How to unlock parental controls if you forgot your password

Updated February 21, 2017

Many home entertainment devices come with parental controls that restrict unsuitable TV programs, movies or other content from viewing by children through the use of a password or PIN code. Parental controls act as a deterrent more than a truly secure way of blocking content, and ways exist of defeating the lock without entering the PIN. This is useful if you forget your password and lose access to programs or movies.

Check the instruction manual; there is sometimes a built-in defeat for the parental controls should you forget your code. Bypass codes involve pressing a particular combination of buttons on the remote control. Pressing the "Stop" button four times at the parental control code screen on a Sharp DVD player erases the current password, for example.

Perform a factory reset via the main menu. Many home entertainment devices provide the option of restoring all settings to the way they were when the product left the factory. A factory reset erases the parental control password as well as any other changes you may have made to the set-up.

Unplug the device from its electricity supply and wait 5 minutes. Disconnecting the power supply sometimes has the same effect as performing a factory reset. Reconnect the power and try watching your program or movie again. You might lose other settings or preferences during this process.

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