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 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.

Note   Parental controls restrict what can be played, while Kids lock limits where you can browse. For information about this, see How do I restrict what my kids can watch?

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.

Important   Parental controls are saved with your HBO GO profile. If you want to have different parental controls for different people in your household, you'll need to create a sub-account with your TV provider. For more information about this, see Can I create a second account for my kids?

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.

To set or change parental controls

If your TV provider supports parental controls, you'll need to set parental controls with your TV provider (instead of using an HBO GO app or at HBOGO.com).

Computer

To set or change parental controls, follow these steps:

  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.
  3. 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.
  4. Choose maximum allowed ratings for Movies and TV. The defaults are NC-17 and TV-MA.

    Note   If your TV provider supports sub-accounts and you've created a sub-account, you can set different maximum ratings for your primary account and all of your sub-accounts. For more information, see Can I create a second account for my kids?

  5. Do one of the following:

    • 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.
    • Already have a PIN? Enter your PIN, and then click Save Changes (parental controls and Kids lock share the same PIN). If you forgot your PIN, see How to reset or change your PIN.

Now 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.

 

Phone or tablet

To set or change parental controls, follow these steps:

  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, 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. The defaults are NC-17 (Unrestricted) and TV-MA (Unrestricted).

    Note If your TV provider supports sub-accounts and you've created a sub-account, you can set different maximum ratings for your primary account and your sub-accounts. For more information, see Can I create a second account for my kids?

  4. Do one of the following:
    • First time? Enter and confirm a PIN. You'll need to provide an email address in case you forget your PIN.
    • Already have a PIN? Enter your PIN (parental controls and Kids lock share the same PIN). If you forgot your PIN, see How to reset or change your PIN
  5. Tap Save Changes.

Now 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.

Notes   

  • Changes made to your parental controls might not take effect immediately across all devices. If a parental controls change is not taking effect, see I changed my parental controls, but my other devices haven't updated. Why?
  • Your phone or tablet might have device-specific settings that restrict what can be watched. If your HBO GO parental controls are not working as expected, check to see if parental controls are set on your device (for example, check for Restrictions or a Profile in Settings > General on your device). 

Connected TV device or game console

To see your parental control settings:

  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 device-specific settings that restrict what can be watched. To find out if your device supports parental controls, refer to the documentation for your device.

To turn off parental controls

To turn off parental controls, use the steps above to change the maximum allowed ratings to the following default settings:

Movies: NC-17 (unrestricted)

TV: TV-MA (unrestricted)