Windows 10

This tutorial shows you how to use set up family settings for your kids. To get started, you’ll create Microsoft accounts for your kids, which you then can add to your family at account.microsoft.com/family. When your kids sign in with their own accounts, they have the freedom to personalize their desktop and explore apps and games. And when you’ve added them to your family, you’ll be able to choose the additional limits and permissions you want your kids to have—and when they sign in with a Microsoft account, their family settings will be applied to any Windows 10 device they sign in to.

Family features can help you make sure that they aren’t running into anything that’s inappropriate for them to see online. You can also set screen time limits to make sure they’re balancing their time wisely, and get activity reports about the websites they’re visiting, what they’re searching for, and what apps and games they’re using.

Add a child account to your family

If you’re sharing a Windows 10 device with your kids, letting them sign in with their own accounts will give them the freedom to explore safely while you’re still able to set up appropriate age restrictions and time limits, and make sure they’re not visiting any websites or using any apps or games that aren’t right for them. And even if your child has their own device, when they sign in with a Microsoft account that’s part of your family, you can rest assured that the family settings you’ve set up for them will be applied to any Windows 10 device they sign in to.

To add a child to your family

  1. Sign in at account.microsoft.com/family.

  2. If this is your first time setting up a family, select Add a child.

    If you’ve already added child accounts to your family, go to Select a child to view or edit their settings and then select Add.

  3. Enter your child’s email address and select Send invite. If your child doesn’t have an email address, select Create a new email address for your child and follow the instructions on the screen.

    Your child will need to accept the invite from their email.

Tip

  • Is your child too young to remember a typed password? You can set up a PIN for them or a picture password.

To add an existing account on your PC as a child to your family

If your child already has a user account on your PC, you can add them to your family.

  1. Have your child sign in to the PC.

  2. Open Settings, and then select Accounts.

  3. Select Your account.

    • If your child doesn’t currently sign in with a Microsoft account, select Sign in with a Microsoft account and then enter their email address. You’ll use their email address to add them to your family in a little while.

    • If an email address is already associated with their account, make note of it. You’ll use it to add them to your family.

  4. Now, you can add this child account to your family in one of two ways:

    • Sign in to your PC and open Settings, select Accounts, and then select Family and other users. Then, select Add a family member and follow the instructions on the screen.

      -or-

    • Sign in at account.microsoft.com/family and add them to your family.

    Until they accept your invitation to join your family from their email, they’ll be able to sign in without having any family settings, restrictions, or monitoring applied to their account.

To add another adult to your family

  1. Sign in at account.microsoft.com/family.

  2. Go to Adults and then select Add.

  3. Enter the email address of the person you’d like to add to your family as an adult, and then select Send invite.

    The person you’ve invited will need to accept your invitation from their email. After they’ve joined your family, they’ll be able to manage kids’ settings, approve requests, and see activity reports, too.

Set the right limits for your child

Once you’ve added a child to your family, you can make sure that adult websites are blocked, or specify just which sites you want your kids to see. You can also make sure they can only use apps and games that are appropriate for their age, and you can set screen time limits to make sure they’re not spending too much time in the virtual world. Kids can ask your permission to keep browsing when their time is up, or to see or download anything that’s blocked—together, you can decide the level of restriction that’s right for them.

You can set and manage all these limits at account.microsoft.com/family. Sign in with your Microsoft account, select the name of the child whose settings you want to change, and follow the instructions from there.

Set time limits

There are two ways to limit the time your child spends with their screens. In addition to setting certain hours during which they can use their devices, you can also set a maximum time per device that determines how many hours per day they can use them. For example, you might let them spend two hours a day on each device during the week, but give them more time on weekends.

  1. Select Screen time, and switch Set limits for when my child can use devices from Off to On.

  2. Select times during each day that you want to allow your child to use their devices, and if you wish, set a maximum time allowance per device. If you don’t want to set a maximum time, select Unlimited.

Set limits on the websites your child can visit

There’s a lot of great things to learn about on the Internet, but also lots of things you don’t want your kids to stumble on. Turn on web browsing limits if you want to block sites that provide adult content, or to allow or block individual websites or webpages by using their web addresses or URLs. For young children, you can set up web browsing limits so they can only visit a small number of sites that you specifically allowed.

To set up web browsing limits

  1. Sign in to family on the Microsoft account website.

  2. Select the child you want to turn on web browsing limits for.

  3. Select Web browsing, and switch Block inappropriate websites from Off to On.

    Now, adult content is blocked and SafeSearch is on when your child uses the most common search engines.

  4. If you want your child to only see websites you’ve explicitly allowed, check the box next to Only see websites on the allowed list.

To allow or block specific websites

  1. Sign in to family on the Microsoft account website.

  2. Select the child you want to turn on web browsing limits for.

  3. Select Web browsing.

  4. To add a site to their allow list, go to Always allow these and enter the URL of a website you want to allow.

  5. To add a site to their block list, go to Always block these and enter the URL of a website you want to block.

Set restrictions on apps, games, and media

To set limits on the apps, games, and media your child can use, you set an age-based rating level. Then, kids can use apps, games, and media that are rated appropriately for their age, but not ones that are too mature for them. If your child downloaded something before you set these limits, you can block it where it appears on the Recent activity page, and your child won’t be able to use it until you allow it again.

If kids want to use a blocked app or game, they can ask your permission. You can respond to permission requests from your email or from the family page on the Microsoft account website.

Note

  • Before Windows 10, app and game restrictions had two separate On/Off switches—one for apps, and one for games. Now, both are managed with one switch. If you previously only turned on restrictions for one of them but not the other, and haven’t changed them since, then those settings still apply. However, if you visit family on the Microsoft account website and turn app, game and media restrictions off and then on again, apps, games, and media will be restricted.

To use age-based rating levels

  1. Select Apps, games & media, and switch Block inappropriate apps and games from Off to On.

  2. Go to Limit apps and games and select the age level that’s appropriate for your child.

Note

  • On devices running Windows 8.1, Windows 8, Windows 7 or older versions of Windows, all apps and games that don’t have an age rating are blocked by default when you turn on app and game restrictions. This helps protect younger kids from using inappropriate apps or playing games that are too mature for them, but it may also block certain apps that you want older kids to be able to use—including productivity apps like word processors and spreadsheets. You may want to turn on app and game restrictions for younger kids, but choose to monitor older kids’ activity using activity reporting.

Manage your kids’ requests

Over time, the settings you apply to your family’s Windows devices can evolve. For example, your child might want to download and play a new game everyone’s talking about, do some Internet research for a school project, or get a little more PC time to finish a homework assignment. The children in your Microsoft family can send you email requests for new apps, games, or websites they want permission to use. You can respond to requests individually in your email, or manage them all in one place on the family page of the Microsoft account website.

  1. Sign in to family on the Microsoft account website.

  2. Recent permission requests are listed for each kid who made requests.

  3. Next to each request, select the Allow button to approve the request, or the Dismiss button to deny the request.

Monitor your child’s device use with activity reports

When you add your child’s Microsoft account to your family and turn on Activity reporting, you’ll get regular activity report emails summarizing how much time they spent using their devices, the websites they visited, the games and apps they used, and the terms they searched for on search engines like Bing, Google, or Yahoo! Search.

The email summary gives you a lot of info about your child’s activities on their devices. To see even more detail, and to change their permissions and other settings, go to their Recent activity page in the family area of the Microsoft account website. Here’s how:

  1. Sign in to family on the Microsoft account website.

  2. Select the child whose report you want to see, which will show you their Recent activity page.

  3. If Activity reporting is turned Off, use the switch to turn it On.

    If you don’t want to get weekly activity reports in your email, uncheck the box beside Email weekly reports to me.

Web browsing

This section of the activity report shows all your child’s recent searches, and the sites your child visited or tried to view. Blocked sites are listed first, and then sites that your child successfully visited. You can allow or block any of the sites directly from the recent activity report by selecting Allow or Block next to the URL. To adjust your child’s website limitations, select Settings.

Apps & games

Here you can see all the apps and games your child has been using, including any that were blocked. You can also see their age rating next to the titles, and you can choose to Allow or Block apps and games right from the list. To adjust your child’s app and games restrictions, select Settings.

Screen time

For a breakdown of your child’s overall time spent on each of their devices, the Screen time section indicates when and for how long your child used their devices throughout the week.

You’ll see a list of how much time they spent on their devices overall by each day, and also how much time they spent on each device during the entire week.

If you decide you need to adjust your child’s screen time limits, select Settings.

Information provided by Microsoft