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How to Setup and Use "Family Safety" Parental Controls in Windows 8 and 8.1

information   Information
In Vista and Windows 7, there is a Parental Controls features. This has been replaced with Family Safety in Windows 8.

What this feature does

Family Safety helps parents protect their children when they use a PC. Parents can control which apps, games, and websites children are allowed to use. Parents can also set time limits and receive regular activity reports via email. Parents can manage restrictions and view activity reports locally on the PC or online using the Microsoft Family Safety website.

Information collected, processed, or transmitted

Family Safety settings and reports of childrenís activity are stored on your PC. Activity reports can include info about time spent using the computer, time spent in individual apps and games, and websites visited (including attempts to view blocked sites). Administrators on the PC can change settings and view the activity report.

If online management is turned on for a child account, parents can view the childís activity report and change their settings on the Microsoft Family Safety website. A parent can allow other people to view activity reports and change settings by adding them as parents on the Microsoft Family Safety website. If the parent configuring Family Safety is signed into Windows with a Microsoft account, online management is automatically turned on.

When Family Safety is configured for a child account with online management enabled, weekly reports of the childís activity will automatically be emailed to the parent.

Use of information

Windows and the Microsoft Family Safety website use the information collected to provide the Family Safety feature. Microsoft may analyze activity log information in aggregate for data quality purposes, but we donít use this information to identify, contact, or target advertising to individual users.

Choice and control

Family Safety is turned off by default. You can access Family Safety by opening Family Safety in Control Panel. Only administrators can turn on Family Safety, and only users without administrative privileges can be monitored or restricted. Children can see their settings but canít change them. If Family Safety is turned on, the child will receive a notification that Family Safety is monitoring their account each time they sign in to Windows. If you indicate that an account is a child account during account creation, you can choose to enable Family Safety for that account.

If the administrator setting up a childís account is signed into Windows with a Microsoft account, online management is automatically enabled, and reports about the childís activity will be sent weekly. Parent accounts can be added or removed on the Microsoft Family Safety website. Anyone added as a parent on the website can view a childís activity report and change the childís Family Safety settings, even if the parent isnít an administrator on the PC the child uses.

To properly use Family Safety, only parents should be administrators of their PC, and children should not be granted administrative privileges. Please note that using this feature to monitor other users (such as adults) may violate applicable law.

For more information, see: Windows 8.1 and Windows Server 2012 R2 privacy statement - Microsoft Windows

This tutorial will show you how to setup and use Family Safety in Windows 8, Windows RT, Windows 8.1, and Windows RT 8.1 to help you monitor and set limits on your child's (standard user account) PC time, as well as the websites, apps, and games they can use (and when). Once setup, you can manage these parental control settings either locally on your PC, or from anywhere online at the Family Safety website.

For more information about "Family Safety" in Windows 8, see:

Keeping your family safer with Windows 8 - Building Windows 8 - Site Home - MSDN Blogs

Note   Note

  • You must be signed in as an administrator to be able to setup and manage Family Safety in Windows 8.
  • Family safety is only turned on with child accounts. A child account is a standard user with Family Safety turned on for it.
  • A Microsoft account is required to be able to sign into the Family Safety website.

Here's How:

1. If you have not already, you will need to either add a new child account, or change an account's type from a local or Microsoft account to be a child account to use to set up Family Safety for.

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2. Open the Control Panel (icons view), and click/tap on the Family Safety icon.

3. If prompted by UAC, then click/tap on Yes.

4. Click/tap on a listed child account that you would like to manage or set up Family Safety for. (see screenshot below)

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5. Do either step 6 or 7 below for what you would like to do.

6. To Turn Off Family Safety for a Child's Account

A) Under Family Safety at the top, click/tap on Off to dot it. (see screenshot below)

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B) Family Safety has now been completely turned off for the selected child account, all Family Safety settings will be grayed out, and the account's type will now be listed as a standard user instead of child.

C) Go to step 8 below.

7. To Turn On Family Safety for an Existing Standard User's (child's) Account

A) Under Family Safety at the top, click/tap on On, enforce current settings to dot it. (see screenshot below step 5A)

B) Under Activity reporting at the top, click/tap on the setting (on/off) you want to dot it. (see screenshot below step 5A)

C) You can now adjust and manage the individual settings below that you want to control for the selected child account.

  • Web filtering - You can make sure your children only visit age-appropriate websites, and decide whether you want to allow file downloads. You can also block or allow specific websites.
  • Time limits - You can specify hours when your children are allowed to sign in to the PC, and even set different time limits for each day. If a child is signed in when their allotted time ends, they'll be signed out automatically.
  • Windows Store and game restrictions - You can control what games your children play, set an age-rating level, choose the types of content you want to block, and decide whether you want to allow or block specific games.
  • App restrictions - You can prevent children from running specified installed Windows Store apps and programs that you don't want them to use.

D) The next time that you open Family Safety (step 1), you'll notice an option to be able to manage your Family Safety settings online on the Family Safety website. Go to step 8 below. (see screenshot below)

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8. When finished, you can close the Family Safety window if you like.

That's it,