HomePod Mini Ignoring Family Explicit Content Settings and Simply Not Working

Homepod Mini

Sudden panic set in as I walked by my child's room and heard the lyric from Monsters by All Time Low -- "I don't mind while you f**k up my life"

Yes, I just had the realization that the critical parental controls on the Homepod Mini's in my children's rooms were no longer working as intended. This set off a multi-hour troubleshooting session, with some involvement from AppleCare, that got things working until it didn't (again). As it usually goes, "It Just Works"... until it doesn't.

Rudimentary Parental Controls for HomePod Mini

Before digging too deep, it's important to understand one critical item. At the time of writing this blog, HomePods don't adhere to any "Screen Time" settings that you might have configured for other devices in your house (iPad, iPhone, etc). W

This lack of integration leaves you managing the HomePod Mini's configuration in the Home app. A few items that come into play when setting up a HomePod Mini for children (assuming things work as required):

  1. Each child should have their own Apple ID. See Create an Apple ID for your Child
  2. The child's Apple ID should be part of your Family --> This allows you to share the services (such as Music) in your Apple subscription (such as Apple One)
  3. Within the Home app, you should ensure the children are invited to participate in the Home (under Home Settings > People)
  4. When clicking on each child (under Home Settings > People), ensure the Allow Explicit Content setting is disabled under the Music & Podcasts header
  5. If you tap-and-hold on a child's homepod in the Home app, click Accessory Details and then click the Gear icon. Under Music & Podcasts, ensure the Primary User is set to the child's ID.
  6. Optionally, you can enable "Personal Requests" to help Siri recognize your children's requests as diffrent from your own. I have this enabled for our Home (after my troubleshooting session with AppleCare)

My Troubleshooting Steps

What about the old unplug, replug? IT 101, right? Tried it. No Luck. As it happens, I tried doing a few different things to help resolve this:

  • Power Cycling
    • No Change
  • Changing the HomePod's "Primary User" to "HomePod Account" and then logging in the HomePod account as one of the child Apple ID's.
    • Still Getting Explicit Music regardless of whether the Siri request comes from a child or Me
  • Removing the Homepods from the home, Resetting, and then Re-Adding the HomePod Minis. Then, prior to making any Siri requests, I opened the Home app on my children's iPads (logged in as their Apple ID) and helped them train Siri to recognize their voices.
    • This seemed to work... SUCCESS! Or so we thought...
  • iOS 16.2 Upgrade for HomePod Mini drops and all the devices get updated.
    • Initially, getting errors that Siri can't find music in our Apple Music Library... AARRRGH!
    • Try removing, resetting, reconfiguring the HomePod Minis -- Yay, we have Apple Music playing again!
    • Getting Explicit Music regardless of whether the Siri request comes from a child, Me, or Google Translate's text-to-speech (added as a previously Unknown "Control" voice)... ARRRGH!
  • Approximately three weeks later, getting the errors again that Siri can't find music in our Apple Music Library
    • Try removing, resetting, reconfiguring the HomePod Minis -- Yay, we have Apple Music playing again!
    • Getting Explicit Music regardless of whether the Siri request comes from a child, Me, or Google Translate's text-to-speech (added as a previously Unknown "Control" voice)... ARRRGH!

Odd Behaviors with the Explicit Content settings.

As it currently stands, both homepod minis are configured for child Apple ID's as the Primary User. Within the settings for Home > People, both Child Apple IDs are set to disallow Explicit Content. However, it seems the only setting determining whether Explicit content plays on those devices is whether or not my own Apple ID is configured to disallow Explicit Content in the Home app's People settings. Whaaaaat?

I guess this means it's time to yet again see how long these HomePod Minis stay connected to my account in Apple Music.

Share your Frustration?

I'm curious to know if anyone else is seing similar issues with HomePod Minis -- dropping connection to the Apple Music Library, or not honoring Explicit Content settings? If so, let me know in the comments below!