How to Set Up PS3 Parental Controls

How to Set Up PS3 Parental Controls

Like movies, video games span a multitude of genres and cover a lot of controversial ground. That means there is the potential for very young kids to run into game content featuring sex, drugs, and rock and roll–game content that’s far removed from the likes of Big Bird’s Sailboat Adventure.

If you’re a parent or a guardian, you might not want your young charge wandering into content that’s not suitable for them. Fortunately, most modern game systems have parental control systems that can help ensure kids can only access games that fall under a certain ESRB rating. Here’s how to activate the parental controls for the PlayStation 3 (PS3).

How to Setup PlayStation 3 Parental Controls:

  1. Turn on your PlayStation and browse to the main menu. If a game or movie is in the disc drive and automatically loads, just press the PS button (located in the middle of the controller) to return to the main menu. If the system asks if you should quit game or movie playback, choose yes.
  2. Scroll over to and select the “Settings” option on the PlayStation 3’s main menu.
  3. Scroll down and select “Security Settings” (hint: a keyhole icon sits nearby).
  4. Navigate to and select the “Parental Controls” settings option.
  5. Enter your system password if prompted, or the default password (0000) if no password has previously been configured.
  6. Choose system restriction levels that correspond with the ESRB video game content ratings you’re comfortable letting your child access. The lower the number, the stricter settings become. The following options restrict content to:
  • “2” – “EC,” or “Early Childhood”–games suitable for children aged 3 and up.
  • “3” – “E” or “Everyone”–games suitable for players aged 6 and up.
  • “4” – “E10+” or “Everyone 10 and Up”– Games suitable for players aged 10 and up.
  • “5” – “T” or “Teen”–games suitable for players aged 13 and up.
  • “9” – “M” or “Mature”–games suitable for players aged 17 and up.
  • “10” is “AO” or “Adults Only”–games suitable for players aged 18 and up.

Hints and Tips

  • You can also block access to online play. Select Internet Browser Start Control and turn it “On.” This will block access to an Internet connection and thus, online play will be disabled.
  • The default passcode for changing security settings is “0000,” which won’t take long for a clever kid to figure out. You can change the passcode by selecting the “Change Password” option. When setting your four-number code, don’t make it a birthday, anniversary or something equally memorable and easily guessable.
  • Bonus info: You can also use the PlayStation 3’s parental controls to restrict kids’ access to Blu-rays and DVDs that have MPAA ratings.
About Nadia Oxford
Nadia is a freelance writer living in Toronto. She played her first game at four, decided games were awesome, and has maintained her position since. She writes for, Slide to Play, GamePro and other publications, and is’s Guide to the Nintendo DS.


  1. When I bought PS3 I had been playing online non-stop for 26 hrs!

  2. In short… PS3 parental control sucks! No options to manually block certain games, nothing at all. It only does everything! Even porn! Suck it SONY!

  3. and also there shoupld be an option that lets a parent control the hours of playtime . for instance i went to bed thinking he was sleeping too, but whrn i got up later to get a drink he was online playing,i truly dont feel like unplugging it all the time just to redo all again every day, Xbox has these option, why not psp3??? parental controls suck on psp3

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