How to use the parental controls on the Xbox One

Learn how to remotely manage your child's gaming screen time from any internet browser.

The Xbox One is a fantastic console for all ages thanks to a vast array of games and some truly comprehensive parental controls giving parents access over screen time and spending habits.

The Xbox One requires a Microsoft account which means that you can remotely set screen time limits, manage your child's spending all via a web browser or even over email.

Getting started

First things first, if you don’t have one you’ll need to create a Microsoft account. Microsoft lets you use your existing email address as the login username so you don’t need to create yet another email account.

Once you’re setup, head to the Microsoft Family homepage where you’ll be prompted to create a new family member.

Select child and then click on create one for them. You can now create your child’s Microsoft account using either a Microsoft email or any existing email address you already have for them such as Gmail.

Follow the instructions on screen where you’ll be asked to create a password and then enter a code that has been sent to your child’s inbox.

Finally you’ll be sent to the Family settings page where you’ll see your child’s account is Pending. Simply click on Accept Now, follow the instructions on-screen and you’re done.

Sign into the Xbox using your child’s account details. This is now their Xbox but with you in control of all the things that matter, including their screen time, the games they can play and if they can spend any money.

How to set limits on screen time

Head to the Microsoft Family homepage on your web browser and underneath your child’s name click on Screen Time. You’ll now see the Xbox listed, so turn the toggle on.

You’ll now see a full weekday calendar showing the windows when your child is allowed to play (in green) and when they’re not. You can change these windows and then set a max time within them e.g they can play for two hours between 15:00-19:00.

Just set the schedules you’re happy with and they’ll automatically be applied to the Xbox, you don’t have to do anything else.

How to set age limits

Start at the Microsoft Family homepage and underneath your child’s name click on Content Restrictions. Scroll down to Apps, games & media and turn this toggle on.

You can now select the age-limit and even see the ratings certificates by clicking on View allowed ratings.

This age-rating applies to all games and apps on Xbox and if your child tries to access anything beyond that age rating you’ll immediately be informed.

You can of course make exceptions e.g. Fortnite and these will need to be approved by you when the child tries to access it.

How to stop your child buying games without your permission

The great thing about Xbox’s approach is that by default, your child cannot just turn the Xbox on and buy anything they want.

Instead the Xbox account works by giving your child a virtual wallet which you can then top-up either monthly or on a case-by-case basis.

To add money to your child’s account go to the Microsoft Family homepage and then click on More options and finally Spending.

Now click on Add money. You can specify the amount and transfer it over to their wallet. By default even if they have the money, they’ll still have to ask your permission before they can buy anything.

If you have slightly older children or you trust them to spend their money wisely you can of course turn this feature off by going to the Family Homepage, clicking on Content Restrictions and then turning off the section marked Needs adult approval to buy things.

BT Parental Controls

Being able to browse the web safely is important, especially if you have children – and with our free BT Parental Controls, we help to keep them safe online. You can filter content and even set homework time to block them doing things like gaming, when they should be working.

It's a network-based web-filter which means that works on all your home devices such as smartphones, tablets, laptops and computers as long as they are connected to your BT internet. It's also the only web filter offered by a major UK broadband provider that'll keep you protected when you're out and connected to BT's public Wi-Fi networks.

Keep your children safe online: Turn on BT Parental Controls in My BT

For more advice on keeping your kids safe online visit Internet Matters 

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