What you need to know
- The Xbox Family Settings app is a powerful tool that allows parents to monitor and protect their child while gaming online.
- The app already had an impressive suite of features that tied into Xbox gaming, but a new update adds two more.
- Pause Screen Time lets parents pause a child's daily screen time, even if they still have time left, until the parent decides to unpause it.
- Ask to Buy allows a child to ask a parent for help buying something that they want, with a notification for the parent.
The Xbox Family Settings app is a mobile app available for iOS and Android that gives parents access to many Xbox parental settings, controls, and tools all from their mobile device. The app already lets you set content restrictions, daily screen times, online and multiplayer settings, and friend request approvals. A new update rolling out today adds two new highly-requested features to Xbox Family Settings (opens in new tab).
The two new features being added today include:
- Pause Screen Time. This augmentation to setting time limits and screen time for your child using Xbox Family Settings lets parents pause game and screen time at any point. If your child needs to come to dinner, study or do homework, or anything else that is prevented by them playing games, you can pause their screen time, even if they still have time left. You can unpause whenever you want or let it reset at the end of the day.
- Ask to Buy. You can block Xbox games and set content restrictions with Xbox Family Settings, but previously it's still been challenging to control purchases without being in the same room as the Xbox. With this new feature, your child will be able to send a request if they want to buy a game or other piece of content, and you can view info on that content and decide if you want to buy it for your child. You can turn this feature off so that your child can't request to buy things.
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Zachary Boddy is the Minecraft Expert and a News Writer for Windows Central, Android Central, and iMore. They have been gaming and writing for most of their life, and have been freelancing for Windows Central and its sister sites since 2019, with a focus on Xbox and PC gaming. You can find Zachary on Twitter @BoddyZachary.
The pause feature is nice. Now, if they only did like the Kindle does and run the countdown in the app, that would be cool.
I just wish that they could have incorporated the Xbox Family Settings functionality all directly into the Microsoft Family Safety App, so that I could keep all of the parental controls within a single app.
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