How to Setting Up Parental Controls for Xbox Series X and Xbox Series S

If you’ve acquired an Xbox Series X or Xbox Series S for the young members of your household, ensuring they have an enjoyable experience while maintaining appropriate boundaries is crucial. Microsoft has integrated a comprehensive set of options for establishing child profiles and managing their activities on these consoles. This functionality is part of the broader Microsoft Family Safety feature, accessible for free through your existing Microsoft (and Xbox) account on various devices.

The customization level offered is impressive, extending down to specifying permitted websites for your child. For those who prefer not to configure each setting from scratch, pre-configured profiles are available as well.

Initiating Microsoft Family Safety Setup

To access your Family Safety settings, navigate to your Microsoft account page on the web. However, before you can implement parental controls on your Xbox, it’s essential to identify your family members within the Microsoft ecosystem. These settings will then apply universally across Microsoft products, including Windows and Office.

01 web

To begin, log in to your Microsoft account page on a computer (as it’s more convenient than on the console):

  • Click on “View your family.”
  • Opt to “Add a family member” to include a new member. Each family can consist of up to six individuals.
  • Each child requires their own Microsoft account for logging in. If one isn’t set up yet, choose “Create an account.” Otherwise, input the login details.
  • After creating or logging into a child’s account, it will appear on your family dashboard. Click the three dots on the upper right of any profile to access a menu for altering the profile image and reviewing recent activity. To implement parental controls, select “Go to overview.”

These settings will apply to all devices where your child logs in using their Microsoft account. Nevertheless, options tailored to the Xbox Series X or Xbox Series S will be visible only after connecting a console.

Adding Your Child to the Xbox

Once a child account is added, parental control options become accessible:

  • On your own user account within the Xbox Series X or Xbox Series S, access the Settings screen by selecting the cog icon atop the homescreen.
  • Choose “Account” > “Family settings.”
  • Select “Manage family members,” pick your child, and then click “Add to this Xbox console.”
  • Enter the child’s account password.

You’ll be prompted to sign in to your account. You can input your credentials on the console or receive an email on your phone or laptop for signing in on those devices.

02 add

Upon adding your child, Xbox’s parental controls activate. Some can be managed directly on the console, while others can be configured via the Family Safety web page or Microsoft Family Safety apps for Android and iOS.

It’s advisable to set up a PIN for your Xbox user account to prevent your child from switching accounts easily. Here’s how:

  • Open “Settings.”
  • Select “Account” > “Sign-in, security & PIN.”

Managing Parental Controls on the Xbox

After signing in your child, an array of parental options becomes available:

  • Access “Settings” through the cog icon on the homescreen’s top.
  • Choose “Account” > “Family settings” > “Manage family members.”

03 options

Select your child from the list to access various options:

  • “Access to content” lets you apply age restrictions to games, movies, and other content.
  • “Web filtering” permits management of your child’s access through the Xbox web browser, enabling creation of an approved site list.
  • “Privacy & online safety” > “Message safety” filters content from the internal Xbox messaging service or blocks it entirely.
  • “Privacy & online safety” > “Xbox privacy” houses the majority of parental controls.

Within the Xbox privacy menu, quick options developed by Microsoft are available: child, teen, or adult. Opting for any of these presets displays associated restrictions on the right. For more detailed control, choose “View details & customize.” This reveals further options:

  • “Online status & history” includes settings such as visibility of your child’s online presence and played games.
  • “Profile” offers control over the visibility of your child’s real name and profile image.
  • “Friends & clubs” lets you determine if your child can add friends and join clubs on the Xbox console.
  • “Communication & multiplayer” covers voice, text communication, and multiplayer game access.
  • “Game content” controls sharing of screenshots and initiating livestreams from the account.
  • “Sharing outside of Xbox” permits options for sharing content on other platforms, like social media.
  • “Buy & download” manages your child’s purchasing privileges for games and content.

Managing Parental Controls via Web or App

An exception is screen time limits, which you can’t configure directly on the Xbox. Oddly, this must be accessed through the Family Safety web page or Android/iOS apps. (Though you can technically access the Family Safety page via the Xbox web browser, it’s not the most user-friendly option.)

  • On the web, click the three dots next to your child’s profile.
  • Go to “overview” > “Screen time.”
  • Tap the child’s profile and click “Manage” next to “Screen time.”

The options are straightforward. You can categorize them by device (e.g., Xbox and Windows PC) or apply uniform screen time limits across all platforms. Set the total screen time hours and define specific off-limit periods for devices, which can vary by day if needed. Manual lock and unlock for specific devices are also available.

Both the website and apps provide activity reports, indicating your child’s gaming duration and purchases. Similar to Xbox, these parental controls encompass age rating limits for games and authorized/inaccessible sites via the browser.

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