Use Safe Search in Yahoo to filter out adult content

Do you remember a time before Google existed, when the World Wide Web was a wild frontier and Netscape 3.0 was the new revolutionary web browser? No? Then I must be much older than you! Well anyway, Yahoo ruled the roost back then and is still one of the top search engines.  Yahoo also has a decent kid’s site making it a popular starting point for the young ‘uns.  So let’s take a look at how to make searching in Yahoo just a bit safer.

Enable Yahoo Safe Search on your Computer

1. From the Yahoo home page, enter a search term and click Search.

2. Over to the right of the Search button, click the Options link and then choose Preferences.

Yahoo Search Preferences

3. In the SafeSearch section of the page, click Edit.Edit SafeSearch filter in Yahoo

4. Change the Safe Search filter to the first option, “Filter out adult Web, video, and image search results – SafeSearch On”.

For those with a Yahoo account, you can LOCK the SafeSearch setting into place.  Just check the box to lock the setting.

Lock Yahoo Safe Search


Read the fine print about locking SafeSearch on Yahoo:

Note: Any user signed in on your computer as 18 or older can change this setting. We recommend periodically checking the SafeSearch Lock settings.

Advisory: Yahoo! SafeSearch is designed to filter out explicit, adult-oriented content from Yahoo! Search results. However, Yahoo! cannot guarantee that all explicit content will be filtered out.”


5. Click Save and then click Finish.

When you log out of your Yahoo account, your child will not be able to change the SafeSearch setting.  Be sure to SIGN OUT from Yahoo before handing the computer back over to your child.  Otherwise they will be able to remove safe search.


Try it!

Before you enable these settings, you may want to run a test to see how this works.  This is my third article on safe search and I was tiring of my test phrase “topless dancers”.  This time I tried “male strippers” before and after setting Safe Search.  (I’m an equal opportunity searcher. :-))

The nice thing about Yahoo (compared to Google) is that even with safe search set to moderate, an image search returns these results:

Results for male strippers may contain adult oriented content. Safe Search must be turned off to display these results.

Just be sure to lock these settings into place.  With no filtering, hunks of flesh will display in your screen.


Enable Yahoo Safe Search on a Mobile Device

In my opinion the best way to block adult-oriented content on a mobile web browser is to use a kid-safe browser.  On iPod touch and iPad you can restrict the default Safari browser, and install an alternative browser that already filters out adult content.  Choose from these kid-friendly browsers for iPod touch.

Other mobile devices, phones, and tablets may not have the same great selection of kid-safe browsers.  If that’s the case, follow these steps to enable Strict Search in Yahoo on a mobile device.  Note that on mobile you cannot LOCK the setting and the only choices are ON or OFF.  That’s why I recommend the kid-safe browsers.

1. Go to Yahoo.

2. Enter a search term and click Search.

3. Scroll down to the bottom of the screen.  Most likely Safe Search is already set to “On”.  If not, click to turn it on.

Safe Search options in Yahoo on mobile device


4. Note again that in the mobile Yahoo site, this setting cannot be locked.


So there you have it, instructions for setting Safe Search filter in Google, Bing and Yahoo.   These are some easy first steps in enabling parental controls on your family computer.  If you’re looking for more robust options, check my Links and Resources page.


More about SafeSearch in Yahoo:

Using Yahoo SafeSearch

Yahoo SafeSearch on Mobile Devices

Yahoo Safely


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  1. Webmum6819 says

    Thanks for a very informative article. I was hoping to find a way to lock yahoo safesearch on tablets, but it seems that it is not possible :( .

    Yahoo are failing parents with this and are falling behind Google, who do allow you to lock the safesearch setting , even on mobile and tablet.

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