If you want to keep your kids safe online, Microsoft Family Safety has you covered.
The good news is Microsoft has introduced a parental control setting called Microsoft Family Safety. You can activate it on your Windows system to reduce the risk of your child viewing inappropriate content on the internet. This also allows you to create age-appropriate settings and monitor your child’s internet activity.
What Is Microsoft Family Safety?
The Microsoft Family Safety app is a digital tool created to protect children from any harm that the internet may cause. It allows parents to monitor, track, and control their child’s internet usage, reducing the risks of internet usage. The app has four primary functions:
- Screen Time Limits: Parents can create limits on the total screen time of a device or user. This also allows them to set up a time limit to specific types of apps such as social media, games, etc. The app also provides activity reports so that parents can check the child’s usage.
- Content Filters: The app allows parents to create limitations on which websites or apps their kids can access on their devices.
- Location Tracking & Sharing: Parents can also use the app to check their children’s location and what places they have visited. Kids can easily share their current location through the app.
- Monitor Driving Habits: Apart from kids, the app can also monitor new drivers and their driving habits, including phone usage while on the road, speed reports, and more. However, this feature is only available to paid Microsoft 365 Family subscribers.
In addition to your Windows computer, the Microsoft Safety app can also be downloaded to your Android or iOS device for easier tracking and monitoring.
How to Set Up Microsoft Family Safety for Your Windows PC
To set up Microsoft Family Safety:
- Press Win + I to open Settings. Alternatively, you can click Start > Settings.
- In the Settings window, click Accounts.
Under Accounts, choose Family & other users.
From this page, click the Add a family member button for Windows 10. If you’re using a Windows 11 system, click Add account.
Then, you will be asked to enter your child’s Microsoft account. If they don’t have an account yet, click Create one for a child. Otherwise, type in their email address associated with their Microsoft account.
If you’re creating an account for them, follow the on-screen instruction. Once you’re finished, your child’s account will be automatically added to your family’s account. If they already have an account, follow the succeeding steps. Otherwise, go to the next step.
- Next, you will be asked what role they should have. Choose Member from the option and click Invite.
After adding your child’s existing Microsoft account to your family, you need to accept the invitation. You can do so by accepting the invitation through their email or by logging into family.microsoft.com clicking Accept now under the Pending account. Then, you’ll be asked to log in to your child’s account to verify.
- You’re all set! You can now use the Microsoft Family Safety feature on your PC.
How to Use Microsoft Family Safety in Your Windows PC
Now that it’s all set up, here’s how to make the most of Microsoft Family Safety.
How to Turn On Activity Reporting
Important reminder: Make sure to connect your child’s device to your Microsoft Family Safety account. You can do so by logging into your Windows system using your child’s Microsoft account.
- Open settings by pressing Win + I.
- Under Settings, click Accounts > Family & other users.
- From the Family & other users window, click Manage family settings online. You will be directed to your Family Safety account.
Next, click your child’s profile under the Your Family section.
- On the bottom part of your child’s profile page, you will see the Activity reporting under Activity settings. Ensure that this is turned on to see your child’s internet usage. You can also get weekly emails about your child’s activity by turning on the Send a weekly email to me option.
Setting Up Web and Search Filtering
Note: Microsoft Family Safety web filters only work on Microsoft Edge. Make sure that this is the default web browser of your PC or the computer your child will be using.
- If you haven’t already, make sure that your child’s Microsoft account is logged in to Microsoft Edge in their Windows PC.
- Go to family.microsoft.com and log in to your account (parent’s account). Click your child’s profile under the Your Family section.
- On your child’s profile page, click Web and search.
From the Content filters page, you can see their search activity, how many devices are connected with the account, and websites they visited under the Web and search tab. If you see anything inappropriate, you can click the Block button, and it will automatically be inaccessible to your child’s PC.
You can also turn on the filter settings and enable the setting to only use allowed websites. You can also add which websites they’re not allowed to visit and the sites they can only access.
Under the App and games tab, you can set an age limit on which apps they can downlaod and play. You can also add what apps are allowed and blocked for them to use.
How to Customize Screen Time
To control your child’s screen time:
- Under your child’s dashboard Microsoft Family Safety page, click Screen time. Here you can monitor your child’s screen time and limit their usage.
Under the Devices tab, you have the option to limit their usage on particular devices or enable the setting to only use one schedule on all devices. To edit the time limit, click on any day from the option and modify it according to your desired schedule.
You can also set a time limit for different apps and games. To do so, click the Apps and games tab found on the Screen time page. Ensure that the setting is on.
Next, click the 3-dot menu next to the app you want to customize and choose whether you want to Set a limit or Block app.
Xbox Online Gaming
If you one an Xbox console and your child uses it, you also have the option to customize their console usage from your child’s Microsft Family Safety dashboard.
- To start, click Review Xbox settings.
Here you can choose who your child can play and communicate with, set age ratings for games, and a whole lot more.
Note: If your child frequently uses an Xbox console or plays games on a Windows PC, you can also get the Xbox Family Settings app for a more focused parental control on their gaming.
Safety Is Always a Priority
While the internet holds a lot of opportunities, it is also filled with content that may harm your children. With Microsoft Family Safety, you can ensure your child’s safety, especially when they’re using the internet. In addition, you don’t have to worry about what things they might see since you can easily track and monitor their usage, giving you the peace of mind you deserve.
Are you doing enough to protect your kids online? With the best parental control apps for Windows, you won’t have to think twice.
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