Setting Parental Controls on Windows 10

windows 10 parental control set up, setting up parental control on Windows
Setting up parental control on Windows 10

Setting up parental controls Windows 10

For real internet safety, it is very beneficial for your family. Here is how to set up parental controls for Windows 10.

Important: Windows parental controls provide incomplete protection. The most obvious gaps in protection are

  • Website controls and filtering rules are only available for Microsoft’s browser and do not support popular web browsers such as Chrome or Firefox.
  • Because the ‘block” setting is only ON or OFF, it under-blocks for young children and over-blocks for older children.
  • The content blocking setting applies only to a catalogue of previously known websites.
  • The settings are exclusive to Microsoft devices and will not cover other devices or device types your family uses.
  • Enabling these settings could conflict with your child’s ability to update or install applications they regularly use.

Getting Started with Windows 10 Parental Controls

When your child is signed into a Microsoft device, Microsoft Family parental controls give you several options for filtering inappropriate web content, applications, and media:

  • Limit web browsing in Internet Explorer or Edge to appropriate sites.
  • Filter mature content from search results.
  • Set age restrictions on apps, games, and media acquired through the Windows and Xbox stores.
  • Manage screen time, either via a schedule or a maximum number of hours.
  • Receive reports on web browsing and application usage.

Windows 10 parental controls do have the advantage of applying across multiple devices. Users can't switch to their tablet after using up their screen time on the family PC – any device accessed through your child's account will be subject to the same limitations.

Setting Up Microsoft Parental Controls

Windows 10 parental controls; Add a special 'family' user account to your device, indicate that they are a child under your supervision, and set up content and usage restrictions through Microsoft Family.

You'll need:

  • Internet access
  • One 'parent' Microsoft Account
  • Individual Microsoft Accounts for your kids
  • Access to your child's email account, or one created for this purpose
  • Administrator privileges on a desktop or tablet running Windows 10

Always do this on a desktop. 

You will only need access to your child's existing email account if they already have a Microsoft account of their own – they will receive an email asking to confirm they are family. Otherwise, you can send confirmation emails to an address generated specifically for the setup process.

Why Do I Need a Microsoft Account?

Microsoft Family's parental control system requires Microsoft accounts for at least one parent and one child. This lets you set, control, and monitor your child's devices from any Internet-connected device by logging in with your Microsoft account.

This means that the limits you set on content and usage will apply to any Microsoft system, from your desktop to the family Xbox. 

If you didn't create a Microsoft account while setting up your system. You can create a Microsoft account and make the switch without losing any files, applications, or settings. Go to Settings > Accounts and click on “Sign in with a Microsoft account instead”.

Set Windows Parental Controls with these steps:

Setting Up Your Child’s Account

You’ll need to add a “child account” to your own Windows Settings menu. Once set up, set limitations and content controls through your Microsoft account.

  1. Windows Settings. Select Accounts.
    windows10 parental control, setting up windows 10 online family protection
  2. Family & Other People from the left-hand menu.
  3. Add a Family Member.
  4. Then Add a Child.
  5. “Add a Child" is selected by default. If not, click “The person I want to add doesn’t have an email address” and we’ll walk you through creating one for them.

  6. Create a Microsoft account if you don’t already have one.
  7. If you need to create a Microsoft Account, fill in your child’s email address (or one you create for this purpose) and details here. remember the password created.
  8. Sign in to account.
  9. You’ll have to sign in here with your own Microsoft password to confirm it’s you. 
  10. Confirm that your child can use the account to access online services.
  11. Confirm that your child can use this account to access online services, such as Xbox Live, the Windows Store, and other internet-based Microsoft sites. 
  12. Consent to use of 3rd-party apps.
  13. Here, you’ll need to consent to allow your child to use non-Microsoft applications and games, there will a small credit card charge here which they claim goes to charity. We spent 60 minutes searching their site to see confirmation of this charitable donation though. 
  14. Child’s Online Privacy Protection Act and unfortunately not optional. Microsoft donates this fee to charity.
  15. Complete set-up.
  16. Once you’ve completed the account set up process, you should see confirmation dialogue.

Confirm Email & Accept Parental Supervision

Lastly, open the child’s email account. If you're setting up their Microsoft account for the first time, you’ll find two confirmation requests from Microsoft waiting – to verify their email address and to accept parental supervision of their account.

If they have a Microsoft account, you should only see the second email.

Complete the email verification, then accept parental control by clicking the blue button in this email:

Accessing Parental Control Settings

The Microsoft account is activated and you’re their responsible adult, set up and apply parental controls for the Windows 10 devices.

Head back to your Accounts menu under Settings. Under Family & Other People, your child’s account and a new option to Manage Family Settings Online.

Manage Family Settings Online & open the Microsoft Family parental control page

If your child’s account was set up successfully, your parental control page should look like this, with an entry for each child under your supervision:

To get you started, Look at the three control areas: 

A. Web Browsing, B. Apps, Games, & Media C. Screen Time.

Blocking Mature or Inappropriate Web Content

Windows will block search results and filter websites known to contain inappropriate content. However, there are a few weaknesses to web filter-based approaches, like the one Microsoft uses here to screen mature content. A website that hasn’t been added to the ‘adult content’ blacklist will be accessible, as will user-generated content (such as comments or social media posts) on otherwise ‘safe’ sites.

Microsoft's web filters work on Internet Explorer and Microsoft Edge only. For this reason, Windows 10 parental control is not well-liked or rated by IT professionals. 

Most decent parental control apps will;

  • Block inappropriate content on all browsers, including Chrome, Firefox, and Safari – which Windows 10 doesn't.
  • Offers category blocking (i.e. suicide, drugs, pornography, gambling) that goes beyond Windows 10’s filter of only blocking mature websites.
  • Reviews web content as page loads in real-time
  • More options, facilities to enable real online family protection for better online safety
  • Alerts parents via email immediately if blocked websites are attempted.

How to Protect your Kids online!

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Selecting Appropriate Applications, Games, and Media


No child is allowed to use their Microsoft account to download adult games or movies. Windows 10 parental controls, you can fine-tune which content is available through the Windows and Xbox stores by specifying your child age. 

Only material rated as appropriate for that age range will be available for download.

Setting Screen Time Limits and Schedules

Finally, even appropriate computer use should be subject to healthy limits. Windows 10 parental controls allow you to set up daily time limits and bedtimes for school nights and weekends.

  • Time limits can be set from zero to twelve hours in half-hour increments. 
  • The default access schedule is between 7:00 am and 10:00 pm which can be easily changed.

It’s also worth remembering that YouTube can also be a distraction during homework and at bedtimes so consider some rules around when and where they can access their mobile device - keeping them away from the closed doors of bedrooms can help keep you more in control of the time they spend on it.  We always recommend parental control. Here is our new recommendation Norton 360

How to Protect your Kids online!

The #1 Selling book in our store


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Things to think about

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