Use Parental Controls in Windows Media Center

If your computer has no TV tuner, an optional analog or digital TV tuner is required to play and record TV in Windows Media Center.

The advent of digital media provides unprecedented access to a wide variety of content, some of which might not be suitable for every viewer. Parents can specify and enforce which content is suitable for their families by configuring Parental Controls within Windows Media Center.

When you turn on Parental Controls, only TV and movie content that does not exceed the maximum allowed rating can be viewed. Not all TV and movie content is rated, so you can also configure Parental Controls to block unrated content. When you turn on Parental Controls, you specify an access code that you can then use later to access restricted content or to change parental control settings. It is recommended that you write the code down for future reference.

For more information, see What can I control with Parental Controls?

Note that Parental Controls are not available in all countries/regions. When you set parental control to restrict shows higher than a certain rating, and find that a show whose rating exceeds the limit that can be played, it may be because the rating information transmitted with the TV signal is different from the rating listed in the Guide. Windows Media Center uses the ratings from the TV broadcast signal to determine which shows to block. However, the rating information that you view in the Guide is downloaded from the Internet. In rare cases, the Guide rating might not match the rating information received from the TV broadcast signal.

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To set Parental Controls

  1. On the start screen, scroll to Tasks, click settings, click General, and then click Parental Controls.

  2. You will be prompted to enter a 4-digit number to set your code.

  3. Do one of the following:

    • To set Parental Controls for TV programs, click TV Ratings, and then click Turn on TV blocking.

      You can set maximum allowed TV ratings that include blocking all rated programs, programs for a general audience, programs requiring parental guidance, and programs intended for adults.

    • (Optional) Click Block unrated TV programs to restrict content that is not rated.

      You can also click Advanced if you want to adjust the ratings settings for more control. In Advanced TV Ratings, there are five areas that you can set ratings for: fantasy violence, suggestive language, offensive language, sexual content, and violence.

    • To set parental controls for DVDs and movies, click Movie/DVD Ratings, and then click Turn on movie blocking.

      You can also click Block unrated movies to restrict content that is not rated, as well as specify the Maximum allowed movie rating.

    • Click Save to save your changes.

To reset Parental Controls

  1. On the start screen, scroll to Tasks, click settings, click General, and then click Parental Controls.

  2. Enter your access code when prompted.

  3. Click Reset Parental Controls.

  4. Click Yes to remove the access code and reset all the ratings limits.

To change the access code

  1. On the start screen, scroll to Tasks, click settings, click General, and then click Parental Controls.

  2. Click Change Access Code.

  3. Enter and confirm a new access code.

  4. On the Change Access Code dialog box, click OK.