How to Set Up Xbox One Parental Controls

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image_34615_620The Xbox One has some serious potential in terms of being an all-in-one entertainment center for your family. It can access the Internet, initiate Skype calls, connect to social networks, and even sync with your cable box so that you can browse live TV on the fly. And like the PlayStation 4 (parental controls guide can be found here), the Xbox One also has a great lineup of launch games that are sure to bring your family hours of entertainment.

With that being said, a lot of these titles were not designed for children. Some of them, like Dead Rising 3 and Battlefield 4, are filled with intense violence and profanity, so Microsoft has incorporated some very useful parental controls that allow you to customize your child’s experience, ultimately giving them a more age-appropriate experience. And I love it that Microsoft did this!

1. Sign in as yourself (not your child) and go to the home screen on your Xbox One.

2. Select the My Games & Apps tile.


3. Select the Settings tile.


4. On the next screen, scroll over to Family and select the Add to Family option.


5. Next, click on your child’s account, or select Add New if they don’t already have one.

6. Once you accept the Terms and Privacy Policy, you can start customizing the parental controls. There are three types of content restrictions: Access to content and apps, Web filtering and Descriptions in OneGuide. Each one of these content types is described below, but regardless, once you’re in there, Microsoft does a pretty good job of making things easy to understand.


Access to content and apps:

You can choose from three default settings: Child, Teen or Adult. Or you can go the custom route, which will offer a ton of options. In a nutshell, you’ll be able to control whether your kids can purchase downloadable content, use Skype, access social networks or share their information with other Xbox users. If your settings are for a child 12 or younger you shouldn’t allow access to social networks like Instagram, Facebook or Twitter that require them to be 13 years of age or older. Child, teen or adult, no one should be sharing their personal information with other Xbox users. Suffice to say going the custom route allows more than this, so this is where you’ll probably spend most of your time fine tuning the settings.


Web filtering:

The Xbox One offers six filtering options. These range from Designed for Children, which only allows kid-friendly websites, to Warned on Adult, which displays warnings on adult content but does not block it. Read each option carefully until you find the best fit for your family.


Descriptions in OneGuide:

There isn’t any customization with this option; you simply enable or disable it altogether. The way this works, though, is if you have your Xbox One plugged into a cable box, the TV guide will display program descriptions (assuming you have this setting enabled). Sometimes program descriptions can include language or content that you don’t want your children to see, so my advice is turn this off if children will be using the console.


That’s it! Now you can feel confident about gift wrapping that Xbox One and putting it under the tree. If you plan on buying a PlayStation 4 or Wii U this holiday season, or if your family is gifted one, you can learn how to set the parental controls for these devices below.

PlayStation 4

Wii U

All images credited to Tom’s Guide

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