How to set up screen time limits on Microsoft devices

Microsoft built-in screen time management system is part of Microsoft Family Group:

It works on Windows 10, Xbox One devices, and Android devices running Microsoft Launcher. There is also a Microsoft Family Safety App on iOS and Android.

Step 1: 

You (parent) needs to have a Microsoft account: Go to > Sign in > Create 

Step 2: 

Create a Microsoft account for your child* using a regular account setup. The Date of Birth will set an account as child account and would require your parental consent. Alternatively, you can create their account in Step 3.

*Note: As with every such system, you are giving Microsoft information on who your children are, and what they like. You can mitigate this somewhat in account privacy dashboard. 

Step 3: Add your child to Microsoft Family Group

On PC: Sign in with your account to > Create a Family Group > Add a family member > Select Member (you are the Organizer) > Enter Microsoft account email address of the child, or if the child doesn’t have an account, click “If they don’t have a Microsoft account, Create one for them” > Send Invite > Have the child accept your invitation from their email by selecting My parent can sign in now > Sign back in to your account > Accept the legal terms > Continue.

On X-Box: 

If your child doesn’t have an Xbox Live account: Press the Xbox button>Sign in with your account>Press the Xbox  button again > System > Settings  > Account > Family settings > Manage family members > Add to family > Add new.

If your child has an Xbox Live account on your console: Press the Xbox button > Sign in with your account > Press the Xbox  button again > System > Settings  > Account > Family  settings > Manage family members > Add to family > Select the profile for the child > press the A button on your controller.

Microsoft family screenshot

Step 4: Set up screen time limits

On Xbox One and Windows 10 devices, go to your family group and sign in with your Microsoft account > Under your child’s name select Screen time > If you want to use the same schedule for all devices, turn on Use one schedule for all devices > If you prefer to  manage the schedules separately, switch Oor Off individually for Xbox One and Windows 10 > If you don’t want screen limits at all, turn the same option Off

  • If you want to give them the full amount of time you’ve scheduled, leave the default setting of Max scheduled. 
  • If you don’t want the default Max scheduled, select the row for each day to set the amount of screen time allowed.
  • Type in your schedule choices, select Add and then select Save.
  • To prevent kids from creating new accounts on Xbox: Press the Xbox button > System > Settings > System > Signed-out content restrictions. Create a guest key and turn off Let people download & make new accounts. On Windows 10, Create admin password.

Note: Screen time counts down only during the time a child is signed in with their Microsoft account. Accounts outside of your Microsoft family aren’t subject to screen time limits. 

And remember that kids will try to hack the system anyway.  

Microsoft family screenshot
Microsoft family screenshot