Keep your family safer

Windows 8, Windows RT

Web filtering for an account on the Family Safety website

Limit when and how your kids can use the PC

By monitoring your kids' accounts with Family Safety, you get a better sense of whether they're finishing their homework or spending too much time online. This info can help you set specific PC activity limits for each child, including when they're allowed to use the PC, what games and apps they can use, and which apps they can see in the Windows Store.

You can set and manage all these limits on the web, from anywhere. Just sign in to the Family Safety website, tap or click Edit settings for the child whose settings you want to change, and follow the instructions from there. Of course, you can also manage your family's settings on each of your family's individual PCs. For more info, see Set up your kids' accounts in Family Safety.

Note

  • The following sections assume that you've already signed in to the Family Safety website and chosen Edit settings for a child.

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Set time limits

There are two ways to limit the time your child spends on the PC. A time allowance determines how many hours per day the child can use the PC. For example, you might let them spend two hours a day on the PC during the week, but give them more time on weekends. A curfew sets hours when any PC use is prohibited (like after bedtime, or during school hours).

The Curfew page in Time limits
Blocked hours are shown in blue. Joy can't use the PC during school hours or after 9:30 PM on school nights.

Here's how to get started:

  1. In the left pane, tap or click Time limits, and then do one of the following:

    • Tap or click the Allowance tab, make sure that time limits are turned on, and then choose the number of hours and minutes that the child can use the PC on weekdays and weekends.

    • Tap or click the Curfew tab, make sure that time limits are tuned on, and then drag to select blocks of time for each day when the child isn't allowed to use the PC at all.

  2. Tap or click Save.

Set limits on the websites your child can visit

There are two ways to limit the Internet content your child is allowed to view. You can use web filtering to set broad categories of sites that your child can visit. 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.

The Web filtering page on the Family Safety website
Dylan can only visit child-friendly sites and those on the Allow list.

Filter all websites by category

Here's how:

  1. In the left pane, tap or click Web filtering. Make sure that web filtering is turned on, and then use the slider to choose which categories of websites your child can visit.

  2. Tap or click Save.

The Allow or block list on the Web filtering page of the Family Safety website
Allow or block a website for just one child, all your kids, or everyone in the family.

Allow or block specific websites

Here's how:

  1. In the left pane, tap or click Web filtering lists.

  2. Enter a specific web address, and then tap or click Allow or Block as appropriate.

    You can add multiple web addresses on this page, one at a time. You can also choose to apply the same permissions for a website to multiple family members.

  3. Tap or click Save.

Allow or block file downloads

You can also limit what your child is able to download from the Internet, so that he or she doesn't download a virus or other software you don't want. Here's how:

  1. In the left pane, tap or click Web filtering.

  2. Make sure that web filtering is turned on. Under File downloads, select the Block file downloads check box to prevent your child from downloading apps, games, and other files from the web. Or clear the check box, to allow your child to download files.

  3. Tap or click Save.

Set limits on games and Windows Store apps

Setting limits on the games and apps your child's allowed to use is similar to setting their website restrictions: you can set an age-based or content-based rating level for all games and for those apps they can see and download from the Windows Store, or you can allow or block specific, individual apps and games.

Use game and Windows Store rating levels

Here's how:

  1. In the left pane, tap or click Game restrictions.

  2. Make sure that game restrictions are turned on, and then use the slider to choose a rating level. You can also use a different game rating system, if you prefer.

    The Windows Store bases its download restrictions on a child's game restrictions in Family Safety.

  3. Tap or click Save.

    The Rating level page on the Family Safety website
    Dylan can use apps and games suitable for children 10 and older.

Allow or block specific games

Here's how:

  1. In the left pane, tap or click Game restrictions, and then tap or click Block or allow specific games at the bottom of the page. Make sure that app and game restrictions are turned on.

  2. Select options for specific games as appropriate, and then tap or click Save.

Set other app restrictions

You can also decide whether to let your child use apps and software not downloaded from the Windows Store. Here's how:

  1. In the left pane, tap or click App restrictions.

  2. Make sure that app restrictions are turned on, and then expand or collapse the app folders and select the check boxes for any apps you want to block.

  3. Tap or click Save.

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 just get a little more PC time to finish a homework assignment. In Family Safety, your children can send you email requests for new apps, games, or websites they want permission to use. You can always deal with those requests individually, but you can also manage them all in one place on the Family Safety website. Here's how:

  1. In the left pane, tap or click Requests.

    Recent permission requests are organized according to category.

  2. Next to each request, tap or click the drop-down list under Response and choose an action.

    Note

    • You can allow all your kids, or just the selected child, to use the website, game, or app in question. Likewise, you can block something for just one child or everyone. Websites, games, and apps are added to the Allow or Block lists accordingly.

See more

Browse for, buy, and download apps from the Windows Store.

Maximize your gaming experience in Windows and beyond.

Manage Family Safety settings for all of your family members online.

Help defend your PC against viruses, malware, and other threats.