How to use parental controls in Windows
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In this video, Aaron shows us how he set up parental controls in Windows to manage how his children access the web, which games and programs they have access to, and how much time they’re allowed to use the computer. Here’s how to do it.
Note: computers using parental controls cannot be connected to a domain. You need an administrative user account to set the controls up and each child should be assigned a standard user account.
Directions for setting up parental controls on Windows Vista computers are similar to those provided below for Windows 7, and are provided here. Directions for setting up parental controls on Windows XP computers are provided here.
Set up parental controls
Step 1. In Windows 7, click the Start button , click Control Panel, and then, under User Accounts and Family Safety, click Set up parental controls for any user.
If you're prompted for an administrator password or confirmation, type the password or provide confirmation.
Step 2. Click the standard user account for which you want to set Parental Controls. If the standard user account hasn’t been created yet, click Create a new user account to set up a new account.
Step 3. Under Parental Controls, click On, enforce current settings.
Manage programs, games, and time limits
After you've turned on Parental Controls for your child's standard user account, you can adjust any of the following individual settings that you want to control:
Time limits. You can set time limits to control when children are allowed to log on to the computer. Time limits prevent children from logging on during the specified hours. You can set different logon hours for every day of the week. If they're logged on when their allotted time ends, they'll be automatically logged off. For more information, see Control when children can use the computer.
Games. You can control access to games, choose an age-rating level, choose the types of content you want to block, and decide whether you want to allow or block unrated or specific games. For more information, see Choose which games children can play.
Allow or block specific programs. You can prevent children from running programs that you don't want them to run. For more information, see Prevent children from using specific programs.
Manage online activity
You may also wish to restrict the websites your kids can visit, limit their searches, see reports of their online activity, and more.
Parental controls for Internet usage and related activities, however, are not automatically included in Windows 7, but they are easy to add. Follow these steps to set up additional parental controls.
Step 1. Go to the Windows Live Family Safety home page, and follow the instructions to download and install Windows Live Family Safety on each computer your children use. Windows Live Family Safety is free, as part of Windows Live Essentials. (If you need help, follow the detailed instructions here.)
Step 2. After installation is complete, click the Start button , click All Programs, click Windows Live, and then click Windows Live Family Safety. Sign in using your Windows Live ID and password. (If you don’t have a Windows Live ID, you can sign up here for free.)
Step 3. In the Windows Live Family Safety Filter window, select the user account or accounts you want to monitor. Click family.safety.live.com.
Step 4. In the Family summary window, click Edit settings for the user account or accounts for which you want to customize settings. You will then be able to:
Set the desired level of web filtering to determine what types of sites can be accessed.
Review the websites your child has visited, games played, and time spent on the computer.
Manage your child's contacts in Windows Live Hotmail, Messenger, and Spaces.
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