How to Set Up Family Settings on Your Xbox One

The Xbox One is a fantastic console for the kids, with family friendly titles like Minecraft and Kingdom Hearts III, a whole host of LEGO games to choose from, and even wholesome exclusives such as Ori and the Will of the Wisps too. And while gaming can be a worry for some parents, modern consoles have a robust selection of parental controls to ensure that you're in control when it comes to the gaming habits of your young 'uns.

The Xbox One is particularly well-supported in this regard, with an extensive array of unique family settings built-in to the machine that make it easy to manage screen time, social interactions, online spending and access to content for the whole household. In this guide we’ll take you through the step-by-step of your options in childproofing your Xbox One.

How to set playtime limits on your Xbox One

Many parents want to place sensible limits on the amount of screen time their children get in a given day or week, and the Xbox One's built-in tools make this an absolute doddle, even allowing you to limit play to specific windows of time. It’s a great way of allowing your kids freedom with a console, but also keeping gaming as part of a balanced lifestyle. Here’s how you do it:

  • Sign in to the Family Hub on your Microsoft Account.
  • Use the ‘Add a Family Member’ function to attach your children’s accounts (create an account for them if you need to).
  • Once they are added, scroll to their name and select ‘Screen Time’.
  • Toggle the screen time limits on for each device you want to restrict, and set a start and end time for each day of the week.

And it’s as easy as that. Also note that if you want these settings to apply to accounts on both PC and Xbox One, toggle on the ‘Use one schedule for all devices’ on the Family Hub.

How to limit who can communicate with you and your children on your Xbox One

Online play is a wonderful way of making friends, and many family friendly games also have family friendly communities. But if you’d prefer to choose who can communicate with your child online, it is easy to do so by using the privacy settings available:

  • Press the Xbox controller button and follow this path: System > Settings > Account > Family > Manage Family Members.
  • Find the appropriate family member, then follow: Privacy & Online Safety > Xbox Live Privacy > View Details and Customize > Communication & Multiplayer.
  • If you want to block chat completely, choose ‘You can play with people outside of Xbox Live’ and select to block it (This prevents cross-network play entirely.)
  • If you only want to allow chat with specific people instead, select ‘You can communicate outside of Xbox Live with voice & text’ and then choose who you want them to be able to talk to.

How to limit mature content on your Xbox One

Thanks to the Xbox One’s parental controls, it can be easy to ensure your children are interacting with age-appropriate content and help ensure your family is always enjoying the right entertainment. Using Content restrictions and Web Filtering you can set up a request system, whereby your kids have to green light a game with you before they play it, or you can restrict access entirely. Here’s how it’s done:

  • Press the Xbox controller button and follow this path: System > Settings > Account > Family > Manage Family Members.
  • Choose your child and select ‘Access to Content’ which will allow you to manually choose their age limit.
  • In the ‘Family menu’, you can also choose ‘Web Filtering’.
  • Your whippersnappers can also request access to blocked apps, which you can okay by going to ‘Content Restrictions’, and adding it to the ‘Always Allowed’ list.

How to set purchase controls on your Xbox One

The Microsoft Store makes it easy to limit purchases and microtransactions. On both Xbox One and Windows 10 devices you can use purchase management tools to limit your children's buying power, prevent purchases, or keep track of them by viewing a full per-account purchase history.

  • Press the Xbox controller button and follow this path: System > Settings > Account > Family > Manage Family Members.
  • Select your child and follow this path: Privacy & Online Safety > Xbox Live Privacy >View Details & Customize > Buy & Download.
  • Choose the ‘Ask a Parent’ option, meaning they will have to request approval before being able to purchase something.

And with that your child is ready to enjoy the wonderful world of gaming, while you can rest happy in the knowledge that they are safe and secure.

For more information on Xbox Family Settings please visit: