With the increasing use of internet in our lives, it has become very important for parents to keep an eye on what their children are doing on the web. While most parental control apps focus on mobile devices, Microsoft Family Safety is also about controlling your kids’ online activities on the desktop. With the Microsoft Family Safety app available in the Microsoft Store, you can check and control your kids’ screen time, track their location, filter their search results, and monitor the apps and games they play. There is much more than that.
Microsoft Family Safety app for Windows 11/10
Microsoft Family Safety is a free app that helps you monitor and control your child’s online activities. You can add up to 6 family members to this app and control their web activities with a single account login. It is a very simple app and any parent can easily use it. There is also a paid version named Microsoft 365 Family available in which you have to pay a subscription fee of $99 per year and you get additional features like location tracking, driving history and driving safety reports. The motto of this app is to empower you and your family to build healthy internet habits and protect privacy. Microsoft Family Safety works on Windows, Xbox, Android, and Apple devices. The features are quite limited for Mac computers.
How Microsoft Family Safety Works
To set up your family account with the app, you must first sign in to your Microsoft account, then invite each person to the app and become part of the family online. Click on the + sign to add your family members. You can use email address or phone number to invite (phone numbers can only be used for US and Canada residents). The invitation, if not accepted, expires in 14 days.
As mentioned above, you can only add up to 6 people in a family and once they accept your invitations, you can set screen times, enable features like web filtering, activity reports, etc. You can track their location and driving habits. if you are using the paid version of this app. Any restrictions you put on each member will be visible on your account dashboard.
Read: How to set up and use Parental Controls in Windows 11
Microsoft Family Safety features
This feature is to help your family spend consciously. You can also set the allowances for each member added here. This will be the only money your kids can use to buy games, movies, or make any other in-app purchases.
To add money to this app-
- visit family.microsoft.com using a web browser and sign in to your Family Safety app account.
- Click on the family member’s account, scroll down a bit and go to the Expenses section. Click on Add money, follow the instructions and add the desired amount.
- Remember that the account balance you add here is non-refundable and non-transferable.
You can also add your credit cards here in the app, but then the child will need your approval for every purchase. The money you add to the wallet can be used without your permission.
find your family
You can check on the map where all your family members are. This location is tracked through their mobile devices only, so members need to choose their mobile devices for this.
This is one of the very important feature of this app in which parents can check each member’s online habits. You can check the websites your kids visit, the apps they use, or the games they play. All this information is displayed on your dashboard, you can also choose to receive weekly emails about the activities of your family members.
This is one of the best ways to protect your family from consuming inappropriate web content. The filters in this app will filter the search results on all their devices including Windows PC, Xbox as well as mobile devices. But yes, it only works on Microsoft’s default web browser, Microsoft Edge. You can enable SafeSearch with Bing and it will block all other browsers and only allow Microsoft Edge. Similarly, you can set an age limit to filter out inappropriate media, games, and apps. This setting applies to Windows 10 devices and Xbox devices. You can select your child’s age from the drop-down list and the search results will be filtered accordingly.
Click on the profile of the family member and you will see the Screen Time option in the left panel. By regulating screen time, you can really help your child develop good online habits. You can set the screen time for each day and select times. You can also choose to use one program on all devices.
Other features of the Microsoft Family Safety app include-
- Your family email – where you can email your family group to discuss something.
- Your family calendar – here you can create an event with your family or create reminders for your family group.
- Family OneNote – It’s all about planning family vacations, creating a shopping list, or sharing any kind of notes with your family group.
The Microsoft Family Safety app is available here at the Microsoft Store.
How does Microsoft Family Safety work?
Microsoft Family Safety is a free application that allows parents to monitor their children’s online habits and control their Internet activities. The app sends you reports on overall screen time and app usage of your family members. You can sync this app across Windows, Xbox and Android devices.
Read: How to use the Microsoft Family Safety app for iPhone and Android phone
Is Windows Family Safety free?
Yes, it is a free application and available for download on MS Store. You can add up to 6 family members in one account. Although there is also a paid version with additional features such as location tracking and driving habits, where you have to pay a subscription fee of $99 per year.
Read more: Free parental control software for Windows PC.