Tag: Windows 11

How to Enable Parental Controls on Your Windows 11 PC

Parental controls help parents keep track of and control what their child does on their Windows PC. This allows parents to prevent their child from spending too much time gaming or visiting unsafe websites. These controls can be adjusted in the Family app on Windows 11.

How to Set Up a Child Account

To set limits on a child’s device, you have to add their Microsoft account to your Microsoft Family group in the Settings app. If the child doesn’t have a Microsoft account yet, you can make one for them.

  1. Press Win + i to open Settings.
  2. Go to Accounts > Family.
  3. Click “Add Someone” in the Your Family section.
  4. Follow the instructions to create a new Microsoft account for your child. You’ll make an Outlook email and password for them during this process.

How to Link a Child’s Account to a Windows Device

To show the child’s device in the Family app, connect their Microsoft account to their Windows user profile. They shouldn’t use a local account.

If they were using a local account before, follow these steps:

  1. Log in to the child’s Windows profile.
  2. Press Win + i to open Settings.
  3. Go to Account > Your Info.
  4. Click the “Sign in With a Microsoft Account Instead” link.
  5. Enter the child’s Microsoft account details to sign in and link it with their Windows device.

If the child uses another PC with a local account:

  1. Sign in with their Microsoft account on that PC.
  2. If they don’t have an account on that PC, create one first.
  3. Then, link the Microsoft account to it.
  4. Go to Settings > Account > Other Users.
  5. Click “Add Account” to add their Microsoft account.

Next, follow the steps to sign in to the child’s Microsoft account.

To finish linking, open the Family app when you’re using your child’s Windows account. Here’s how:

  1. Press Win + S to open Windows Search.
  2. Type “Family” in the search box.
  3. Click on the Family app in the search results to open it.

Now you can begin setting limits on the child’s account.

Using the Microsoft Family App on Windows

Open the Family app in your Windows account, and choose the child’s account. Then, you can manage their screen time, app usage, and the websites they can visit.

Limiting Screen Time

First, go to the “Devices” section and click the “Turn Limits On” button for the child’s Windows device, the one you linked the Microsoft account to.

After turning on the limits, you’ll see a schedule where you can set how much time the child can use the computer on any day of the week.

In the “Time Limit” column, you can set the number of hours the child can use the computer once they log in. For example, if you set it to five hours, the computer will lock once the child uses up that time.

The “Available Hours” column shows when the child can log in. For instance, if the “Time Limit” is set from 7:00 AM to 10:00 PM, your child won’t be able to log in from 10:01 PM to 06:59 AM.

To change the time limits, click on a day like “Sunday” or “Friday” in the Days column. This will open a window where you can adjust the times.

You can adjust days individually using the dropdown in this window. Or you can set it to “Every Day” to change the screen times for all days at once. Once you’re done, click “Done” to apply the limits to the child’s Windows device.

Limiting Apps and Games

To control your child’s apps and games, go to the “Apps and Games” tab and turn on the “Apps and Game Limits” toggle.

Next, click the three-dot icon next to the app or game. You can either “Set a Limit” or “Block App.”

If you block the app, your child won’t be able to use it. But if you set limits, you can choose when it’s available to use.

Once you’re done, click “Done” to save the changes and restrict the app.

Blocking Websites

When you block websites in the Family app, it only affects Microsoft Edge. But that’s okay because enabling the limits stops other browsers from working.

To block websites, go to the “Edge” tab and turn on “Activity Reporting” to see what your child is searching for and which sites they visit. This info helps you decide which sites to block.

Then, turn on “Filter Inappropriate Websites and Searches.”

To block a site, go to the “Block Sites” section, enter the URL, and click the plus sign.

Now, your child can’t access that site. You can repeat these steps to block more sites if needed.

Managing Account Settings

You can add more restrictions to your child’s device by managing their account settings. To do this, click “Settings” in the top right corner.

Here, you can set things like the minimum age limits for apps and whether your child needs your approval to make purchases. This is important, especially if your child plays games with microtransactions and gacha mechanics. You can also choose whether to receive weekly activity reports or get them instantly.

Even with all these limits, there are more steps you can take to keep your child safe on their Windows device. For example, you can use the Family app to limit their other devices, such as their Xbox and mobile devices. Additionally, make sure your child’s PC has good antivirus software and that you’ve adjusted the necessary Windows privacy settings.

About the Author: simonc

Improved Copilot, Photos App, Widgets, and Other Highlights in the Windows 11 Update

Microsoft has announced a big update for Windows 11. It includes lots of improvements that have been tested for a few months. Some of the changes include updates to Copilot, a new feature called Generative Erase in the Photos app, better Snap layouts, and more.

This new update for Windows 11 doesn’t have its own special name like the one from last year, called Windows 11 23H2. Not all the features will be available at once. Microsoft mentioned in a blog post that “Most of these new Windows 11 features will be turned on by default in the March 2024 optional non-security preview release for all editions of Windows 11, versions 23H2 and 22H2.”

The main highlight here is the additional improvements to the Windows Copilot assistant, which you can find by clicking the Copilot button on the far-right side of the taskbar. The plugins that were previously available only in the Copilot web app and other modes are now also accessible in Windows Copilot. These include plugins like OpenTable, Instacart, and Kayak. Additionally, Copilot now has new commands to control Windows system functions, such as “turn off battery saver,” “display IP address,” “launch live captions,” and “empty recycle bin.”

In Windows 11, the Photos app is getting a new feature called Generative Erase. This lets you choose and remove unwanted things or flaws from your pictures. Microsoft had tested a similar feature called “Spot Fix” back in May, but this new version is more like the Content-Aware Fill feature in Adobe Photoshop.

Windows 11 is also introducing voice shortcuts. These let you automate certain tasks by speaking a phrase, similar to Shortcuts on macOS and iPhone. Microsoft explained in a blog post, “You can now make custom commands to quickly do what you want with just one phrase. This includes tasks like pasting text and media, pressing keys or clicks, opening folders, files, apps, or websites. Voice Shortcuts are there to make things easier for you.”

The update brings “intelligent Snap suggestions,” which have been tested since June last year. This feature suggests how to arrange your application windows based on your usual use. For instance, if you often switch between a web browser and a chat app, you might see these apps suggested to be split 50-50 in the Windows snap panel (which you can see by hovering over the maximize button on a window).

There are also some needed changes coming to the Widgets board. You can now completely hide the news feed, which is great because the news was usually not helpful. Microsoft explained, “With the new Widgets board experience, you can create a focused board and organize your Widgets into different categories – whether for work or play. If you want to catch up on current events, you’ll still find the usual news feed available through your feed on the discovery dashboard.”

Another change to mention is the improved Windows Ink. Now, you can write words in more apps like Photos, Paint, WhatsApp, and Messenger, not just in fields made for written input.

Some of these updates will come with Windows system updates, while others will be updates from the Microsoft Store. The new Copilot commands will start rolling out “in late March.”

About the Author: simonc