How To Set Up Windows 10 Parental Controls

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Windows 10 is the latest operating system available for PCs. It allows for seamless connection between PCs, Windows phones, and Xbox One gaming consoles. All your parental controls for Windows 10 are found in Microsoft Family, where you’ll also handle parental controls for your other Microsoft devices.

Setting Parental Controls on Windows 10

How to add child accounts to your family

First, you’ll add a Family user account to your computer. There you’ll indicate that the account is for a child under your supervision, and then you’ll setup all content and usage restrictions through Microsoft Family. Both you and your child will need a Microsoft Account, so if you do not have one, start there.

  1. Open the Windows Settings menu and choose Accounts.
  2. Choose Family & Other People from the left sidebar menu.
  3. Under Your Family, click Add a Family Member.
  4. Enter the email address associated with your child’s Microsoft account.
  5. Open your child’s email account, find the email from Microsoft, and click the link to confirm that they are your child and need to be added to your Microsoft Family.

How to access parental control settings

  1. Choose Accounts from your Windows Settings menu.
  2. Look at the Family & Other People menu again. Now, you should see your child’s account and the option to Manage Family Settings Online.
  3. Click Manage Family Settings Online. This opens the Microsoft Family Parental Control page in your browser.
  4. Menu options on the right allow you to monitor each child’s activity and set your parental controls. The three most important areas are:
    1. Web Browsing
    2. Apps, Games, & Media
    3. Screen Time
  5. In the Web Browsing section, you’ll find Windows automatically blocks search results and filters websites that contain potentially inappropriate content. Any website that hasn’t yet been added to Microsoft’s blacklist will still be accessible, and so will user-generated content on “safe” sites. Note that these controls only work on Internet Explorer and Microsoft Edge — Microsoft parental controls block access to other browsers by default. If you want, you can disable the block on other browsers and use additional parental control methods to protect those browsers.
  6. In the Apps, Games, & Media section, you’ll be able to block inappropriate apps and games. Microsoft already blocks kids from mature movies and games. These settings will apply to all Windows 10 PCs and Mobile devices, Windows Phone 8, and Xbox One.
    1. Here you can set what content the child can buy, download, and stream, based on their age. Microsoft defaults it to the child’s current age, but you can adjust it to whatever you think is best.
  7. Finally, you can set screen time limits and schedules for each day of the week. You can set limits from 0 to 12 hours in half-hour increments. The default access schedule is from 7a.m. to 10p.m. each day.
    1. If your child needs to use any Windows device outside the screen time limits you set, they have the option to request additional time. You’ll receive an email where you can either approve or deny the request.

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.

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.

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