App and game limits for Windows 10, Xbox One, and Android

If you're concern about your child spending a lot of time using apps and games on different devices, you can now set screen time limits to promote a healthier and safer lifestyle through your Microsoft account.

Using the family settings, you can add new members, and access the necessary tools to decide which limitations you want to put in place across Windows 10 and Xbox One as well as Android devices when using the Microsoft Launcher app.

In this Windows 10 guide, we'll walk you through the steps to configure your Microsoft account to control app and game limits for a young family member no matter the device they use, including tablet, laptop, desktop, Xbox console, and even Android devices.

How to create a family group on Microsoft account

To create a family group on your Microsoft account to control your child screen time, use these steps:

  1. Open Microsoft account.
  2. Click the Family tab.
  3. Click the Create a family group button.

    Family settings Microsoft account

  4. Select the Child option.

    Create child account in family settings

  5. Specify the user account address.
  6. Resolve the challenge to verify that you're not a robot.
  7. Click the Send invite button.
  8. Click the Done button.
  9. Open the email invitation in the new family member account.
  10. Click the Join button.

    Microsoft account family invitation email

  11. Click the Join the family button.

    Family member invitation confirmation

Once you complete the steps, you can proceed to schedule time limits for apps and games on any supported Windows 10, Xbox One, and Android devices connected with the same Microsoft account.

How to limit app screen time on devices using Microsoft account

To set app and game limits from your Microsoft account across Android, Xbox One, and Windows 10 use these steps:

  1. Open Microsoft account.
  2. Click the Family tab.
  3. Click on Activity.
  4. Click the More options menu.
  5. Click the Content restrictions option.

    Family account content restrictions option

  6. Under the "Web browsing" section, turn on the Block inappropriate websites toggle switch.

    Microsoft account content restrictions

    Quick note: This is a required option to configure the "Web filtering" feature on the Microsoft Launcher app for Microsoft Edge on Android. Otherwise, you won't be able to set limits for apps and games on the child's phone.

  7. Under the person's account, click the App and game limits option.

    Your Family settings

  8. Turn on the App and game limits toggle switch.

    App and game limits feature

  9. Select the app or game you want to set screen limits.

    Quick tip: If the app isn't on the list, click the Show more option at the bottom of the page.

  10. Turn on the toggle switch on the right side.

    App to set limit using Microsoft account

  11. Select the Weekdays tab.
  12. Use the slider to set during which time they can use the allowed time to use the app.
  13. Use the Allow option to specify a time range for that particular app.

    Allowed time to use an app

  14. Select the Weekends tab.
  15. Repeat steps No. 9 and 10.

After you complete the steps, the user that you configured will only be able to use apps and play games during the times you specified.

Once the new family settings in place, when the child opens the app or game, they'll get a notification letting them know the time they have left and when the time is almost up. When the runs out, the account will no longer allow the child to open the game or app until the next time on any device signed in with the same Microsoft account. However, they'll have the option to request additional time, which you can quickly set up or deny via email, phone notification, or using the family settings online.

How to add devices to family group Microsoft account

The screen time limitation feature on your Microsoft account will work as long as the young person has their account on compatible devices, and they have logged in.

Set up a child account on Windows 10

To set up a new Windows 10 account that you can control using the family group settings, use these steps:

  1. Open Settings.
  2. Click on Accounts.
  3. Click on Family & other users.
  4. Under the "Your family" section, click the Allow button for the child account.

    Set up account on Windows 10 for family member

Once you complete the steps, remember to sign in to the account to register the device with your Microsoft account to start controlling the app and game limits.

Set up a new account on Xbox One

To set up an Xbox One account that you can control screen time, use these steps:

  1. Press the Xbox button on the controller to open the guide.
  2. Select the Sign in option.
  3. Select the Add new option.

    Xbox One add new account

  4. Sign in with kid's Microsoft account.

    Xbox new account sign in

  5. Continue with the on-screen directions (if applicable).

After you complete the steps, the console will appear in your Microsoft account, allowing you to control game limits.

Set up new account Microsoft Launcher

To set up Microsoft Launcher on your child's phone that you control using the family settings, use these steps:

  1. Open Google Play.
  2. Search for Microsoft Launcher.
  3. Tap the Install button.
  4. Tap the Open button.
  5. Tap the Get started button.
  6. Tap the Not now button (if applicable).
  7. Tap the Continue button.

    Microsoft Launcher setup (part 1)

  8. Tap Allow and Allow to let the Microsoft Launcher access to your information.
  9. Tap the Continue button.
  10. Tap the Let's go button.

    Microsoft Launcher setup (part 2)

    Quick tip: If the Microsoft account that you want to use didn't appear on the screen automatically, continue with the steps, and then switch accounts going to Microsoft Launcher Settings > Your Account (top-right button), then removing and adding the correct account.

  11. Tap the Set as default button to set Microsoft Launcher the default experience.
  12. Select the Microsoft Launcher option.

    Set Microsoft Launcher default

  13. Tap the Always button in the bottom-right corner.

In addition to setting up the Microsoft Launcher, you need to install the Microsoft Edge browser to take full control of the screen time using your Microsoft account.

Installing Microsoft Edge

To install Microsoft Edge on Android, use these steps:

  1. Open Google Play.
  2. Search for Microsoft Edge.
  3. Tap the Install button.
  4. Tap the Open button.
  5. Sign in using the child's Microsoft account.
  6. Continue with the on-screen directions.
  7. Swipe the screen to the right to open the Microsoft Launcher feed.
  8. Scroll to the Family card.
  9. Tap the Web filtering option.

    Set up Microsoft Edge on Android

  10. Tap each task that don't have a checkmark (such as "Get Latest Microsoft Edge," "Set Microsoft Edge a default browser," and "Sign in to Microsoft Edge") to configure the setting.

Once you complete the steps, the phone will appear on the list to control the app and game limits.

More Windows 10 resources

For more helpful articles, coverage, and answers to common questions about Windows 10, visit the following resources: