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YouTube is a platform with content for anyone and everyone to enjoy, but that doesn’t mean that every video on YouTube is safe to view. To help make the platform safer for children and teenagers to enjoy, YouTube restricts certain mature or potentially dangerous content so that only adults can view it.
This is YouTube’s Restricted Mode feature in action, allowing parents and network administrators to block YouTube videos and channels that contain potentially unsafe topics from view. Here’s everything you need to know about YouTube Restricted Mode, including how to enable or disable it on your account.
What is YouTube Restricted Mode?
To help you understand YouTube Restricted Mode, it’s important to learn a bit more about the type of content that Google permits on its platform.
When a YouTube channel is created, the creator has to make sure that the content they’re publishing meets certain guidelines, meaning that they’re safe for YouTube’s wider audience to view. This means that videos that contain sexual, hateful, or dangerous content, including bad language or adult themes, aren’t usually permitted.
Videos that break the YouTube community guidelines (as these rules are known) risk being demonetized, blocked, or deleted. These decisions are made through manual review or account-wide AI screening. Restricted Mode is applied even if the video isn’t bad enough to breach these guidelines, but still contains questionable content.
This limits the video’s audience to signed-in YouTube users who are old enough to view the content. Restricted videos typically won’t appear using the search tool, and could (following manual review) be deleted at a later date. If your account has Restricted Mode switched on, you won’t be able to view restricted videos like these.
This is a good (although not foolproof) parental control feature that helps to limit the exposure of dangerous or unsafe content to younger audiences. The feature is also useful in certain work or public settings, such as on a workplace PC, where viewing certain content may not be appropriate.
How to Enable or Disable YouTube Restricted Mode on PC or Mac
Restricted Mode is a safety feature you can only disable if you’re signed in with your Google account. You’ll need to be over 18 years old to disable this feature, as YouTube automatically restricts potentially unsafe content for underage users.
Along with blocking the video from view, it also blocks the user from viewing or adding comments to it. You can disable the feature in your Google account settings if you’re over 18. If you’re under 18, you won’t be able to disable Restricted Mode, as the feature is restricted based on your date of birth.
- To enable or disable YouTube Restricted Mode on a PC or Mac, open the YouTube website in your browser. If you’re not signed in already, select the Sign In button in the top right.
- Once you’ve signed in, return to the YouTube homepage if you’re not redirected automatically. Select your profile icon in the top right, then select Restricted Mode from the list.
- To quickly enable or disable YouTube Restricted Mode, select the Activate Restricted Mode slider. The slider will turn grey when the mode is deactivated and blue when it is activated. This will only temporarily activate (or deactivate) the mode in your open browser—you (and other users) can easily disable it by repeating these steps.
- If you want to enable Restricted Mode permanently in your current browser, select the slider to enable Restricted Mode, then select the Lock Restricted Mode on this browser link below it. This forces anyone using your current browser to provide your password to remove the lock in the future.
- You’ll need to sign in again at this point, so follow the on-screen instructions to do so, using your Google account’s username and password to authenticate. Once you’ve done so, Restricted Mode will remain enabled and locked in place with the slider grayed out, meaning you can’t change the setting. You can disable it by selecting your profile icon > Restricted Mode > Unlock restricted mode on this browser and authenticating with the correct account password.
The steps above should help you to enable or disable Restricted Mode in your browser, but the steps aren’t account-wide, and you’ll need to repeat the steps on other devices.
How to Enable or Disable YouTube Restricted Mode on Mobile Devices
If you’re using the YouTube app on Android, iPhone, or iPad devices, you’ll need to ensure that you’re signed in with the correct account before you proceed. The steps will vary depending on if you’re using an Android or Apple device.
On Android Devices
- On Android, open the YouTube app and select your profile icon in the top right.
- In the Account menu, select the Settings option.
- In the Settings menu, tap the General option.
- To enable or disable Restricted Mode, tap the Restricted Mode slider. If the slider is gray, the mode is disabled. If the slider is blue, the mode is enabled. The setting will only apply to your current device.
On iPhone or iPad Devices
- To enable or disable YouTube Restricted Mode on iPhone or iPad, open the YouTube app and sign in. Once you’ve signed in, select your profile icon in the top left.
- From there, select Settings to access the app settings menu.
- In the Settings menu, select the slider next to the Restricted Mode option to enable or disable the feature. If the slider turns gray, Restricted Mode is disabled on your device (but no other devices), while a blue slider means Restricted Mode is enabled.
Protecting Yourself on YouTube
Even if you enable YouTube Restricted Mode, it isn’t a perfect solution, and some unsafe videos may fall through the gaps. If that’s the case, you may need to strongly consider some YouTube alternatives that offer better protection, especially if you’re worried about children and teenagers viewing unsafe content.
There are plenty of YouTube tips and shortcuts you can try to make better use of the platform if you’re an adult, however. If you want to ditch the ads, you should consider a YouTube Premium subscription (as long as YouTube is working properly). If you’re having trouble, don’t forget that you can delete your YouTube account completely.
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Whether you’re working from home or from an office, there’s always that time when you get bored and need to find online entertainment for yourself. That’s when people normally turn to social networks or YouTube. The downside of this is that you immediately get sucked into the content on these sites, and the next thing you know you’re running late for a meeting.
A better alternative is a quick browse through one of the pointless websites that you can find online. Here are some of the best useless websites we’ve found to kill time and have fun online.
Best Pointless Sites to Kill Time Staring at Your Screen
Sometimes you just need to stare at your screen mindlessly. The following websites are perfect for when you’re looking for the most basic form of entertainment.
This one’s old but gold. Watching Grass Grow has been around since 2002 and still has its loyal visitors. The website delivers on what it promises: you get to watch the grass grow on the lawn of the website’s owner. It’s streaming from a live webcam, so if you’re lucky, you’ll get to watch the guy mow the lawn, alone or with his family.
2. Cat Bounce
If you’re not patient enough to see the true value of watching growing grass, try watching cats bounce all over your screen instead. Cat Bounce is exactly that – a website where you can watch cats bounce back and forth. When you select Make it rain, you get a whole bunch of cats falling down from the top of your screen. A perfect link to send to a friend who’s been feeling down.
MapCrunch is perfect for anyone who misses traveling and wants to travel vicariously without leaving the house. Follow the link and explore a random street somewhere in the world via the Google map street view.
4. Plasma Globe
Do you remember playing with a touch-sensitive plasma globe at the science museum as a kid? This website is an online version of that. You can use the cursor to move the color around the globe, or do nothing and see how the colors move around and change by itself.
Best Useless Websites to Play Pointless Games Online
When you need a break, playing games is one of the best ways to entertain yourself and blow off steam. Playing pointless games can be even more fun, especially if you’re not doing it alone but with your friends or colleagues. Here are some of the best completely useless games that you can play online in between tasks.
The point of the game (if there’s any) is to find the invisible cow among other sounds that you hear when moving your cursor around the screen. You’ll need your audio on to play this game, so make sure you’re not disturbing anyone or wear noise cancelling headphones before you start playing.
Whenever you’re bored and feel like you need to get your mind off of things, use the BoredButton. When you press the button, it’ll take you to a random meme, quiz, game, or a fun article. You can keep pressing the button if you don’t like what you’re seeing. The possibilities here are endless.
Remember when fidget spinners were a thing? Even though they were first invented back in the 90s, fidget spinner became a trending toy only in 2017. If you’re one of the people who still enjoy them and feel like they help your fidgeting habit, you can now spend time playing with a fidget spinner online.
Open the website and move your cursor anywhere on your screen. Within a few seconds the site will find a photo with someone pointing exactly at where your cursor is placed. There’s no way to find out how many different pictures there are of various “pointers”, but some of them are bound to make you smile or even chuckle.
Best Links to Share with Friends & Colleagues
While any of those links can be shared with friends or coworkers, some of these websites are built to be enjoyed with another person.
If you’re human and use the internet, you probably know someone who likes Doge. Now you can share the amazing experience of the Long Doge Challenge with them.
Follow the link and find a beautiful graphic with an endless Doge. Don’t believe it’s endless? Scroll down and see how many wows you can collect. You can turn it into a competition with another Doge lover, and even print out your results afterwards.
Are you and your friends fans of Pokemon? You can test your knowledge in Real-time Pokedraw. Send the link to another person and ask them to enter the game at the same time as you. You’ll both get 45 seconds to draw a Pokemon shown next to the canvas. Compare your results and see whose drawing is closer to the original.
Is someone you know having a tough day at work? Send them the link to Scream Into The Void. The site lets you type absolutely anything and send it out into the void – an online alternative to screaming something out when you just can’t take it anymore.
Finally, you can invite a friend or a colleague to do the most pointless challenge of them all – do completely nothing for 2 minutes. You might not realize how long 2 minutes can last until you have to sit still without so much as moving your cursor. If you do move it, the timer on the website starts all over again.
Other Ways to Kill Time Online
These websites are just the tip of the iceberg of all of the useless sites that exist on the internet. Besides, there are plenty of other ways to kill time online, like playing free browser games or a virtual version of scrabble with friends.
What do you do when you want to have fun and kill time online? What fun pointless websites did we forget to mention? Share your experience with us in the comments below.
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When people are looking to get rid of stuff in their house, or are searching for a hard-to-find product, many go to eBay. It’s the biggest and most popular online auction site out there.
However, eBay isn’t always the best option. Whether you’re unhappy with eBay’s poor customer service or scared of falling for one of the numerous buyer and seller scams, there are plenty of alternatives that you can use. Here are some of the best online auction sites that specialize in different categories of products that you can try.
Etsy is an online auction site that’s basically an eBay for arts and crafts. This includes jewelry, art, house products, and more. You can even find things like artsy Google Docs resume templates on Etsy.
Getting started with Etsy is easy. As a seller, you simply need to create your unique username and select an online shop that you’ll use to sell your products. Every listing on Etsy will cost you $0.20. Aside from that, you can set your own prices for your products. As a buyer, all you need is an email address and a password to create an account on Etsy to start buying.
Etsy has been around for over a decade now, and millions of sellers and buyers know and use the platform. Whether you’re interested in buying crafts or selling your own, Etsy is the perfect platform. Etsy is also a great place to sell your photos online.
Best for: Handcrafted products and all things vintage
If you’re into arts and crafts, don’t forget to check out Sotheby’s. Unlike Etsy, Sotheby’s is targeted more towards those looking to sell or buy antiques, luxury and collectible items. On Sotheby’s, you can buy and sell items in different categories, including antiques, jewelry, all sorts of art objects, and even wine.
Like eBay, Sotheby’s also offers plenty of items sold at a list price. Sotheby’s also offers financing if you need it. To get started on Sotheby’s as a seller or buyer, you need to create an account. As a seller, you’ll also have a detailed description of your item, pictures, exact dimensions, and any documentation you have to show how you came to obtain this item.
Best for: Antiques and collectibles
Copart is an online auto auction site that operates in 11 countries in Europe, Middle East, North and South America. Copart gained its popularity because anyone, including individuals, businesses, and dealers can buy and sell vehicles and car parts using the platform. You can also find used wholesale, salvage cars, trucks, boats, ATVs, and SUVs on Copart.
When browsing through listings, you’ll find detailed descriptions and photos to assess the condition of each vehicle. Once you’ve chosen the title you want, you can start bidding on it even without a dealer’s license and the whole process is complete online. Copart has a calculator that you can use to find out shipping costs.
To get started with Copart, you need to sign up on the site and select one of the membership tiers: Guest, Basic, or Premier. Guest tier is completely free but only allows you to browse the listings and create watchlists. Basic and Premier both give you bidding and buying power and start at $59 per year.
Best for: Cars
Liquidation is an online auction site that offers items from different categories, including clothing, accessories, jewelry, houseware, tools, etc.. It’s different from other auction sites, since it doesn’t offer items from individuals, but rather sells items from overstocked manufacturers. That means you can only register on Liquidation as a buyer, not a seller.
You can find both new and old products on Liquidation, so pay attention to the item’s condition before finalizing your purchase. Liquidation is a great place for anyone looking to buy discounted computers or computer parts, as well as consumer electronics. It’s also one of the few places where you can find items that are no longer available from other sources and manufacturers.
Best for: Consumer electronics
If you’re looking to buy real estate online, Auction.com is the best place for that. The site operates in the U.S. and offers foreclosed, short-sale, and bank-owned properties. You can purchase a property and finalize the deal within 5 weeks – impressive speed for real estate auctions that normally take several months.
The properties on Auction.com have detailed descriptions and pictures of both the outside and the inside (if the place is vacant and not currently occupied). The listings are sold as-is, so you should do your research before placing a bid. If you require financing, you need to take care of it before bidding on the site, since closing can happen very quickly.
Best for: Real estate
If you’re looking for an eBay alternative that’s closest to the original, give Mercari a try. It’s an easy-to-use online auction platform that’s similar to eBay in many ways. Mercari offers approximately the same number of product categories as eBay.
Mercari has a reputation of a beginner-friendly “selling app”. There are hundreds of thousands of new items listed on the site every day, so you can buy and sell almost anything on Mercari. All you need to get started is to create an account on the site or the mobile app.
Best for: Used items & finding the best deals on everything
How to Get the Best Deal at an Online Auction
Shopping at online auction sites can be fun if you know what you’re doing. However, finding the best deal can be very time-consuming and frustrating. This process is made easy with price-comparison websites. You can use them to track product prices online before placing your bids online.
Do you browse online auction sites? What’s your favorite eBay alternative? Share your experience with online shopping in the comments section below.
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