Kid's Corner having PIN problems?

One of the nice features with Windows Phone 8 is the Kid's Corner. If you go into the settings and turn this feature on, you can select games, music, videos, and apps that are age appropriate for your children. While in the Kid's Corner, these selections are all your children have access to. It is designed to create a safe environment for your kids to access and protect the more sensitive stuff on your Windows Phones from curiosity.

But there seems to be a slight bug in accessing the Kid's Corner if you use a PIN Number to lock your Windows Phone. When a PIN Number is set, if you swipe right from the lock screen to access the Kid's Corner that PIN number is required to unlock the Kid's Corner.

Some have found a work around to this by setting an interval for when the PIN is required. You'll still have to enter the PIN to access your Windows Phone but the Kid's Corner will no longer require a PIN. Downside to this work around is that it doesn't always work.

The times we've seen Kid's Corner in action, the PIN screen was not in play. And we have to wonder why the Kid's Corner would need a PIN to begin with. Even if you wanted to PIN protect the Kid's Corner it makes no sense to give your child the same PIN that would unlock the main phone.

It's likely a bug that needs ironing out in the next update Microsoft pushes out. If you've had PIN problems with Kid's Corner, feel free to sound off in the comments.

Thanks, Jonathan, for the tip!

George Ponder

George is the Reviews Editor at Windows Central, concentrating on Windows 10 PC and Mobile apps. He's been a supporter of the platform since the days of Windows CE and uses his current Windows 10 Mobile phone daily to keep up with life and enjoy a game during down time.

  • Try turning the pin off and deactivating kids corner. Then, activate kids corner and it will give you an option to pin protect your main screen. That worked fit me, and does not require a pin when using kids corner.
  • This actually sounds like a reasonable explanation. Still a bug on Ms part, but at least it's a bug cause it doesn't understand the fact that you already had a pin, not that the pin feature is "broke". Hopefully more people can test this out and update the article accordingly.
  • Well said adretheon.. Finally someone who is calm over such petty issues which can be easily resolved with an update...
  • Just so we are clear, by deactivate do you mean turn off? Beqcose If so, and I follow your steps, I don't get the option to set a PIN like you mention. If you are referring to another way other than turning it off and on, please clarify. Thanks for the help.
  • Now that I try again, I am not getting the option. It definitely prompted me on initial set up.
  • Definately not working for me either (Lumia 920).  What a STUPID bug to have.  They are paying Jessica Alba all that money and have launched TV commercials with her specifically advertising Kid's Corner, and it doesn't work.  This is more frustrating as it's a great "show off" feature to folks with kids that might actually interest them in Windows Phone 8.  And I expect AT&T to hold up the update for 6-9 months....  (Yes, I know we all want to believe that we can bypass the carriers and get updates directly from MS, but that is more wishful thinking than something that has been demonstrated...)
  • Me too, it asked me if i wanted a passcode on the initial setup when i was testing out kids corner, i chose yes, tested it out and all worked well.  turned kids corner off as i didnt need it.  a few hours later i went to show my sister this feature and when i turned kids corner on it didnt ask me if i wanted a pass code or not. i locked the phone and showed her but it seemed useless having kids corner on if i had no pass code on the actual phone lock screen.  after going back into settings and turning lock screen password on, i came across this apparant bug of it promting both the lock screen and kids corner  screen for a passcode
  • absolutely ridiculous bug. So many people in Microsoft working on windows phone. Not one of them said "hey guys this is silly".  I'm so disappointed, how can they be so inadequate
  • From your reply I'm going to guess you have plenty of experience in Software engineering and understand the principal that a 'man day' is not equal to a regular day, therefore the number of people working is not entirely relevant past a certain point?
  • yes my thumbnail has more experience than you and your whole family tree. You clearly have the IQ of a mosquito to misinterpret such simple comment
  • ...turns out your a bigger dick too...
  • Yeah! You tell him! That dumbass clearly... wait, no, my bad... YOU'RE the dumbass. You know not to whom you speak.
  • A bug is a bug. They make it through otherwise there'd be none. Humans write the code and test it. We are masterful at making mistakes. Lighten up eh?
  • Sounds like it might be enforced by an ActiveSync policy?
  • My Thoughts exactly... I have a corporate email account on my phone with EAS pushing out policies. I'm not sure but I think it's that EAS policy that is enforcing it. 
  • I guess no point in Kids corner then.  
    pretty odd this fell through the cracks. 
  • That's what I've been saying since day 1, can't be right
  • Sorry. But thats just dumb. I am a developer myself. How could have someone overlooked this bug?
  • Seeing as this will have been a large development team with seperate testers, and that it is not consistant behaviour, instead only happening in some instances; I would say that the test case(s) written for this functionality did not cover whichever specific set of events are required to replicate this problem. Happens all the time on large projects such as an entire phone OS...
  • Not one person has responded saying that it works like it's "supposed" to though. 
    Maybe it's actually working as it's intended? 
  • It works fine for me, if I go to Kids Corner FIRST.  
    However, if I jump the gun and swipe up like i'm going to get into the phone, then swipe down and left to get to kids corner, it asks for my PIN.  If I hit the lock button twice, then swipe left...i'm in.  
  • Dito here:) Human error != a programming bug. Sorry to disappoint those that are happily ranting away!
  • A very sensible comment there.. Best way to put it .. Bugs do appear out of nowhere. Its not possible to predict all instances while coding..people should realize that issue can be fixed with a minor update.
  • Saw it working on a video review, so obviously this isn't happening to everyone.  For now using a workaround like the first post mentioned might be your best bet.
  • Kid's Corner opens up just fine on my phone without requiring a pin and I have a pin set up to get to the main screen.
  • It seems to be intermittent.  It happened on my Wife's L920 once or twice over the weekend, but it has not happened on my L920 yet.  We both have pins to access our phones and the kids corner is active on both.
  • I WANT a PIN on my Kid's Corner.  Though like others have said above I beat this might be ActiveSync policy causing it?  I would have to remove mine to test.  
    Anyway, I don't want anyone from work being able to grab my phone and get into Kid's Corner without a PIN.  And I definitely don't want my kids being able to do it.  I will unlock it for them. 
  • LOL now that I post this, people are saying that they aren't all having this issue.  :)
  • Lol.. I was about to tell you that ... Good that you noticed it :-D
  • I have this issue. I don't PIN protect my phone all the time, but when I do, it would be nice if my daughter could access her apps and games without me having to enter the PIN for her... They will fix it... I hope. Perhaps a separate PIN setting for me and one for Kids corner... I don't know, I don't program, but I'm sure they will figure something out...
  • Is your phone conneting to a company email system, Exchange or Office 365?
  • Kids Corner works great if you don't use a PIN at all.
  • 1
  • It's not a bug, it's by design. Go watch the 10/29 event again, when Joe demoed it he said he has to unlock the phone for his kid because he's using a PIN. 
    I thought it was strange, the whole point is to lock the "real" phone and allow the kid to get into the kid's corner only. how long before they know the pin and can still mess around with your phone?
  • It's not by design, I have my phone pin locked but still have kids corner with open access, how it was designed to be
  • I thought it was a bug too. After rewatchign the video and playing with it for a bit, it is by design. Whenever Kids Corner is unlocked, the main phone is also locked however both will be locked after the PIN timeout.
  • Joe had not setup any PIN for his phone , so even after he pressed the standby button and swiped the lockscreen, it went straight up without asking for PIN.
  • I've noticed one other issue with kids corner. If you have NOT given access to your photos, when you create your profile within kids corner it lets you view/pick from all photos on the phone. Kinda defeats the purpose if you ask me. Def some issues to work out.
  • Good spot, I'd send that one in to Microsoft as it's definitely a design flaw
  • Yup, they missed that...
  • Interesting point. That's definitely a bug I think. The issue in the article above is not.
  • Someone mentioned ActiveSync being a possibility and I second that. If your employer's exchange server requires a certain lock period, I've seen strange issues with that before.
  • This was the first thing I noticed about Kids Corner. It didn't make any sense. I hope they correct it :(
  • Shoulda bought an iPhone.
  • LOL yes because Kids Corner was the reason for everyone to buy a Windows Phone. 
  • And suffer the shame of being just regular? Nah...
  • i feel sorry for MS
  • Even after you check their bank accounts?  Hmm.  Lol!  MS is fine.
  • I always had this question: How does Kid corner PIN protection work? Specially for those of us using Exchange with enforced PIN policies (which seem to prevent even upgrades from working seamlessly...).
    I would prefer if I can setup a separate PIN to get IN/OUT of Kid's corner based on configuration... I would tend to think PIN to get in is not as necessary as to get out...
  • Glad to see I'm not the only one scratching his head. Any news about the over heating issue?
  • A not finished OS...hope you having fun. Grettings from the 7.5 cold desert, we'll see you next year around this date.
  • I just hope they listen to feedback and rename "Kid's Corner" to "Guest Corner" or something less specific. It goes way beyond kids, it lets me hand my phone to friends or family so they can take a picture, use the browser, or play a game, but not give them access to my texts and facebook and people tiles.
  • You can rename it. I named mine "safe mode" :)
    it's in the customize tile in the kid's zone
  • Tested : when you set the pin code to always been requested, there is no issue at all. Now, if you allow for 10 minutes without asking for a pin code when powering on the screen, unless you get in kid's corner, it doesn't requires the pin code to work (and this only for the ten minutes, after, it requires to get the pin code). In any case, to get out of the kid's corner, you need to switch off/switch on and it is always asking for pin code, even if the ten minutes are not elapsed.... Further, to get in kid's corner, you never need a pin code.
    Why people see issues where there is no? If you got kids, just set pin code to be always requested. Period.
  • This doesn't happen all the time with me.  It only asks for a pin to get into Kids Corner if I mistakenly swipe up to access the phone first, then swipe down to close the pin entry, then swipe left for kids corner.
    I don't think it's an AD issue or anything, just a bug.  Bugs happen.  Fix should be easy and I'm sure there will be a quick patch coming for a couple of opening day quirks.
  • dunno if someone wrote, but if you set password alway have this trouble (always is always...not so wrong the microsoft thought...) but if you set "ask password after 30 second" or more, children's corner works fine
  • I wonder if there's a software version difference between those people who's phones are working correctly and not here. I'm on a Lumia 920, with OS version: 8.0.9903.10 (per settings/about), and mine definitely does not behave correctly: the lock screen PIN applies to Kid's Corner just the same as the rest of the phone.
  • sorry, i can't edit my comment: *if you set "ask password: always" you have this trouble
  • I have this issue on my Lumia 920 myself. But bugs will always be found, hence growing pains for everything.
  • My experience is as follows:
    With pin timeout at immediate, both "zones" will always require a pin to unlock
    With pin timeout set to 30 seconds, each zone has it's own timer. After 30 seconds, both will require pin to unlock. If you just unlock kid's zone, and turn off screen, it will remain unlocked for 30 seconds. Once you unlock the main zone, both timers are reset. Oddly, if you unlock the main zone, turn the screen off and then on, go to kid's zone, and turn the screen off and on, the main screen will need a pin again, like the timer has been reset. These behaviors were repeatable and consistent, and remained as such when the pin time out was set to one minute. I did not test for the longer time out settings.
  • So, because they appear to have independent timers, if you set the pin timer to one minute, turn off the screen and wait 1 minute, turn on the screen, both will require a pin. If you don't unlock the main zone but do unlock the kid's zone and turn the screen off and then back on again in under 1 minute, the main zone will still require a pin, as it wasn't unlocked earlier, but the kid's zone will not require a pin, as it was unlocked less than a minute ago.
  • Another oddity is that the Xbox live apps in kids zone still play with your xbox live account signed in.  There may be users who prefer that games opened from the kids zone log in as guest user, that should be an option.
    Lots of things to work out.  I was hoping WP* would have something like the Surface where my kids can login using their own accounts which also sync with their xbox live accts.  The Surface extra accounts alone is worth switching from my ipad and my kids love it because all their settings are customized for them.
  • A nice touch and something they did think about is that text messages that come in while in the kid's zone will chime but there is no toast popup so your texts can't be read.
  • This is not a bug.
    There seems to be a lot of confusion about this and the messaging could be better but the behavior is by design and it is not inconsistent.
    In the video above, Joe Belfiore clearly states that you might need to unlock your phone to let kids use Kid's Corner.
    My experiences using Kid's Corner as as follows: If the phone is locked and you enter the pin to unlock a phone for Kid's corner, the phone's main functionality remains locked. If your phone is unlocked and you go to Kid's Corner, it locks access to the phone's main functionality. 
    Essentially, it is by-design that Kid's Corner be behind the pin just like the main phone functionality. I assume this is done because some apps in Kid's corner can still reveal information that you might not want people to have if the phone is stolen. It would have been nice to make this optional but combined with EAS policy on the phone, doing that would be non-trivial. 
  • I am experiencing this and hope to see an update soon to make this more intuitive for everyone.
  • This is just STUPID . . . . It's 2014 HAS MS FIX THIS BUG. I got the phone so that i can give to my teenager and not have to warry about the internet and other none safe content and it's not working. I can not even give the phone to my kid when he goes to school. OR does MS want's me to drive to my kids school and unlock the phone every 30 min. STUPID very STUPID, i will be retruning the FUCKING pone. FUCK you Microsoft . . .  suck my balls you funkcing STUPID pice of Shit excuse for a company. 2 years and stilll no fucking fix for this, yet you keep selling your shitty OS in hopes it will take off. I gave you a fucking chance and you Fucked it all up.