Windows 10 parental control

Windows 10 parental control

If you need to control your child's work on the computer, prohibit him from visiting certain websites, launching applications and determining when it is acceptable to use the PC or laptop, you can implement it using the parental control functions of Windows 10 creating a child account and establishing the necessary rules for it. This tutorial explains how to do it.

In my opinion, the parental controls (family safety) in Windows 10 is implemented somewhat less conveniently than in the previous version of the OS. The main limitation that has appeared is the need to use Microsoft accounts and an Internet connection, while in 8 the control and monitoring functions were also available in offline mode. But this is my subjective opinion. See also: Set local account restrictions for Windows 10. Two more features: Windows 10 Kiosk mode (restrict a user to use only one application), Guest account in Windows 10, How to lock Windows 10 when trying to guess a password.

Creating a child account with default parental control settings

The first action when setting up parental controls in Windows 10 is to create the child account. You can do it in "Settings" (it can be called by pressing Win + I) - "Accounts" - "Family and other users" - "Add family member".

In the next window, select "Add child account" and enter their email address. If you don't have one, tap 'No email address' (you'll be forced to create one in the next step).

The next step is to enter your child's first and last name, create an email address (if you have not configured it), enter a password, country and date of birth. Note: If your child is under the age of 8, the enhanced security measures for their account will be automatically activated. If they are older, you will need to configure the desired settings manually (but you can do both, as will be described below).

The next step will ask you to enter a phone number or an email address in case you need to reset your account: it can be your data or that of your children, at your choice. The last step asks you to enable permissions for Microsoft Advertising services. I always disable this kind of thing, I don't see any particular benefit for me or my child's information being used to show ads.

Done. Now you have a new account on your computer with which your child can log in, however, if you are a parent and you are configuring Windows 10 parental control, I recommend that you do the first login yourself (Start - click on name user), since you may have to make additional settings for the new user (at the level of Windows 10 itself, not related to parental control) also, when you log in for the first time, a notice appears saying that "Adult family members can see reports of your activities."

In turn, a child's account restrictions are managed online when logged in from the parent's account at account.microsoft.com/family (this page can also be quickly accessed from Windows via Settings - Accounts - Family and other users - Manage family settings through the web).

Manage a child's account

After entering Windows 10 Family Settings Management on Microsoft's website, you will see a list of your family accounts. Select the child account that you created.

On the home page, you will see the following settings:

  • Activity reports - by default it is enabled, it is also enabled to send to email.
  • InPrivate browsing - browsing the pages in incognito mode without collecting information about the sites visited. For children under 8 years old, it is locked by default.

Below (and to the left) is a list of individual settings and information (the information appears after the account is started) related to the following actions:

  • Browsing the web. By default, unwanted sites are automatically blocked, and SafeSearch is also enabled. You can also manually block the sites you specify. It is important: information is only collected for Microsoft Edge and Internet Explorer browsers, sites are also blocked only for these browsers. That is, if you want to set site restrictions, you will have to block other browsers for your child as well.
  • Applications and games. It shows information about the programs you use, including Windows 10 applications and common desktop programs and games, including information about when they are used. You also have the option to block the launch of certain apps, but only after they appear in the list (that is, they have already been launched in your child's account) or by age (only for app store content Windows 10).
  • Computer timer. It shows information about when and how long your child has sat at the computer and allows you to set the hours when they can do it and when they cannot log into their account.
  • Purchases and expenses. Here you can track your child's purchases in the Windows 10 store or within the applications, as well as "deposit" money into their account without giving them access to their bank card.
  • Find Your Child - Used to find your child's location when using Windows 10 portable devices with location capabilities (smartphone, tablet, some laptop models).

In general, all parental control settings and options are quite clear, the only problem that can arise is the inability to block applications before they have been used in the child's account (that is, before they appear in the list of Actions).

Also, during my own testing of the parental control features, I found that the information on the family settings management page is laggingly updated (I'll talk about this later).

Parental control works in Windows 10

After creating a child account, I decided to use it for a while to test the various parental control features. Here are some observations that were made:

  1. Sites with adult content are successfully blocked in Edge and Internet Explorer. In Google Chrome, they open. When blocked, there is the option to submit an adult access permission request.
  2. Information about running programs and computer usage time in parental control appears late. In my test, they didn't even show up two hours after I finished working as a child and logged out of my account. The next day the information appeared (and therefore the possibility of blocking the execution of programs).
  3. Information about the visited sites still did not appear. I don't know the reason - any Windows 10 tracking feature was not disabled, I visited sites through Edge browser. My best opinion is that only the sites that I have visited after spending more than a certain amount of time on them (I have not spent more than 2 minutes on any site).
  4. The information about the free application installed from the Store did not appear in the purchases (although it counts as a purchase), only in the details of the running applications.

Well, perhaps the most important point is that a child without access to their parents' account can easily disable all these parental control restrictions without resorting to any special tricks. It must be recognized that this cannot be done with discretion. I don't know if I should write here exactly how to do it. Update: I have written a short article on the local account limits mentioned at the beginning of this tutorial.


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