Xbox 360 Family Settings and Parental Controls

Limit play time and keep your kids safe

When talking about kids and video games, it's usually better to play games with your younger kids rather than to just let them loose on their own. It's more fun for both of you if you can play together. As kids get older, though, you might not always be able to monitor what they are playing and for how long. That is where the parental control features of the Xbox 360 and Xbox One can step in to lend you a hand.

Xbox 360 Family Settings

The family settings available on the Xbox 360 allow you to restrict access to game or movie content that you don’t want your kids to see. You can set the console to only play games below a certain ESRB rating or movies below a certain MPAA rating. If you want to use the system yourself, or you want to allow your kids to view something that is blocked, you just tap in a password that you set when you set up the family settings.

Minecraft Xbox One Screen 1

You also have several options to control what your kids can see and do and who they can interact with on Xbox Network. You can manually approve the people that want to be on their friend's list. You can choose whether to let them speak to and hear voice chat from anyone, no one, or just people on their friend's list. And you can also dictate how much they can do on the Xbox Network Marketplace. You can also block Xbox Network access entirely if you want.

A great new feature is that you can set the console to only play for a certain amount of time each day or even each week. You can set the daily timer in increments of 15 minutes and the weekly timer in increments of 1 hour, so you can determine exactly how long your child can play. Notifications will pop up every now and then to let your child know how long they have left. And when you want to play, or you want to let your child play longer, you just tap in your password.

Xbox One Family Settings​

Xbox One has a similar setup. Each child can have their own account (they're free, and if you have Xbox Live Gold on your XONE for one account, it applies to all of them), and you can set the privileges for each account separately. You can set each account to generic defaults for "Child", "Teen", or "Adults", which will grant various degrees of freedom such as who they can talk to / be friends with, what they can see and access the store, and more.

If you want, you can also choose a custom setting which will let you manually set up exactly what your child can access in a long list of options. 

Get more details about keeping your kids safe and limiting their play time (plus more) at How to Use Xbox One Parental Controls.

Another great feature is that, unlike in the past on X360, Xbox One accounts can "graduate", so they don't have to be tied to child controls forever. They can also be de-linked from the parent account and set up as full Xbox Live Gold accounts on their own (presumably on your kid/teen's / college student's own Xbox One. 

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