How to use parental controls with HBO GO

Parental controls restrict what can be played, while Kids lock limits where you can browse. To learn more, see How do I restrict what my kids can watch?

If parental controls are turned on, when you try to play a video whose rating exceeds your maximum allowed rating, you'll see a message letting you know that access is restricted by parental controls.

How do I set or change parental controls?

You can change parental controls for HBO GO in up to three places: on your device, through your TV provider, or in HBO GO. To find out how to set parental controls on your device or through your TV provider, consult your device instructions or contact your TV provider. If your TV provider supports parental controls, you might need to set parental controls with your TV provider (instead of using HBO GO).

Computer

  1. Go to HBOGO.com and sign in. If your TV provider account has sub-accounts, be sure to sign in with your primary account (sub-accounts can't set parental controls).
  2. In the upper-right corner, click your HBO GO ID and then Parental Controls. If your TV provider supports parental controls, you'll see a message directing you to set your parental controls with your TV provider. If you don't see this message, continue to the next step.
  3. Choose maximum allowed ratings for both Movies and TV. If your TV provider supports sub-accounts, you can set controls for each account individually. The defaults are NC-17 (Unrestricted) and TV-MA (Unrestricted).
  4. Do one of the following:
    • First time? Enter a PIN and then choose Set Parental Controls. You may need to provide an email address in case you forget your PIN.
    • Already have a PIN? Enter your PIN and then choose Save Changes. If you forgot your PIN, see How to reset or change your PIN.

Phone or tablet

  1. Open the HBO GO app and sign in. If your TV provider account has sub-accounts, be sure to sign in with your primary account (sub-accounts can't set parental controls).
  2. Tap the Menu button (in the upper-left), and then tap Settings > Parental Controls. If your TV provider supports parental controls, you'll see a message directing you to set your parental controls with your TV provider. If you don’t see this message, continue to the next step.
  3. Do one of the following:
    • First time? Enter and confirm a 4-digit PIN. You may need to provide an email address in case you forget your PIN.
    • Already have a PIN? Enter your PIN. If you forgot your PIN, see How to reset or change your PIN.
  4. Tap the TV or Movies rating that you want to change, and then choose the maximum allowed rating. If your TV provider supports sub-accounts, you can set controls for each account individually. The defaults are NC-17 (Unrestricted) and TV-MA (Unrestricted).

Note  Your phone or tablet might have settings that restrict what can be watched. If your HBO GO parental controls aren't working as expected, check to see if restrictions are set on your device (e.g. on your iOS device, check for Restrictions or a Profile in Settings > General).

TV or game console

  1. Open the HBO GO app on your device and go to Settings > Parental Controls.
  2. Here you can see your parental control settings along with information about how to change them.

Note  Your TV or gaming console might have settings that restrict what can be watched on that device. To find out if your device supports parental controls, refer to the documentation for your device.

What do I do if parental controls aren't working?

Changes made to your parental controls might not take effect immediately across all devices. If your changes aren't taking effect, follow the instructions below.

Step 1: Sign out and back in

  1. Do one of the following:

    • Computer: In the upper-right corner of the screen, choose your HBO GO ID and then choose Sign Out.
    • Other device: Open the HBO GO app and navigate to Settings > Profile > Sign Out.
  2. Now sign back in to HBO GO and see if your parental control changes are in effect. If they still aren't working, move onto the next step.

Step 2: Restart your device

  1. Turn your device off, wait a moment, and then turn your device back on again.
  2. Open HBO GO and sign in.

Can I create accounts for my kids?

Some TV providers let you create sub-accounts, which you can use to create a separate profile for your kids to access HBO GO. This way you can set parental controls for your kids' sub-account without affecting your primary account. Contact your TV provider to find out if they support sub-accounts for HBO GO. Sub-accounts can't change parental controls. Only the primary account can change parental controls.

If your TV provider doesn't support sub-accounts, then your parental controls will apply to everyone using your HBO GO profile. When you want to watch something that exceeds your parental control ratings, you'll need to change your parental controls, and then set the parental controls back after you're done watching. Or, you can limit the videos your kids can watch with Kids Lock.

How do I turn off parental controls?

To turn off HBO GO parental controls, change the maximum ratings allowed to the following unrestricted settings:

Movies: NC-17 (Unrestricted)

TV: TV-MA (Unrestricted)

If you can't watch all HBO GO content, check to see if you have parental controls set on your device or on your TV provider account. 

What ratings can I choose from?

Parental controls limit which HBO GO shows and movies can be watched based on industry-standard movie and TV ratings. You can set the maximum rating for movies and TV shows separately.

For example, you can set the maximum allowed rating to PG-13 for movies and TV-PG for TV shows. Once set, movies with ratings above PG-13, and TV shows with ratings above TV-PG can’t be played.

You can choose from the following ratings:

Movie ratings: G, PG, PG-13, R, NC-17

TV ratings: TV-Y, TV-Y7, TV-G, TV-PG, TV-14, TV-MA

To learn more about the movie ratings, go to mpaa.org/film-ratings, and for TV rating information, go to fcc.gov/vchip.