How to use parental controls with HBO GO

Parental controls limit which HBO GO shows and movies can be watched based on industry-standard movie and TV ratings. 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.

You can set the maximum rating for movies and TV shows separately. 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.

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.

Note: Parental controls restrict what can be played, while Kids Lock limits where you can browse. For information about Kids Lock, see Restricting what your kids watch with Kids Lock.

To set or change parental controls

You can change the parental controls for HBO GO in up to three places: on your device, with your TV provider, or in HBO GO itself. For more information about setting 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 an HBO GO app or at HBOGO.com).

To set or change parental controls in the HBO GO app, find your device below and then follow the steps:

Computer

  1. Go to HBOGO.com and sign in to your primary account (you can’t set parental controls when signed in with a sub-account).
  2. In the upper-right corner, click your HBO GO ID, and then click 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 Movies and TV. If you have sub-accounts, you can set the controls for each account individually. The defaults are NC-17 (Unrestricted) and TV-MA (Unrestricted).
  4. Do one of the following:
    • Create a PIN. First time? Enter and confirm a PIN, and then click Enable Parental Controls. You'll need to provide an email address in case you forget your PIN.
    • Enter your PIN. Already have a PIN? Enter it and then click 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 to your primary account (you can't set parental controls when signed in with a sub-account).
  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. Tap the TV or Movies rating that you want to change, and then choose the maximum allow rating. If you have sub-accounts, you can set the controls for each account individually. The defaults are NC-17 (Unrestricted) and TV-MA (Unrestricted).
  4. Do one of the following:
    • Create a PIN. First time? Enter and confirm a PIN. You'll need to provide an email address in case you forget your PIN.
    • Enter your PIN. Enter your PIN if you already have one. If you forgot your PIN, see How to reset or change your PIN.
  5. Tap Save Changes.

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

Connected TV device or game console

  1. Open the HBO GO app on your device.
  2. Navigate to Settings > Parental Controls. Your maximum allowed ratings for Movies and TV shows are shown along with information about how to change your parental control settings.

Note: Your connected TV or game console might have settings that restrict what can be watched only 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.

  1. Sign out and back in to HBO GO
    1. Sign out of HBO GO by doing 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.
  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 account 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.

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.