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The new school year is underway and Xbox is here to help families balance schoolwork and extracurricular activities with screen time. We’re always looking for new ways to improve children’s safety online and give you and your parents or guardians the tools you need to keep your digital interactions safe. We covered the many simple options built into your Microsoft account to give you peace of mind, including screen time limitations, purchase limits, content filters, and privacy settings late last year.
Today, we’d like to share with you some of the additional steps we’ve taken to improve our current family setup. As part of our goal to make gaming a fun, inclusive, and safe experience for everyone, we’re giving you more control over what your kids see and interact with on the devices in your home. For us, this means providing tools that allow families to choose how much screen time they want to spend in their lives.
How to set game and app limits on Xbox One
Improved Family Settings
We’ve updated our existing family settings to now include app and game limits to limit the time your kids can use specific apps or games. You can turn on this feature on all devices linked to your child’s account, which is connected to your Microsoft family group. Creating a family group is an easy and important first step! The feature is currently available in preview and we look forward to hearing your feedback so we can continue to refine the experience for your family.
For example, you can choose to set one hour of game time for Ark: Survival Evolved each day and two hours for Netflix. Before this, you could set broad screen time limits (three hours on Xbox One), whereas now you can determine which specific apps or games can or cannot be played within that time frame. These app and game limits are shared across Xbox One, Windows 10, and Android via Microsoft Launcher devices and work across all child and teen accounts.
You may be wondering how to access websites through a browser. While the new app and game limits only apply to apps and games, which do not include the app’s website, you can choose to filter websites through the currently available family settings.
Meet the needs of today’s parents
Last year, we also updated Family Settings on Xbox to allow parents and guardians to enable or block their children’s access to play games or communicate with players on other networks. You can modify this setting in supported games on any child or teen account (off by default for child accounts). These features can be found in your Microsoft account on Windows 10 or Xbox One. Simply select the account you want to update, and then enable or block cross/network communication.
These cross-play settings are currently available for Fortnite, Rocket League, Dauntless, and Call of Duty: Modern Warfare and we hope other games will enable them as well.
We’ve also made it easy to set up a child account on Xbox One. Now you just need to add your electronic signature to give your consent for your child to have a Microsoft account; credit cards are no longer required for verification.
It’s important to us to continually update our family setup to ensure it fits the unique needs of today’s families.
Balance work and play
Each Microsoft family account can choose to receive a weekly activity report, which is sent to both you and your child, containing an overview of how much time was spent on apps, games, and websites. Activity reports provide transparency into how your kids are interacting with Xbox One, Windows 10 and Android devices running with Microsoft Launcher, and let you set limits and features you think are best for your family.
When your child reaches the end of the allowed screen time for a specific app or game, you have the option to request additional screen time, which you can choose to allow or deny through your Microsoft account.
You know what is best for your family; no technology can replace that. The right tools can help make parenting easier, and Family Settings on Xbox does this by allowing parents to control what their children can access across the platform.
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