How to Set Up Parental Controls on a Nintendo Wii

Introduction

In This Guide
You'll Learn How To:
  • Understand what Parental Controls are.
  • Change what kind of content a restricted Wii can access.
  • Understand the ESRB rating system.
Before We Begin:
  • Have access to your Wii.
Wii Logo

1 ESRB Ratings

The Entertainment Software Rating Board (ESRB) ratings provide guidance about video games and apps so that you can make informed choices about the ones you deem suitable for your family.

The ESRB is a single group, and only provides opinions on content. They are there to help give you an overview of the themes present in a game, not make decisions what is best for your child.

Parts of ESRB Ratings

  • Rating Categories suggest age appropriateness.
  • Content Descriptors indicate content that may have triggered a particular rating and/or may be of interest or concern.
  • Interactive Elements highlight interactive or online features of a product, including users' ability to interact with each other, the sharing of users' location with other users, if purchases of digital goods or services are offered, and/or if unrestricted internet access is provided.

You can find the ESRB ratings on the front of physical games, with the content descriptor on the back.
Locations for the ESRB ratings

Box Front

A small logo will be printed on the front of the game box, or prominently in the online store for the game.

Rating Pending
ESRB Rating PendingGames, but usually just promotional material for games, that the ESRB hasn't rated yet.
Early Childhood
ESRB Early ChildhoodGames designed for a preschool audience. No content that parents would find objectionable.
Everyone
ESRB EveryoneGames that the ESRB believes to be "generally suitable for all ages". There may be infrequent mild or cartoon violence.
Everyone 10+
ESRB Everyone 10+Games that the ESRB believes is still acceptable to everyone, but may have more mild or cartoon violence, mild language, crude humor, or suggestive content.
Teen
ESRB TeenGames the ESRB finds suitable for teenagers. Things such as a moderate amount of violence, some language or adult themes, and crude humor.
Mature
ESRB MatureGames the ESRB believes is generally suitable for people 17 or over. Realistic violence, strong adult themes, language, and so forth.
Adults Only
ESRB Adults OnlyGames the ESRB believes are only suitable for adults 18 and over. Adult themes throughout, graphic depictions of adult themes, violence, and gambling with real-world money.

Content Descriptor

On the back of the box, a more expanded list of information about the rating, and a small list of why the rating was given is shown.
Example ESRB Content Descriptor

The primary information is repeated, here, just like the logo on the front. To the right, further information detailing what, exactly, gave it that rating. This is so you can make a more informed decision for your child.

ESRB
For further information, as well as to check the ratings before leaving home, you can always check the ESRB Website.

2 What Are Parental Controls

Parental Controls are a method you to customize or use preset options to control and restrict various settings on your Wii.

You can choose to restrict the following Wii features:

  • Highest Game Rating Allowed: Restrict all usage (as well as purchase through the Nintendo eShop) of software exceeding the rating level of your choice.

Parental controls will only apply to Nintendo Wii games. If you have a Nintendo Wii that is capable of playing Nintendo Gamecube games, parental controls will not apply to those games.

If your Wii is connected to the internet you have the ability to customize the following:

  • Internet Channel: If you have downloaded the Opera browser (subject to availability) via the Wii Shop Channel, it is possible to allow or restrict use of the browser.
  • News Channel: Control access to the News Channel.
  • Wii Messages: You can disable the Wii console's ability to send and receive messages from other Wii consoles. Wii consoles can only send and receive messages if both of the Wii users have entered each others Wii numbers in their Address Books. Please note that your system will still receive system updates and related business messages from Nintendo regardless of this Parental Controls setting.
  • Use of Wii Points: This setting controls the use of Wii Points, which are used to acquire downloads from the Wii Shop Channel. If this setting is on, users will be required to enter the 4-digit PIN in order to use Wii Points to download items from the Wii Shop Channel.

3 First Time Setup of Parental Controls

The Nintendo Wii will prompt you to configure parental controls if you're just setting up the console for the first time. If this is something that you previously skipped, these instructions will take you through accessing and configuring parental controls on your console for the first time.

Parental controls will only apply to Nintendo Wii games. If you have a Nintendo Wii that is capable of playing Nintendo Gamecube games, parental controls will not apply to those games.

Nintendo Wii Parental Controls First Time Set Up

  1. Select the Wii System button.
    main menu with wii button highlighted
  2. Select Wii System Settings.
    Wii system settings
  3. Select the blue arrow to reach the Wii System Settings 2 menu options.
    Nintendo wii blue button for second page
  4. Select Parental Controls.
    Parental control button
  5. Select Yes.
    Parental controls yes button
  6. Select the empty PIN field, and an input screen will appear. Input the desired PIN and select OK.
    Choosing your 4-digit pin
  7. You will be returned to the previous screen. Select OK to proceed.
    Wii confirming pin
  8. Repeat this process to confirm your PIN, then select OK.
    Re-entering the pin
  9. Choose a secret question in case you forget your PIN. Select the down arrow to cycle through questions. Select OK to answer.
    Secret question
  10. Answer your secret question.
    Answering your secret question
  11. Select Game Settings and PIN.
    Game Settings and pin button
  12. From here you can confirm your PIN and secret question. Select Highest Game Rating Allowed.
    Selecting highest game rating allowed
  13. You can adjust the Highest Game Rating Allowed to be played on the Wii console using the ESRB rating system. Select OK when you've selected the desired rating.
    Video game control settings
  14. Select Confirm.
    Selecting confirm
  15. Select Other Settings.
    Other settings
  16. If your Wii console is also connected to the Internet, you have the ability to place limits on the following online features:
    Restricting other settings
    • Internet Channel: If you have downloaded the Opera browser (subject to availability) via the Wii Shop Channel, it is possible to allow or restrict use of the browser.
    • News Channel: Control access to the News Channel.
    • Wii Messages: You can disable the Wii console's ability to send and receive messages from other Wii consoles. Wii consoles can only send and receive messages if both of the Wii users have entered each others Wii numbers in their Address Books. Please note that your system will still receive system updates and related business messages from Nintendo regardless of this Parental Controls setting.
    • Use of Wii Points: This setting controls the use of Wii Points, which are used to acquire downloads from the Wii Shop Channel. If this setting is on, users will be required to enter the 4-digit PIN in order to use Wii Points to download items from the Wii Shop Channel.
  17. Confirm the setting is as desired by selecting the Settings Complete button on the bottom right corner.
    Nintendo Wii settings complete button

? What would you like to do?

  1. Adjust parental controls
  2. Delete settings
  3. I lost my PIN

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In This Guide
You'll Learn How To:
  • Understand what Parental Controls are.
  • Change what kind of content a restricted Wii can access.
  • Understand the ESRB rating system.
Before We Begin:
  • Have access to your Wii.
Wii Logo

The Entertainment Software Rating Board (ESRB) ratings provide guidance about video games and apps so that you can make informed choices about the ones you deem suitable for your family.

The ESRB is a single group, and only provides opinions on content. They are there to help give you an overview of the themes present in a game, not make decisions what is best for your child.

Parts of ESRB Ratings

  • Rating Categories suggest age appropriateness.
  • Content Descriptors indicate content that may have triggered a particular rating and/or may be of interest or concern.
  • Interactive Elements highlight interactive or online features of a product, including users' ability to interact with each other, the sharing of users' location with other users, if purchases of digital goods or services are offered, and/or if unrestricted internet access is provided.

You can find the ESRB ratings on the front of physical games, with the content descriptor on the back.
Locations for the ESRB ratings

Box Front

A small logo will be printed on the front of the game box, or prominently in the online store for the game.

Rating Pending
ESRB Rating PendingGames, but usually just promotional material for games, that the ESRB hasn't rated yet.
Early Childhood
ESRB Early ChildhoodGames designed for a preschool audience. No content that parents would find objectionable.
Everyone
ESRB EveryoneGames that the ESRB believes to be "generally suitable for all ages". There may be infrequent mild or cartoon violence.
Everyone 10+
ESRB Everyone 10+Games that the ESRB believes is still acceptable to everyone, but may have more mild or cartoon violence, mild language, crude humor, or suggestive content.
Teen
ESRB TeenGames the ESRB finds suitable for teenagers. Things such as a moderate amount of violence, some language or adult themes, and crude humor.
Mature
ESRB MatureGames the ESRB believes is generally suitable for people 17 or over. Realistic violence, strong adult themes, language, and so forth.
Adults Only
ESRB Adults OnlyGames the ESRB believes are only suitable for adults 18 and over. Adult themes throughout, graphic depictions of adult themes, violence, and gambling with real-world money.

Content Descriptor

On the back of the box, a more expanded list of information about the rating, and a small list of why the rating was given is shown.
Example ESRB Content Descriptor

The primary information is repeated, here, just like the logo on the front. To the right, further information detailing what, exactly, gave it that rating. This is so you can make a more informed decision for your child.

ESRB
For further information, as well as to check the ratings before leaving home, you can always check the ESRB Website.

Parental Controls are a method you to customize or use preset options to control and restrict various settings on your Wii.

You can choose to restrict the following Wii features:

  • Highest Game Rating Allowed: Restrict all usage (as well as purchase through the Nintendo eShop) of software exceeding the rating level of your choice.

Parental controls will only apply to Nintendo Wii games. If you have a Nintendo Wii that is capable of playing Nintendo Gamecube games, parental controls will not apply to those games.

If your Wii is connected to the internet you have the ability to customize the following:

  • Internet Channel: If you have downloaded the Opera browser (subject to availability) via the Wii Shop Channel, it is possible to allow or restrict use of the browser.
  • News Channel: Control access to the News Channel.
  • Wii Messages: You can disable the Wii console's ability to send and receive messages from other Wii consoles. Wii consoles can only send and receive messages if both of the Wii users have entered each others Wii numbers in their Address Books. Please note that your system will still receive system updates and related business messages from Nintendo regardless of this Parental Controls setting.
  • Use of Wii Points: This setting controls the use of Wii Points, which are used to acquire downloads from the Wii Shop Channel. If this setting is on, users will be required to enter the 4-digit PIN in order to use Wii Points to download items from the Wii Shop Channel.

The Nintendo Wii will prompt you to configure parental controls if you're just setting up the console for the first time. If this is something that you previously skipped, these instructions will take you through accessing and configuring parental controls on your console for the first time.

Parental controls will only apply to Nintendo Wii games. If you have a Nintendo Wii that is capable of playing Nintendo Gamecube games, parental controls will not apply to those games.

Nintendo Wii Parental Controls First Time Set Up

  1. Select the Wii System button.
    main menu with wii button highlighted
  2. Select Wii System Settings.
    Wii system settings
  3. Select the blue arrow to reach the Wii System Settings 2 menu options.
    Nintendo wii blue button for second page
  4. Select Parental Controls.
    Parental control button
  5. Select Yes.
    Parental controls yes button
  6. Select the empty PIN field, and an input screen will appear. Input the desired PIN and select OK.
    Choosing your 4-digit pin
  7. You will be returned to the previous screen. Select OK to proceed.
    Wii confirming pin
  8. Repeat this process to confirm your PIN, then select OK.
    Re-entering the pin
  9. Choose a secret question in case you forget your PIN. Select the down arrow to cycle through questions. Select OK to answer.
    Secret question
  10. Answer your secret question.
    Answering your secret question
  11. Select Game Settings and PIN.
    Game Settings and pin button
  12. From here you can confirm your PIN and secret question. Select Highest Game Rating Allowed.
    Selecting highest game rating allowed
  13. You can adjust the Highest Game Rating Allowed to be played on the Wii console using the ESRB rating system. Select OK when you've selected the desired rating.
    Video game control settings
  14. Select Confirm.
    Selecting confirm
  15. Select Other Settings.
    Other settings
  16. If your Wii console is also connected to the Internet, you have the ability to place limits on the following online features:
    Restricting other settings
    • Internet Channel: If you have downloaded the Opera browser (subject to availability) via the Wii Shop Channel, it is possible to allow or restrict use of the browser.
    • News Channel: Control access to the News Channel.
    • Wii Messages: You can disable the Wii console's ability to send and receive messages from other Wii consoles. Wii consoles can only send and receive messages if both of the Wii users have entered each others Wii numbers in their Address Books. Please note that your system will still receive system updates and related business messages from Nintendo regardless of this Parental Controls setting.
    • Use of Wii Points: This setting controls the use of Wii Points, which are used to acquire downloads from the Wii Shop Channel. If this setting is on, users will be required to enter the 4-digit PIN in order to use Wii Points to download items from the Wii Shop Channel.
  17. Confirm the setting is as desired by selecting the Settings Complete button on the bottom right corner.
    Nintendo Wii settings complete button

Once parental controls have been configured, you can easily go back and alter those settings at any time.

Parental controls will only apply to Nintendo Wii games. If you have a Nintendo Wii that is capable of playing Nintendo Gamecube games, parental controls will not apply to those games.

Adjusting Parental Controls

  1. Select the Wii System button.
    main menu with wii button highlighted
  2. Select Wii System Settings.
    Wii system settings
  3. Select the blue arrow to reach the Wii System Settings 2 menu options.
    Nintendo wii blue button for second page
  4. Select Parental Controls.
    Parental control button
  5. Select Yes to change parental controls.
    Selecting yes
  6. Enter your PIN, then select OK.
    Entering your pin
  7. From here you can confirm your PIN and secret question. To change the game restrictions Select Highest Game Rating Allowed.
    Selecting highest game rating allowed
  8. You can adjust the Highest Game Rating Allowed to be played on the Wii console using the ESRB rating system. Select OK when you've selected the desired rating.
    Video game control settings
  9. Select Confirm.
    Selecting confirm
  10. Select Other Settings.
    Other settings
  11. If your Wii console is also connected to the Internet, you have the ability to place limits on the following online features:
    Restricting other settings
    • Internet Channel: If you have downloaded the Opera browser (subject to availability) via the Wii Shop Channel, it is possible to allow or restrict use of the browser.
    • News Channel: Control access to the News Channel.
    • Wii Messages: You can disable the Wii console's ability to send and receive messages from other Wii consoles. Wii consoles can only send and receive messages if both of the Wii users have entered each others Wii numbers in their Address Books. Please note that your system will still receive system updates and related business messages from Nintendo regardless of this Parental Controls setting.
    • Use of Wii Points: This setting controls the use of Wii Points, which are used to acquire downloads from the Wii Shop Channel. If this setting is on, users will be required to enter the 4-digit PIN in order to use Wii Points to download items from the Wii Shop Channel.
  12. Confirm the setting is as desired by selecting the Settings Complete button on the bottom right corner.
    Nintendo Wii settings complete button

Removing the parental control settings from your Wii in the case that your child no longer needs them, or your console is being sold or given away is easy to do.

Deleting Parental Control Settings

  1. Select the Wii System button.
    main menu with wii button highlighted
  2. Select Wii System Settings.
    Wii system settings
  3. Select the blue arrow to reach the Wii System Settings 2 menu options.
    Nintendo wii blue button for second page
  4. Choose Parental Controls.
    Parental control button
  5. Select Yes to change parental controls.
    Selecting yes
  6. Enter your PIN, then select OK.
    Entering your pin
  7. Select Clear Settings.
    Clearing settings

Unfortunately if you have forgotten both your PIN and your secret question for Parental Controls, you'll need to prove your identity and the fact you're an adult to Nintendo.

This requires a credit card and a trip to https://parentalcontrols.nintendo.com/

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