Windows 8 has a feature called Family Safety using which you can restrict the standard user accounts from certain activities like browsing a set of websites, using computer in particular hours, playing games etc. The Family Safety feature is specially designed for preventing the young children from accessing inappropriate websites and wasting too much time playing games on the computer. If you are an administrator of a Windows 8 computer, then you can setup Family Safety for any standard user on your PC.
Note : Only an administrator can setup Family Safety for other users in Windows 8. If you want to setup Family Safety for your children, then you should create their separate standard user accounts. You can read our previous post about how to create a new user account in Windows 8.
- Press the hotkey Win + X and select Control Panel from the menu that pops up. This would open the Control Panel window. In the Control Panel, click/tap on User Accounts and Family Safety and then on Setup Family Safety for any user as shown in the following picture:
- Select the user for whom you want to setup Family Safety. As you click on the target user, it would open the Family Safety settings for that user.
- The Family Safety is turned off for all users by default. To switch the Family Safety settings on for the selected user, select the On, enforce current settings option as shown in the following picture. You can also turn on Activity Reporting to let Family Safety collect information about how the target user uses the PC (e.g, information about websites visited, games played, time and duration of PC usage etc.)
- Once the Family Safety is switched on for a user, you can customize its filter settings given under Windows settings. You can select which type of websites the user can visit from the Web filterning section. You can select a web restriction level from various options like sites for children, general interest sites, online communication etc. You can also block the users from downloading anything by selecting Block file downloads.
- Under the Time Limits section, you can prevent the user from using the computer after a particular time interval everyday. You can set the time curfew which sets the exact time of the day when PC can be used e.g., between 6PM to 8PM. You can also set time allowance which sets the number of hours the PC can be used everyday, e.g., 2 hours everyday.
- Under the Windows Store and game restrictions you can restrict the games and apps from being opened based on their rating. Under the App restrictions section, you can select whether the user can all the apps or only the ones selected from the list.
- That’s it. You have succesfully switched on and configured the Family Safety for a user account on your PC.
The Family Safety feature in Windows 8 allows you to block access to inappropriate sites, games and apps for your kids. You can also view the reports of their PC activity on the Family Safety website. Although Family Safety is very good at what it does, but it does not give any guarantee for blocking all the inappropriate websites or games. However, Family Safety restrictions combined with parental supervision can prove to be very helpful.