How to Set Up Parental Controls on an Xbox One

Introduction

In This Guide
You'll Learn:
  • What ESRB ratings are.
  • How ESRB ratings relate to Parental Controls.
  • Understand and setup Child Accounts on your Xbox One.
  • How to change what kind of content Child Accounts can access on your Xbox One.
Before We Begin:
  • Have access to your Xbox One.
  • Have at least one child account under your main account on your Xbox One.
Xbox One

1 ESRB Ratings

The Entertainment Software Rating Board (ESRB) ratings provide guidance about video games and apps so that you can make informed choices about the ones you deem suitable for your family.

The ESRB is a single group, and only provides opinions on content. They are there to help give you an overview of the themes present in a game, not make decisions what is best for your child.

Parts of ESRB Ratings

  • Rating Categories suggest age appropriateness.
  • Content Descriptors indicate content that may have triggered a particular rating and/or may be of interest or concern.
  • Interactive Elements highlight interactive or online features of a product, including users' ability to interact with each other, the sharing of users' location with other users, if purchases of digital goods or services are offered, and/or if unrestricted internet access is provided.

You can find the ESRB ratings on the front of physical games, with the content descriptor on the back.
Locations for the ESRB ratings

Box Front

A small logo will be printed on the front of the game box, or prominently in the online store for the game.

Rating Pending
ESRB Rating PendingGames, but usually just promotional material for games, that the ESRB hasn't rated yet.
Early Childhood
ESRB Early ChildhoodGames designed for a preschool audience. No content that parents would find objectionable.
Everyone
ESRB EveryoneGames that the ESRB believes to be "generally suitable for all ages". There may be infrequent mild or cartoon violence.
Everyone 10+
ESRB Everyone 10+Games that the ESRB believes is still acceptable to everyone, but may have more mild or cartoon violence, mild language, crude humor, or suggestive content.
Teen
ESRB TeenGames the ESRB finds suitable for teenagers. Things such as a moderate amount of violence, some language or adult themes, and crude humor.
Mature
ESRB MatureGames the ESRB believes is generally suitable for people 17 or over. Realistic violence, strong adult themes, language, and so forth.
Adults Only
ESRB Adults OnlyGames the ESRB believes are only suitable for adults 18 and over. Adult themes throughout, graphic depictions of adult themes, violence, and gambling with real-world money.

Content Descriptor

On the back of the box, a more expanded list of information about the rating, and a small list of why the rating was given is shown.
Example ESRB Content Descriptor

The primary information is repeated, here, just like the logo on the front. To the right, further information detailing what, exactly, gave it that rating. This is so you can make a more informed decision for your child.

ESRB
For further information, as well as to check the ratings before leaving home, you can always check the ESRB Website.

2 Child Account Check

Account Types

To use Parental Controls on the XBox One, you must have "Primary" or "Adult" account, and a "Child" account as part of your Family.

Xbox Family Account
This is the account that represents everything you and your family do with your Xbox. It contains the billing information, your main Xbox games list, etc. Adult accounts control this information.

Even with only one account, there is an Xbox Family Account; it just happens to hold a single Adult account inside it.
Adult Accounts
Adult accounts will always have full, unrestricted access to all games, features and services of the XBox. This cannot be changed; you won't be able to 'lock down' an Adult account, as you'd be unable to modify any Child accounts, after.
Child Accounts
A Child account is still part of the same Family. Payment options, even some games can easily be accessed and swapped between all members of the Family. The difference is the Adult accounts can always modify what a Child account has access to.

? Do you already have a child account setup?

  1. Yes
  2. No

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In This Guide
You'll Learn:
  • What ESRB ratings are.
  • How ESRB ratings relate to Parental Controls.
  • Understand and setup Child Accounts on your Xbox One.
  • How to change what kind of content Child Accounts can access on your Xbox One.
Before We Begin:
  • Have access to your Xbox One.
  • Have at least one child account under your main account on your Xbox One.
Xbox One

The Entertainment Software Rating Board (ESRB) ratings provide guidance about video games and apps so that you can make informed choices about the ones you deem suitable for your family.

The ESRB is a single group, and only provides opinions on content. They are there to help give you an overview of the themes present in a game, not make decisions what is best for your child.

Parts of ESRB Ratings

  • Rating Categories suggest age appropriateness.
  • Content Descriptors indicate content that may have triggered a particular rating and/or may be of interest or concern.
  • Interactive Elements highlight interactive or online features of a product, including users' ability to interact with each other, the sharing of users' location with other users, if purchases of digital goods or services are offered, and/or if unrestricted internet access is provided.

You can find the ESRB ratings on the front of physical games, with the content descriptor on the back.
Locations for the ESRB ratings

Box Front

A small logo will be printed on the front of the game box, or prominently in the online store for the game.

Rating Pending
ESRB Rating PendingGames, but usually just promotional material for games, that the ESRB hasn't rated yet.
Early Childhood
ESRB Early ChildhoodGames designed for a preschool audience. No content that parents would find objectionable.
Everyone
ESRB EveryoneGames that the ESRB believes to be "generally suitable for all ages". There may be infrequent mild or cartoon violence.
Everyone 10+
ESRB Everyone 10+Games that the ESRB believes is still acceptable to everyone, but may have more mild or cartoon violence, mild language, crude humor, or suggestive content.
Teen
ESRB TeenGames the ESRB finds suitable for teenagers. Things such as a moderate amount of violence, some language or adult themes, and crude humor.
Mature
ESRB MatureGames the ESRB believes is generally suitable for people 17 or over. Realistic violence, strong adult themes, language, and so forth.
Adults Only
ESRB Adults OnlyGames the ESRB believes are only suitable for adults 18 and over. Adult themes throughout, graphic depictions of adult themes, violence, and gambling with real-world money.

Content Descriptor

On the back of the box, a more expanded list of information about the rating, and a small list of why the rating was given is shown.
Example ESRB Content Descriptor

The primary information is repeated, here, just like the logo on the front. To the right, further information detailing what, exactly, gave it that rating. This is so you can make a more informed decision for your child.

ESRB
For further information, as well as to check the ratings before leaving home, you can always check the ESRB Website.

Account Types

To use Parental Controls on the XBox One, you must have "Primary" or "Adult" account, and a "Child" account as part of your Family.

Xbox Family Account
This is the account that represents everything you and your family do with your Xbox. It contains the billing information, your main Xbox games list, etc. Adult accounts control this information.

Even with only one account, there is an Xbox Family Account; it just happens to hold a single Adult account inside it.
Adult Accounts
Adult accounts will always have full, unrestricted access to all games, features and services of the XBox. This cannot be changed; you won't be able to 'lock down' an Adult account, as you'd be unable to modify any Child accounts, after.
Child Accounts
A Child account is still part of the same Family. Payment options, even some games can easily be accessed and swapped between all members of the Family. The difference is the Adult accounts can always modify what a Child account has access to.

In order to use many of the features of Parental Controls, as well as to keep your Xbox account secure from other people in your home, it's best to set a passkey on your account.

After setting up a passkey, whenever you switch to the account will require you to enter that passkey. This makes it harder for other members of your family to access your account and make changes.

Set Up Account Passkey

  1. Sign on to your account.
    If you intend to use this for Parental Controls of any sort, make sure you're signed into your Adult Account.
  2. Press the Xbox button to bring up the guide.
    Xbox One controller with Xbox Button highlighted.
  3. Select Settings.
    Windows 10 Settings
  4. Select Account on the left.
    Xbox Menu with Account highlighted.
  5. Select Sign-in, security & passkey.
    Account with Sign-in security and passkey highlighted
  6. Select Create my passkey.
    Create my passkey highlighted.
  7. Enter a six-digit passkey that you will remember.
    Passkey entry
  8. Select Change my sign-in & security preferences.
    Change my sign in and security preferences highlighted.
  9. Select Ask for my passkey or Lock it down.
    Sign-in preferences with Ask for my passkey and Lock it down highlighted.
    Ask for my passkey
    Ask for my passkeyYou'll be asked for your passkey when you:
    • Sign-in to your account
    • Buy DLC or games
    • Change your settings
    Lock it down
    Lock it downYou'll need your passkey for virtually any changes.

The Xbox One allows you three ways to restrict or limit access of Child Accounts.

Ratings Control
This lets you restrict what kinds of games a player can open, based on the ESRB Ratings guidelines.
Screen Time Limits
Screen Time Limits allow you to control how long each Child player can play games for, before the Xbox will simply not allow them to play any longer.
Purchase Approval
This makes it so the Child Accounts have limits on how much they can purchase; either in-game items or other games on the Online Store.
Web Filtering
An extremely restrictive filter that blocks everything, except only what a parent allows the Child account to see when browsing web pages with the Xbox One.
  1. Press the Xbox button to bring up the guide.
    Xbox One controller with Xbox Button highlighted.
  2. Select Settings.
    Windows 10 Settings
  3. Select Account on the left.
    Xbox Menu with Account highlighted.
  4. Select Family settings on the right.
    Account menu with Family settings highlighted.
  5. Select Manage family members on the left.
    Account Family Settings with Manage family members highlighted.
  6. Select the Child account you wish to manage.
    Account Family with child account highlighted.
  7. Under Privacy & content restrictions, select Access to content.
    Account privacy and online safety settings with Access to content highlighted.
  8. Here, you'll see a list of the ratings available to the account right now. Select Access to content & apps to make a change.
    Account access with Access to Content and apps highlighted.
  9. Select the level appropriate for the age of the gamer you're working with.
    Access to content and apps choice list.
For more information:
You may always visit Xbox support online for more information about your Xbox Family account.
In order to change the screen time limits on your child accounts, you will need to log into your Adult Microsoft Account using your computer.
  1. Open your preferred browser.
    Main Desktop Browsers.
  2. In the address bar at the top, type in account.microsoft.com/family and press Enter or Return.
    Chrome address bar with address entered and highlighted.
  3. Select Already set up? Sign in now >.
    Microsoft Family website with sign in now highlighted.
  4. Sign in using your Adult Microsoft account.
    Microsoft account sign in screen with email and next highlighted.
  5. Under your Child's account, select More options, then Screen time.
    Child account preferences with More options and Screen time highlighted.
  6. Under Device limits, turn on the switch for Xbox One.
    Screen time options with Xbox One switch highlighted.
  7. Select one of the days of the week schedules to edit it.
    Day selection highlighted.
  8. Enter a time to start allowing, and stop allowing your child, and add it to the schedule below. When done, select Save.
    Screen time schedule with from to add and save highlighted.
  9. Repeat this process for each day.

Xbox One handles purchase approval by simply removing payment options from the account. With no default payment option, your child will need to ask you to make a purchase each time, or you can purchase Xbox Live gift cards for them to make their own purchases on a budget you can control.

  1. Sign on to your account.
    Make sure you sign into the account you don't want to make payments. This is usually the Child account.
  2. Press the Xbox button to bring up the guide.
    Xbox One controller with Xbox Button highlighted.
  3. Select Settings.
    Windows 10 Settings
  4. Select Account on the left.
    Xbox Menu with Account highlighted.
  5. Select Payment & billing.
    Child account settings with Payment and billing highlighted.
  6. Remove any payment options listed here.
    Xbox Account Payment Options

The Web Filter for the Xbox One requires two parts to setup; first creating a White List of sites you want your child to be able to visit, then enabling it on the Xbox One.

No filtering technology is 100% perfect. The best solution is active, engaged parenting; working with your child to ensure they develop good habits through your instruction and guidance.

On Your Computer

  1. Open your preferred browser.
    Main Desktop Browsers.
  2. In the address bar at the top, type in account.microsoft.com/family and press Enter or Return.
    Chrome address bar with address entered and highlighted.
  3. Select Already set up? Sign in now >.
    Microsoft Family website with sign in now highlighted.
  4. Sign in using your Adult Microsoft account.
    Microsoft account sign in screen with email and next highlighted.
  5. Under your child's account, select More options > Content restrictions.
    Child account with More options and Content restrictions highlighted.
  6. Scroll down to Web browsing, and switch it On.
    Content restrictions Web browsing with on off toggle highlighted.
  7. Two new options are shown.
    Web browsing filter with Always allowed and Always blocked sections highlighted.
    Always allowed
    Websites you specify here will always be able to be viewed by your child. You can also choose to only allow your child to see the websites listed here.
    Always blocked
    Websites you enter here will always be blocked.
    Common adult-oriented websites will always be blocked with this option turned on.

On Your Xbox One

  1. Press the Xbox button to bring up the guide.
    Xbox One controller with Xbox Button highlighted.
  2. Select Settings.
    Windows 10 Settings
  3. Select Account on the left.
    Xbox Menu with Account highlighted.
  4. Select Family settings on the right.
    Account menu with Family settings highlighted.
  5. Select Manage family members on the left.
    Account Family Settings with Manage family members highlighted.
  6. Select the Child account you wish to manage.
    Account Family with child account highlighted.
  7. Select Web filtering.
    Account privacy and online safety settings with Web filtering highlighted.
  8. On the left, select the web filtering option.
    Web filtering option highlighted.
  9. Select Allow list only or Basic communication.
    Web filtering options with Basic communication and Allow list only highlighted.
    Allow list only
    Only allows your child to see websites you specified in the Always allowed list you setup on the computer earlier.
    Basic communication
    Your child can chat with friends, use email, and surf most websites, with the SafeSearch filter turned on, as well as any sites you listed in Always blocked will be blocked.
  1. Press the Xbox button to bring up the guide.
    Xbox One controller with Xbox Button highlighted.
  2. Select Settings.
    Windows 10 Settings
  3. Select Account on the left.
    Xbox Menu with Account highlighted.
  4. Select Family settings on the right.
    Account menu with Family settings highlighted.
  5. Select Manage family members on the left.
    Account Family Settings with Manage family members highlighted.
  6. Select Add to family.
    Manage family with Add to family highlighted.
  7. Select Add new.
    Add new account with Add new highlighted
    Existing Account
    If you already have a Microsoft account setup for the Child account you're creating, enter it at the top.
    Sign In with email field highlighted.
    New Account
    If your child does not have a Microsoft account yet, select Get a new email.Sign in with Get a new email highlighted
  8. Carefully follow the instructions on screen to setup your Child's account.
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