BBC iPlayer Help

What is Parental Guidance and how to use it

Protect your family with the parental guidance lock

Setting up a parental guidance PIN is the best way to control what your children have access to, on BBC iPlayer. What’s more, it’s really easy to use – here’s how. 

If a programme has been flagged with parental guidance, it will feature a clear label and a G symbol. If you’re on your computer, look out for a red bar towards the bottom left.

 PG Lock Image 1
Or on your mobile or tablet device, it’ll be a grey bar at the top.

 PG Lock Mobile Device

Hit the Play button, and, if you are over 16, confirm this and choose Continue.

 PG Lock - Age Confirmation Screen

When prompted, Turn On the lock.

PG Lock - Turn On Screen 

Choose and enter a four digit PIN and press Play.

 PG Lock PIN Screen

Your PIN is now set.

Next time you try to watch something that we've suggested isn't suitable for kids, you'll see a message explaining why, and you'll have to enter your PIN before you watch.

 PG Lock PIN Screen 6

Protection on all your devices

Don't forget to activate the parental guidance lock on all the devices you use for BBC iPlayer – the lock works on phones and tablets as well as computers, but you have to activate it.

If you have more than one web browser on your computer, you’ll need to set the lock on each one.

Turning off the lock

To turn off the lock, select the locked padlock icon on any programme with a guidance label.

PG Lock - Turn Off Lock Image 1 

Enter your PIN.

 PG Lock PIN Entry Image

All programmes will now be unlocked, as the unlocked padlock shows.

PG Lock - Unlocked Padlock Image 

When you want to switch the parental lock back on again, simply press the padlock icon. It will change from unlocked to locked to show that the lock’s been activated.

What is the Parental Guidance Lock?

The Parental Guidance Lock is a way to help you control which BBC audio and video content can be accessed in your browser. 

From 2014, the Parental Guidance Lock will start to use a four-digit PIN to control access to Guidance-labelled content. When the Parental Guidance Lock is turned on you will be asked to set a PIN, which you will need to re-enter to enable you to view Guidance-labelled content on your browser.

If you already have a password you will be asked to create a PIN when accessing Guidance-labelled content.

The new version of BBC iPlayer uses the PIN system to control the Parental Guidance Lock. 

What are Guidance labels?

Guidance labels let viewers know when content may be unsuitable for young audiences (e.g. violence, sex, drug use or strong language) or when it may be harmful to some viewers (e.g. containing flashing images). Guidance labelling is usually used for television programmes that were broadcast after the TV watershed (21:00). 

How do I set up the Parental Guidance Lock?

The first time you try to watch Guidance-labelled content, the Parental Guidance Lock warning will appear to ask for confirmation that you are aged 16 or over and, if so, invite you to set up the Parental Guidance Lock.

If you are aged 16 or over, please tick the box next confirming you are aged 16 or older. You will then have the option of playing the content you have selected, or setting the Parental Guidance Lock. If you wish to turn on the Parental Guidance Lock, please first ensure that cookies are enabled on your browser. If you select the option to turn on the Parental Guidance Lock you will be asked to enter a four-digit PIN. You will need to remember this PIN to unlock guidance labelled content in future. 

How do I turn the Parental Guidance Lock on and off?

You can unlock Parental Guidance Lock by clicking on the locked padlock symbol on any content which has guidance and entering your PIN. Guidance-labelled content will remain unlocked and available to view until you click the unlocked padlock symbol to lock it again.

If you no longer wish to use the Parental Guidance Lock you will need to delete all the cookies from your browser. You can reset the Parental Guidance Lock at any time. 

What if I forget my password?

If you forget your password or PIN, If you’ve forgotten your Parental Guidance password, read this How to clear your cache FAQ which explains how to clear your storage history. 

How do I change my Parental Guidance Lock password or PIN?

To change your Parental Guidance Lock details, you will need to delete the cookies from your browser. You can then set a new one here

How do I manage my Parental Guidance Lock on the Windows Phone 8 BBC iPlayer app?

If you’re using the BBC iPlayer app on a Windows Phone 8, you won’t be able to manage your Parental Guidance Lock from here. To disable or reset your password or PIN, you’ll need to uninstall and reinstall the BBC iPlayer app on your phone. 

What are the terms and conditions for using the Parental Guidance Lock?

If you permit a child to use your computer you are solely responsible for determining whether the BBC content is appropriate for that child to view. The BBC Parental Guidance Lock provides a way to help you control how Guidance-labelled BBC content may be played on your computer. If you turn on the Parental Guidance Lock, your browser will not be able to access Guidance-labelled content unless you type in your password or PIN.

You can set the Parental Guidance Lock PIN via this BBC Guidance Page.

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