGuardian – App to block content, limit screen time, and monitor texts on kid's phones.
The advantage of third-party services is they give you unified dashboards to manage parental controls across all a child's device – including Hulu viewing on mobile, tablets, computers, and TVs.
Look for apps that offer customizable filtering, timely alerts, usage history monitoring, and easy-to-use dashboards. Using these along with Hulu's built-in tools provides comprehensive oversight.
Some specific parental control apps to consider include:
- Spotify Parental Controls for managing music streaming
- Instagram Parental Controls for social media monitoring
- TikTok Parental Controls for video app oversight
- YouTube Shorts Parental Controls for managing YouTube and YouTube Kids
Using a layered approach with third-party apps and Hulu's built-in controls provides robust parental supervision across devices and platforms.
To quickly recap, here are some key tips to remember about Hulu's parental controls:
- Create a dedicated Kids Profile so your child only sees kid-friendly content
- Adjust maturity rating settings to match your family's preferences
- Use a Profile PIN to restrict profile switching and access to mature content
- Completely block nudity, sex, and violence via the Allow Mature Content setting
- Monitor viewing activity to ensure only approved content is being watched
- Set screen time limits on devices to control Hulu usage
Frequently Asked Questions
Still have questions about managing parental controls on Hulu? Here are answers to some commonly asked questions:
Can I enable parental controls on multiple devices?
Yes, Hulu's parental control settings like Kids Profiles, PIN restrictions, and content blocking work across all devices signed into your child's profile, including smart TVs, streaming sticks, smartphones, tablets, and computers.
What happens if my child forgets the profile PIN?
As the account owner, you can reset or remove any profile PINs through the Profile Lock settings under Account > Manage Profiles > Edit on Hulu's website.
Can my child switch out of their Kids Profile?
Only if Profile Lock is disabled. Otherwise, the PIN must be entered each time to exit the Kids Profile. Enable Profile Lock to prevent unauthorized profile switching.
How do I monitor what my child is watching on Hulu?
Check the Viewing Activity under your Account to see recent watch history across profiles. This allows you to monitor content being watched on your child's profile.
Can I block only shows and not movies?
Yes, maturity rating filters can be set differently for movies vs. TV shows under the profile's content restrictions settings. This allows customization based on your preferences.
How do I disable mature content blocking if I want to watch restricted content myself?
Mature content blocking can be toggled on/off in Profile Preferences. Simply uncheck “Allow Mature Content” on your main profile when you want access to restricted content.
Can my child see what profiles are watching without switching?
No, profile viewing activity is private to each profile. Your child would have to exit their Kids Profile and enter the PIN to see other profile histories.
If I delete my child's profile, will their watch history be deleted too?
Yes, all watch history and data for a specific profile is deleted when that profile is removed from the account entirely.
How do Hulu's parental controls compare to Netflix and Disney+?
Hulu's robust profile restrictions and maturity ratings make it on par with Netflix and Disney+ for parental controls. All offer granular content filtering, PIN locks, and kids profiles to protect children.
The Bottom Line
Hulu offers powerful tools to help parents manage what their kids are viewing. By taking advantage of kid profiles, maturity filters, PIN restrictions and content blocking, you can create a safe streaming environment tailored to your family's needs.
Remember to monitor your child's watch history, set device time limits, and frequently review the parental control settings as your kids grow up. With the proper protections enabled, Hulu can provide a fun source of entertainment the whole family can safely enjoy.