How To Set Up Xbox One Parental Controls

Try Bark free

XBox One is the latest console from Microsoft. With it, you can play video games, stream content from apps, chat with other players via XBox Live, surf the web, and even watch TV (if you have a cable box to connect it to).


Setting parental controls on the XBox One is a somewhat complex process, but it's worth it for the level of control you’ll have for each child in your family. If you allow your children to stream content from various apps such as Hulu while on the device, the parental controls on the gaming console will override any parental controls you have set up on the individual apps, in most cases.

Screen Time Limits

To set screen time limits for your child on Xbox One and Windows 10 devices, go to https://account.microsoft.com/family and sign in with your Microsoft account. Then:

  1. Find your child's name and select Screen time.
  2. If you want to use the same schedule for all devices, switch Use one screen time schedule from Off to On. If you’d rather have separate schedules, scroll down and switch screen time on for PC and Xbox One individually.
  3. Set how much time your child is allowed to spend with their devices each day, and when they can use them. If you want to give them the full amount of time you’ve scheduled, select Max scheduled. (Example: If you’ve allowed screen time from 8 am to 8 pm, they could use their devices that entire time).

How to set app and game limits across your child's devices

If your child is spending too much time on certain apps or games, you can set limits on that app or game to help them achieve a healthy balance. App and game limits are available on Windows 10 and Xbox One devices, along with Android devices with Microsoft Launcher installed. Once you set a limit, that limit will work across all of their devices. (For example, if you give them three hours on YouTube, they can spend a total of three hours on Windows 10, Xbox One, and Android.)

To set app and game limits, go to family.microsoft.com and sign in with your Microsoft account. Then:
  1. Find your child's name and select App and game limits. (App and game limits aren’t available on adult accounts at this time.)
  2. Find the app or game you want to set limits on. If you’ve never set limits, it’ll show how often they use the app or game on average.
  3. Set how much time your child is allowed to spend on the app or game each day, and when they’re allowed to use it.

To give your kids a heads up on Xbox when their screen time is running out:

  1. Press the Xbox button on the controller.
  2. Select System > Settings  > Preferences > Notifications > Xbox Notifications > System and make sure System notifications on is selected.

Screen time counts down when a child is signed in, so if they’re not actively using their console, have them sign out.

Age Limits for Accessing Content

To ensure your kids have access to only family-friendly games, apps, TV shows, and movies on their Xbox One, you can choose from preset recommendations by age. To do this:

  1. Press the Xbox button to open the guide, and then go to System > Settings > Account > Family settings.
  2. Select Manage family members, and then select the child account you want to update.
  3. Under Access to content, choose the desired age-level restriction. (By default, your child’s restrictions will be set to the age associated with their Microsoft account).

When your child asks to use a blocked app or game that’s rated above their content restrictions, you can approve it by signing in with your passkey and selecting Always or Just this once.

Customize Privacy Settings

You can prevent your child from playing with strangers in the privacy settings. To ensure that your child is only playing with people they know or to turn off voice chat and unprompted communications:

  1. Click Settings
  2. Click All Settings
  3. Click Account
  4. Click Family
  5. Customize your privacy settings


Mute or Block Players

If you don't want to hear or be contacted by specific players on Xbox One, you can mute them or block their communications with you. If you believe that the player has violated the Microsoft Services Agreement or Code of Conduct, you may also wish to file a complaint.

Mute another player

If another player engages in abusive or inappropriate in-game or chat voice communications, you can mute that player. This prevents them from speaking to you in-game or in a chat session. To mute another player:

  1. Press the Xbox button on your controller to open the guide.
  2. Select People, and then select the gamertag of the player you want to mute. If the player is not on your friends list, select Recent players or Find someone and enter the player’s gamertag to search.
  3. From the player’s profile, select Mute.

To unmute a player, follow the same steps to get to the player’s profile, and then select Unmute.

Block another player

Blocking another player prevents you from receiving that player’s messages, game invites, and party invites. It also prevents the player from seeing your online activity and removes them from your friends list, if they were on it. To block another player:

  1. Press the Xbox button on your controller to open the guide.
  2. Select People, and then select the gamertag of the player you want to block. If the player is not on your friends list, select Recent players or Find someone and enter the player’s gamertag to search.
  3. From the player's profile, select Report or Block, and then select Block.

To unblock a player, follow the same steps to get to the player’s profile, and then select Unblock.

Block another player's messages

You can also block a player after receiving an offensive or inappropriate message. Here's how:

  1. Press the Xbox button on your controller to open the guide, and then go to Communication > Conversations.
  2. Select the message from the player you want to block.
  3. Select More > View profile > Report or block > Block.

Copilot on XBox One

Copilot links two controllers so you can use them as if they were one controller. The person who turns on Copilot for their controller is the pilot, and the pilot gets all achievements and gamerscore. To turn on Copilot:

  1. Connect a second controller to the Xbox for the copilot. The copilot can sign in or not — achievements and gamerscore don't go to this player.
  2. Using the pilot's controller, press the Xbox button to open the guide, then select System > Settings > Ease of Access > Controller.
  3. Choose Copilot settings, then select Turn on Copilot.
  4. Select the copilot controller.

The controllers are now linked, and both controllers have full control. When you start a game, you can use either controller however you like.

To turn off Copilot, go back to the Copilot settings and select Turn off Copilot.

Preventing Unauthorized Purchases

To help prevent unauthorized purchases from your console, you can set it to ask for the password every time you buy something.

  • Select System > Settings > Account > Sign-in, security & passkey. To help protect your account, you may be asked to enter your password.
  • Select Change my sign-in & security preferences.
  • Scroll right and select Customize.
  • Scroll right and select Ask for my passkey to make purchases.
  • Select Passkey required.

Bark - The Internet Safety Solution

In addition to setting parental controls on your child's device, the next safety layer parents and caregivers should strongly consider is a monitoring solution to assess the content their kids encounter (and produce) across text messages, social media, email, and more.

Bark helps families manage and protect their children’s entire online worlds. Our award-winning service monitors 30+ of the most popular apps and social media platforms for signs of issues like cyberbullying, suicidal ideation, online predators, threats of violence, and more. Our web filtering and screen time management tools empower families to set healthy limits around the sites and apps their kids can access and when they can visit them. Sign up today to start your free, one-week trial.

Start my free trial