How to Use Xbox Series X or S Parental Controls

Keep your child safe while gaming

What to Know:

  • In the Xbox Family Settings app, tap Add Family Member > Create a child account > tap their profile name to add restrictions. 
  • Go to Settings > Accounts > Family Settings > My sign-in Change My Sign-in > Ask for my passkey.
  • Now when someone tries to make a purchase from the Xbox Store, they'll need to input your passkey.

This article explains how to set up and use Xbox Series X or S parental controls via the Xbox Family Settings app. It also looks at how you can implement controls via the Xbox Series X or S console itself. 

How to Set up Xbox Series X or S Parental Controls via the Xbox Family Settings App

If you want to set up Xbox parental controls, the easiest way is to do so via the Xbox Family Settings app. It takes a little setup but it means you can keep a close eye on what your children are doing online, as well as set Xbox time limits. Here's how to do it.

  1. On your smartphone, download the Xbox Family Settings app from the App Store or Google Play Store.

  2. Open the app and sign into your Xbox/Microsoft account.

  3. Tap Add Family Member.

  4. Tap Create a child account or Invite Someone to add an existing Microsoft or Xbox network account to your Xbox family.

    If you need to create a child account, you will need to enter an email address and password. You may also need to create an Xbox profile for them.

  5. Once you've added them, tap on their profile name to begin adding restrictions. 

    Steps for adding a family member to the Xbox Family Settings app

    Our screenshots depict making a new Xbox profile but the process is very similar.

  6. Enter the age of your child so that the Xbox Family Settings app automatically suggests age-appropriate content restrictions.

    Steps for adding the age of a new family member to Xbox Family Safety app
  7. Choose whether to allow the child to communicate with all other players online, just their friends, or no one.

  8. Choose whether to allow your child to play online or to block online multiplayer options.

    Adding safety settings to a family member in the Xbox Family Settings app
  9. Basic settings have now been set up for your child's Xbox account. 

How to Change Xbox Series X or S Parental Controls via the Xbox Family Settings App

If you want to change some of the settings for your child such as set a cap on how long they're allowed to play games on their Xbox, it's simple to do through the app. Here's how.

  1. Open the Xbox Family Settings app.

  2. Tap the name of your child's profile.

  3. Tap the child's Settings.

  4. Scroll down to Screen Time and tap it.

    Adjusting screen time settings within the Xbox Family Settings app

    You can also adjust other previously agreed settings here.

  5. Tap under Time Range to adjust how long your child can use their Xbox on any day. 

How to Use the Xbox Series X or S Family Settings on the Console

If you'd rather change settings on your Xbox Series X or S console, it's easy to do once you know how. In particular, we recommend setting up your console so that no one can buy items from the store without at least a passkey. Here's what to do.

We recommend the Xbox Family Settings App after initial set up as it's simpler to be able to adjust settings remotely and manage new family members.

  1. Press the glowing Xbox symbol in the middle of your controller.

  2. Scroll to the right to Profile & System.

    Xbox Series X/S dashboard with Profile & System highlighted
  3. Click Settings with the A button.

    Xbox Series X/S dashboard with Settings highlighted
  4. Select Account > Family Settings.

    Xbox Series X/S settings with Family Settings highlighted
  5. Select My sign-in, Security & Passkey.

    Xbox Series X Family Settings with My Sign-in, security and passkey highlighted
  6. Click Change My Sign-in & Security Preferences.

    Xbox Series X settings with Sign-in, security and passkey highlighted
  7. Select Ask for my passkey.

    Xbox Series X Family Settings with Ask For my passkey highlighted

    You may wish to choose Lock it down for the tightest level of security.

  8. No one can purchase anything on the store without your permission. 

Other Things You Can Do With the Xbox Family Settings App

The Xbox Family Settings app is quite powerful. Here's what else you can do with it.

  • Add other organizers/adults. Don't want to be solely responsible for your kids' time online? You can add extra organizers to the account meaning you can split the responsibility and change their settings as and when needed. Organizers need to be over 18 to do so.
  • Set time frames as well as time limits. Besides limiting how long your children play on their Xbox, you can also set specific time frames so they only get to the game once they've done their homework, for instance. 
  • Monitor their activity. Want to know how much they're playing each week? Regular screen time updates let you know every second of game time. 
  • Manage your child's Friends List. If you're worried about cyberbullying, you can make sure your kids only have genuine friends on their friends list and no one else.
  • Approve/block multiplayer for specific games. If a child wants to play a game in multiplayer mode that's not approved, a request can be sent to unblock multiplayer for that individual game. You'll get a message in the app containing more information about the game to help you determine whether or not it's appropriate.
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