K12USA Support Knowledge Base

YouTube Restricted Mode



Google has made changes to the way they are limiting access to YouTube, they are moving away from "YouTube for Schools" and are now recommending "YouTube Restricted Mode".  Restricted Mode is different from YouTube for Schools in that YouTube for School was content ONLY from Educational content providers where Restricted mode can allow videos from ANY source as long as they are not deemed objectionable by Google. So there may be videos that are not objectionable but are not appropriate for a school environment since they do not provide any educational value. Also, there is no way to block a video you do find inappropriate, all you can do is flag it and hope Google will mark it as restricted. But if you are Google Apps for Education school this is the Google recommended solution.

Information from Google about "YouTube Restricted Mode": Google's official announcement from the YouTube for Schools webpage. As of July 1, 2016, "YouTube for Schools" will no longer be available. We are offering current YouTube for Schools users and all Google Apps users a new way restrict YouTube content with YouTube settings configurable in Google Apps for Work, Education, and Government. Non-profit educational institutions can sign up for free access to Google Apps for Education. If you choose not to use Apps for Education, you can still choose to restrict YouTube on your network."

Restriction levels

In the Admin console, at Permissions, there are 4 settings (When any version of Restricted Mode is enabled, users can’t see comments on the videos they watch):

  • Strict Restricted YouTube access—This setting is the most restrictive. Strict Restricted Mode does not block all videos, but works as a filter to screen out many videos based on an automated system, while leaving some videos still available for viewing. This setting is enabled by default when you choose the option “restrict content for logged-in users in your organization”.
  • Moderate Restricted YouTube access—This is similar to Strict Restricted Mode but makes a much larger collection of videos available.
  • Unrestricted YouTube access—This means both Restricted Modes—Strict and Moderate—are off. Only apply this setting if you want to allow users in your organization to have unrestricted YouTube access.

    Note: Users with this setting enabled can browse all of YouTube when signed-in even if you’ve also set network-level restrictions.

  • Can approve videos—This setting allows you to designate individuals or organizational units to approve additional videos so that signed-in users in their organization can watch them. Individuals who manually approve videos and channels should share those via links, since they won't appear in YouTube search results, homepages, or recommendations. For details, see adding YouTube video and channel approvers.

What is YouTube Restricted Mode? "Restricted Mode is an opt-in setting available on the computer and mobile site that helps screen out potentially objectionable content that you may prefer not to see or don't want others in your family to stumble across while enjoying YouTube. You can think of this as a parental control setting for YouTube." 

How does Restricted Mode work? "While it's not 100 percent accurate, we use community flagging, age-restrictions, and other signals to identify and filter out inappropriate content."

If you are Google Apps for Education School then Google's recommended solution to Restrict YouTube content on your network or managed devices is to configure Domain Name System (DNS) on your network to add a Canonical Name (CNAME) for the following hostnames: 


*** You DO NOT need to do this step, we do this for you when you enable "Force YouTube Restricted Mode" under task center.

For Strict Restricted YouTube access, add as a CNAME for these domains. For Moderate Restricted YouTube access, add as a CNAME for these domains. "Restrict YouTube content on your network or managed devices"

Applies To


More Information

To Enable YouTube Restricted mode on SecureSchool:

1. Login into SecureSchool web interface, under Task Center, check Force YouTube Restricted Mode.

2. Make the following sites UNFILTERED to allow access YouTube for your users.

  1. Login to SecureSchool Web interface >
  2. Website Filtering >
  3. Website Access >
  4. Add a Site >
  5. Website Address > LIST BELOW
  6. Reason for Changes >Allow Access to YouTube
  7. Filtering > Unfiltered
  8. Port Access > Check > Add Port Access Rules
  9. Select additional Filter Sets if needed
  10. Submit
  11. Repeat Steps 4 thru 10 for: , , , ,,  and
  12. Commit Changes and Restart Services

Sign into the Google Admin console and complete the following:

  1. From your dashboard, click Apps > Additional Google Services.
  2. In the list of services, click YouTube.
  3. On the YouTube settings page, click Content settings.
  4. Check "Signed in users in your organization can only watch restricted and approved videos"
  5. Save Settings 


Know Issue with a missing "Approve Button"

  1. The issue is that some channels had a missing "Approve" button when trying to approve a whole channel.
  2. If the approve button is missing, then click the videos tab and start watching one of the videos from the channel.
  3. Once it starts playing, hit the back button on your browser until you get back to the channel.
  4. Approve button should be there. 




Last Modified: 4 Years Ago
Last Modified By: sburns
Type: INFO
Level: Beginner
Rated 2 stars based on 35 votes.
Article has been viewed 54K times.
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