Keep your kids safer on the PC

Windows 8.1, Windows RT 8.1

Set the right limits for your child

When you add a child to your family, you can help make sure they're staying safe while they use the PC while still giving them the freedom to explore. 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 on Sign in with your Microsoft account, select the name of the child whose settings you want to change, and follow the instructions from there.


  • Time limits apply according to the time set on the PC, so your PCs don't need to be set to the same time zone for the settings to be applied correctly.

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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 the PC during the week, but give them more time on weekends.

  1. Select Screen time, and switch Block device use at specific times 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. You can set limits on the kinds of websites your kids can see so that things stay appropriate for their age. For example, you might allow them to see known child-friendly and general-interest websites, while automatically blocking any sites that provide adult content. You can also allow or block individual websites—or even specific pages within a site—by their web addresses or URLs, or set up your child's account so that they can only visit sites you specify are safe.

To set up website restrictions

  1. Select Websites, and switch Block inappropriate websites from Off to On.

    Now, adult content is blocked, InPrivate browsing is blocked, and BingSafeSearch is on.

  2. If you want your child to only see websites that you've explicity allowed, check the box next to Only see websites on the allowed list.

To allow or block specific websites

  1. Select Websites.

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

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

Set restrictions on apps and games

Setting limits on the apps and games your child's allowed to use is similar to setting their website restrictions: you can set an age-based rating level so that your kids can use apps and games that are rated appropriately for their age, but not apps that are too mature for them or don't have an age rating. You can also allow or block specific, individual titles.

Kids can ask your permission if they want to use a blocked app or play a blocked game, and you can respond to permission request from your email, directly from your child's activity report, or by signing in to the device your child is using and granting approval right then and there.


  • App and game restrictions used to have 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, your settings still apply. However, if you turn app and game restrictions off and then on again, both apps and games will be restricted.

To use age-based rating levels

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

  2. Go to Limit apps and games and use the menu to choose an age level that's appropriate for your child.

    Kids can always ask your permission to use anything that's blocked.


  • 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 protects 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’ app and game activity using activity reports.

Manage your kids' requests

Over time, the settings you apply to your family's PC activities 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 family can send you email requests for new apps, games, or websites they want permission to use. You can always deal with those requests individually in your email, but you can also manage them all in one place at

  1. Select Recent activity.

    Recent permission requests are organized according to category.

  2. Next to each request, select the Allow button to approve the request, or the Decline button to block the request.

Next: Monitor your child's device use with activity reports

Other resources

Go to Microsoft family

Change your Microsoft family settings.

Set up Family Safety

Learn how to add accounts to your Microsoft family.

Help from the community

Ask your question in the community forums.