A four-part series on setting up a Child Account / Family Safety for a user in Windows 8
Part 4: Adjusting Windows store and game restrictions, and app restrictions in Family Safety
In yesterday’s post, we explained how to adjust time limits and set a curfew in Family Safety in Windows 8. Today, we’ll be focusing on how to adjust the Windows store and game restrictions, as well as the app restrictions. Read after the jump to find out how!
From the user settings screen (as shown above) click on “Windows store and game restrictions.” The following screen will appear. In order to start setting restrictions, click on the second choice, “______ can only use games and Window store apps I allow.” From here, you can choose to allow or block games by rating, as well as allow or block specific games. Click on “Set games and Windows Store ratings” to adjust what type of games your child can play. The screen below will appear.
This is the Ratings Level screen. First, choose whether to allow games that do not have a rating. Games without a rating are not necessarily inappropriate for children or contain adult content. More likely, they are independent, small games that did not submit their games to the Entertainment Software Ratings Board (“ESRB”) for rating. The default choice is “Allow games with no rating.”
Below this choice is a list showing the various levels of games. There are six levels of ratings, from “C” for Early Childhood to “A” for Adults Only. Based on your child’s age, maturity level, and your own parenting beliefs, choose the correct ratings level for the user. Note that these ratings are not set by Microsoft or the publishers themselves, but the ESRB. Once you have chosen a ratings level, click on “Allow or Block Games” on the left-hand side to either allow or block specific games by title.
The following screen will appear. On this user, we allowed games up to the Adults Only level on the previous screen. When you first set up a computer, you are likely to see the following screen, which has “No games installed.” Once games are installed, a list of titles installed on the computer will appear. Titles with a higher rating than the one chosen on the previous screen will default to “block.” For each title, you can choose “allow” or “block.” Once you have finished choosing which games the user is allowed to play, click on “User Settings” on the left to return to the main options screen for Family Safety.
From the user settings screen, click on the last link in the middle column, “App restrictions.” The screen on the left will appear. This will allow you to control the Apps allowed on the PC. The default will be that the user can use all apps. In order to change this, click the second choice, “_____ can only use the apps I allow.” Clicking on this will bring up a list of all of the applications installed on the computer.
If you wish to just block one or two apps, the easiest choice is to go to the bottom of the screen, and click on the option “Check all.” This will allow every application. Then, scroll through the list of applications or use the “Browse” button at the bottom of the screen to find the app(s) that you wish to block. Uncheck the box next to the app – the user will no longer have access to that app. Remember, a checked box is for an allowed app, an unchecked box is for a blocked app. Once you have chosen which apps you would like the user to have access to, click on “User Settings” on the left to return to the main options screen.
At this point, all of your preferences have been automatically saved. All of the Family Safety settings for the user should be completed and he or she is “safe” to use the PC.
Any questions, comments, or concerns about Family Safety in Windows 8? Please add them to the comments section below and we’ll be happy to address them!