Windows 10

Controls & Settings guide

With Windows 10, parents can set up a Child Account to manage children’s activity on devices and online to keep them safe.

Get automated reports and a weekly email breakdown of their activity to help understand how privacy settings can help them. Additionally, install the mobile app to monitor activity from there.

What do I need?

Administrator access to your Windows 10 computer via a parent account

Restrictions you can apply

icon Apps Access
icon Browser Access
icon Inappropriate content

Step by Step instructions


How to set up a child’s account

On shared devices, it’s a good idea to create separate accounts for different family members. You can also set up accounts on personal devices to help keep children safe online.

To set up a child’s account:

Step 1Sign in to the administrator account (or your account if you are the only user).
Step 2 – Search account in the search bar in the bottom left of the screen. Click Manage your account.
Step 3 – Click Family & other users. This option is different on laptops set up for school or work. Speak to the organisation that set it up to ask about creating more accounts. Click Add a family member.
Step 4Create a Microsoft account email address for your child (or enter one they already use). This should be a personal account rather than a school account. Once added, you will get a notification that they have joined your family.
Step 5 – Under Your family, confirm that your child has been added. Then, login to their account.
Step 6 – When you first sign in on your child’s account, there are additional steps to complete setup. From your account, click the Windows icon in the bottom left-hand corner of the screen. Then, click your profile icon to select your child’s account.
Step 7 – Enter their username and password to confirm their account and approve the sign-in. Then, open Microsoft Edge to complete the first-time open tasks before returning to your own account.


Manage screen time

Windows 10 lets you track how much time your child spends on different apps. You can also set limits to help them balance their time online with offline activities.

To set screen time limits:

Step 1 – From your account, search family options in the left-hand search bar. Click Family options.
Step 2 – Click View family settings and click on your child’s profile. Click Screen time from the left-hand menu.
Step 3 – Here, you’ll see a breakdown of time spent on each device your child uses along with how that time is split among Apps and games. Scroll down and click Turn limits on to set screen time limits.
Step 4 – Choose and set how much time your child can spend on their devices or in specific apps and games per day. This is useful if you’d like to give them more time on weekends versus school nights. Review this around school breaks if relevant.


Set age filters

Setting age limits on Windows 10 can filter out age-inappropriate apps, games and media. These settings apply to both Windows 10 and Xbox devices. If children try to access content beyond the age limit, you will need to approve it.

To set up age filters:

Step 1 – From your account, search family options in the left-hand search bar. Click Family options.
Step 2 – Click View family settings and click on your child’s profile. Click Content filters from the left-hand menu.
Step 3 – Select up to which age your child can access content for in the right-hand dropdown menu.


Monitor search activity

To help you catch anything troubling or to help you start important conversations, you can monitor search activity with Windows 10 settings.

To review search activity:

Step 1 – From your account, search family options in the left-hand search bar. Click Family options.
Step 2 – Click View family settings and click on your child’s profile. From the Overview tab, scroll down.
Step 3 – Click on Web and search. Here, you can see potentially harmful search terms and which sites are visited with Microsoft Edge.


Block unwanted and inappropriate content

Depending on your child’s age, you may want to block their access to certain content. Windows 10 allows you to do that through Family settings.

To block content:

Step 1 – From Family settings, choose your child’s profile and click on Content filters in the left-hand menu. Then, select the Apps and games tab.
Step 2Add apps that you’d like to block to the list. Browsers other than Edge can be blocked to ensure they can’t access content that is blocked on Microsoft Edge elsewhere.


Microsoft Family Safety app

For ease of use, Microsoft created the Family Safety app, which can be used with Windows 10 and across devices.

To set up Family Safety:

Step 1Download and install the app on all devices you want to include. It’s free unless you want additional features like location and driving alerts.
Step 2Sign in to each device using your family members’ Microsoft details. Then, you’ll be able to monitor activity across devices and use the same features outlined in the instructions above.