What are the steps to configure parental controls on a Windows 10 computer?

Today, it's more important than ever to ensure that our children are navigating the digital world safely. With the high pace of technological developments, kids today are exposed to a wide range of content online. As parents, you need to ensure that your children are protected from inappropriate content and that their screen time is controlled. Thankfully, the Windows 10 operating system offers a comprehensive array of parental control features that allow you to manage what your child can access, when they can use their device, and even the apps that they can use. In this guide, we will walk you through the steps you need to take to configure these parental controls.

Setting Up a Child Account

Before you can manage your child's activities, you must first set up a child account on your Windows 10 computer. This is a user account that is linked to your own Microsoft account, and it allows you to control their device usage and online activities.

To set up a child account:

  1. Click on the Windows Start button, and then select Settings.

  2. Next, click on Accounts and then Family & other people.

  3. Under the Your family section, click on the Add a family member option.

  4. Select Add a child, enter your child's email address, and click on Next.

  5. An email will be sent to your child's account. They have to accept the invitation for the account to be added.

Configuring Screen Time Limits

In this digital age, managing the amount of time your child spends in front of screens is crucial for their mental and physical well-being. Fortunately, Windows 10 allows you to set limits on when and how long your child can use their device.

To configure screen time settings:

  1. Sign in to your Microsoft account at account.microsoft.com/family.

  2. Click on the child account that you want to set time limits for.

  3. Under the Screen time tab, select Windows 10.

  4. Set the desired limits for each day of the week, and specify the time frame during which your child can use their device.

Setting Content Restrictions

Windows 10 not only allows you to control how long your child can use their device, but also what content they can access during that time. This includes blocking inappropriate apps and games, or setting age limits for content.

To set content restrictions:

  1. Sign in to your Microsoft account and select the child account that you want to manage.

  2. Under the Content restrictions tab, you can set an age limit for apps, games, and media.

  3. You can also block or allow specific apps and games, and set up web filtering to block access to inappropriate websites.

Managing Online Purchases

With a plethora of online stores, it's easy for kids to make purchases without your knowledge. Microsoft’s Family Safety feature allows you to control your child’s buying behavior by preventing unauthorized purchases or requiring approval for any purchases made.

To manage online purchases:

  1. Sign in to your Microsoft account and select the child account that you want to manage.

  2. Under the Purchase & spending tab, you can choose to receive an email when your child wants to make a purchase, and enable or disable the ability for your child to buy things without approval.

Activating Activity Reporting

Finally, to ensure that your child is using their device responsibly, it's important to monitor their activities. Windows 10 lets you receive weekly reports of your child's device and online activities.

To activate activity reporting:

  1. Sign in to your Microsoft account and select the child account that you want to manage.

  2. Under the Activity tab, switch on the Activity reporting toggle.

While technology has its advantages, it also poses certain risks, especially to young users. Remember, parental controls are a practical tool to help protect your children online, but they are not a substitute for open communication about internet safety. It's essential to hold regular discussions with your kids about their online experiences and teach them about the potential dangers of the digital world.

Fine-Tuning the Privacy Settings

As the digital world continues to evolve, it's important to be mindful of privacy settings. Windows 10 offers an extensive range of privacy options that can further enhance your child's online safety. This goes beyond simply limiting screen time or content restrictions but delves into protecting your child's personal data and ensuring that they are sharing information responsibly.

To adjust privacy settings:

  1. Sign in to your Microsoft account and select the child account that you need to manage.

  2. Navigate to the Privacy & online safety tab and select Windows 10.

  3. Here, you can control what data Microsoft collects from your child's account and who can communicate with your child on Microsoft's services.

  4. You can also control your child's ability to share content on Xbox Live and decide whether your child can see other people's Xbox Live content.

  5. Furthermore, you can manage your child's advertising preferences to limit exposure to target ads.

This step is essential as it helps safeguard your child's privacy and minimizes their exposure to potential online threats. Remember to regularly review and update these privacy settings as needed.

Reviewing and Adjusting Parental Control Settings Regularly

Implementing parental controls on a Windows 10 computer is not a one-time task. Children's needs and habits change as they grow, and the online world continually evolves. Therefore, it's crucial to review and adjust the parental control settings for your child account regularly.

To review and adjust settings:

  1. Sign in to your Microsoft account and select your child account.

  2. Under the Family & other people tab, you can view all the settings you've implemented for your child's account.

  3. Review each section – screen time, content restrictions, purchase & spending, activity reporting, and privacy settings.

  4. Adjust the settings as necessary to meet your child's current needs and online safety requirements.

Regular monitoring and adjustment of the parental control settings ensure that your child enjoys a balanced and safe digital experience. Open communication about these settings can also help your kids understand the importance of these measures and encourage responsible online behavior.


Establishing parental controls on your child's Windows 10 computer is an excellent way to ensure their safety in the digital world. It allows you to manage screen time, control content, restrict purchases, and monitor activities. Additionally, adjusting privacy settings and regularly reviewing the control settings helps keep up with your child's evolving needs and the dynamic digital environment. While technology tools like parental controls in Windows 10 are beneficial, remember that they should complement, not replace, ongoing conversations with your child about online safety. Ensuring a safe and enjoyable online experience for your child is a combined effort of using available technology tools and fostering open dialogues about responsible digital citizenship.

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