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

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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16 Comments
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.

Francesco Astri 06 October, 2017 @ 16:52
1.1

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.

2

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).

Francesco Astri 09 October, 2017 @ 10:46
2.1

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

3.1

Hi GodOF2k123,

I’m not sure I’ve understood your problem but if you have deleted your master account and left your PS4 with sub-accounts only, just log in again with your master account to regain control of the sub-accounts.

Anyway, pop up on PS Forum to ask for assistance – http://community.eu.playstation.com/t5/English-Forums/ct-p/55

FATE-ABHiSHEk06 07 October, 2017 @ 05:10
4

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

Francesco Astri 09 October, 2017 @ 10:56
4.2

Hi guys,

unfortunately I cannot give you assistance on PS Blog, but pop up on PS Forum to ask for help http://community.eu.playstation.com/t5/English-Forums/ct-p/55

Francesco Astri 09 October, 2017 @ 10:56
5.1

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?

Francesco Astri 09 October, 2017 @ 11:01
6.1

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 !!!

Francesco Astri 09 October, 2017 @ 11:03
7.1

Hi erik2929,

as you said we are a bit off-topic here, but I’ll pass your feedback over.

Finka_Karfein 09 October, 2017 @ 05:55
8

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”.

Francesco Astri 09 October, 2017 @ 11:26
8.1

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 http://community.eu.playstation.com/t5/English-Forums/ct-p/55

Show full comment

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 http://community.eu.playstation.com/t5/English-Forums/ct-p/55

CoolRichy007UK 09 October, 2017 @ 12:42
9

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

Francesco Astri 09 October, 2017 @ 15:09
9.1

Hi CoolRichy007UK,

on this page on PlayStation.com https://www.playstation.com/en-gb/get-help/help-library/my-account/parental-controls/ps4-parental-controls/ you can learn how to set a passcode to prevent children from doing that

10

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.

Francesco Astri 09 October, 2017 @ 15:12
10.1

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.

10.2

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 :'(

StevenJamesHyde 09 October, 2017 @ 14:15
11

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

Francesco Astri 09 October, 2017 @ 15:13
11.1

Hi StevenJamesHyde,

thanks for your feedaback, I’ll pass it over

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…

jasonstreetman80 10 October, 2017 @ 17:59
13

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.

14

Hwy

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