On Windows 10, you can add multiple accounts to share a device with other family members. If you have children in the family, they can also have a personal space, but in a more controlled environment to make sure they have the safest experience possible while using apps, playing games — on Windows 10 or Xbox One — and browsing the internet.

It's all possible using a child account, which once created, you can manage in a number of ways through the Family dashboard in your Microsoft account. Using these tools, you can review reports of your children's online activities. Limit the time they can spend in front of Windows 10 devices, or the time they spend playing Xbox One games. You can restrict apps and games, and you have the ability to make sure they don't end up visiting websites that aren't suitable for them.

In this Windows 10 guide, we'll walk you through the steps to properly set up a child account and manage its parental control settings.

How to create a child account on Windows 10

If you want to create an account designed specifically for a young member of the family, do the following:

  1. Open Settings.
  2. Click on Accounts.
  3. Click on Family & other people.
  4. Under "Your family," click the Add a family member button.

  5. Select the Add a child option.
  6. Type the email address of the young person you want to add.

    Quick Tip: If an email address is not available, click The person I want to add doesn't have an email address link. Then use the wizard to create a Microsoft account.

  7. Click the Confirm button.

  8. Click the Close button.

Once you've completed the steps, the new member will be able to sign-in immediately, but you won't be able to control the account until they accept the invitation sent during the account creation process.

How to manage a child account on Windows 10

After accepting the invitation, you or another adult family member can take control of the account and view activity reports, limit computing and gaming time, set up limited rated content, apps, and games, and add funds to allow the young person to make small purchases in the Microsoft Store.

To start controlling the family member account, use the following steps:

  1. Open Settings.
  2. Click on Accounts.
  3. Click on Family & other people.
  4. Under "Your family," click the Manage family settings online option.

Alternatively, you can sign-in to your Microsoft account in your web browser, and open the Family tab.

While in the family dashboard, you can view activity reports and manage various aspects of the account.

Viewing recent activities

In the Activity page, you can turn the Activity reporting toggle switch to start collecting activities on Windows 10 devices and Xbox One.

Once the option is enabled, you can see the websites the young family member is visiting, the apps and games they've been downloading and playing, and the time they've been spending on their devices.

If you can't stay on top of the activities, you can also turn on the Email weekly reports to me toggle switch to get a full report delivered to your email address.

After enabling activity reporting, you can always come back and use the "View activity from" drop-down menu to select the day of activities you want to review.

Setting screen time

In the Screen time page, you can easily limit the hours and days of the week a child can use their Windows 10 and Xbox One devices.

Using the parental controls, you can set two types of schedules. You can turn on the Use one screen time schedule toggle switch, which allows you set the schedule for computing and gaming. Or you can turn on the Xbox screen time and PC screen time toggle switches to set limits separately.

Setting screen limits is a straightforward process. Once you've enabled an option, you'll see the default schedule.

Under the "Hours allowed" column, you can use the drop-down menu to select the amount of screen time for a particular day, including the ability to block the day entirely.

Once you've selected the number of hours a child can use a device, click the schedule chart to the right to specify when they can use the allowed time.

When specifying when they can use their allowed time, you can add and remove multiple schedules. After configuring the screen time, click the Save button to apply the changes.

If you want to add the same time to more than one day, click the Add time to multiple days link to set up the desired schedule.

The scheduling process will be the same for setting screen time for Xbox and PC individually.

Setting content restrictions

In the Content restrictions page, you can configure the account to require adult approval for purchases in the Microsoft Store, set age limit for apps, games, and media, and you can even block those websites you want to restrict access.

Ask a parent

The Ask a parent feature allows you to require your approval for a child to proceed with a Microsoft Store purchase. However, this option excludes purchases made with the funds you added to the child account and gift cards.

To enable this feature, turn on the Needs adult approval to buy things toggle switch. If you also want to know when and what a child has purchased, then turn on the Email me when my child gets stuff toggle switch.

Apps, games & media

The Apps, games & media feature option enables you to block apps, games, and media that isn't appropriate for your children.

To restrict content, turn on the Block inappropriate apps, games & media toggle switch, and then use the drop-down menu to specify the rating you want to allow. (For more details, click the View allowed ratings link.)

Web browsing

The Web browsing feature works as a web filter, and it lets you block those websites that are not suitable for your children.

To enable this feature, turn on the Block inappropriate websites toggle switch.

Under "Always allowed," you can add the links for the websites that a child can visit. It's also possible to check the Only allow these websites option to explicitly set this list as the only websites a child can visit blocking everything else.

Under "Always blocked," you can add the links for the websites you want to block.

This option will also suppress inappropriate search results using Microsoft Edge or Internet Explorer and Bing as the default search engine.

If you want to prevent your child from using another search engine that may not have safe search configured, it's a good idea to add those sites to the blocked list, including Google.com, Yahoo.com, and others.

Because this feature only works with the Microsoft default web browser, turning on Web browsing will block other browsers, such as Chrome or Firefox, to help to keep your kid safer when surfing the internet. However, if you want to allow the use of another browser, you can unblock them from the Apps, games & media section, under "Always blocked."

Adding funds to a child account

Then in the Spending page allows you to add money to the kid's Microsoft account to buy anything they want without breaking the bank.

This feature works in combination with the Apps, games & media feature to restrict the products they can't buy, such as game rated for a much older audience.

To add funds to your kid's account, click the Add money button, specify the amount, and complete the transaction. (This process is not refundable. If you're not sure how it's going to work, start with a small amount.)

In addition to adding money, from this page, you can also view your child purchase history.

Fixing and preventing common problems

Usually, after setting up a child account and configuring parental controls, settings will apply immediately, but rarely, you may come across some problems getting screen time and family activities working correctly.

Here are a number a few things you can do to prevent or fix problems using these features:

As soon as the account is created you want to verify the account on Windows 10 on Settings > Accounts > Your info, click the Verify link and follow the on-screen instructions to complete the process.

If the settings aren't working, make sure the device is connected to the internet, and reboot the PC to update the system settings.

Problems can also occur as a result of missing updates, and even though, Windows 10 updates automatically, you may still need to check for new releases manually on Settings > Update & Security > Windows Update, and click the Check for updates button.

In the case family activity reporting isn't working, you can also go to Settings > Privacy > Feedback & diagnostic, and ensure the Enhanced or Full level is selected.

More Windows 10 resources

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

This post may contain affiliate links. See our disclosure policy for more details.