Windows 10 Laptop setup for a child – advice please

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I dont have children, but a friend has asked me setup a new Windows 10 laptop for her 9 year old son.  She says he’ll use it for Minecraft, but is hoping he’ll use it for homework etc. too…

What are your recommendations on how to set this up please?  Parental Controls?  Microsoft Account setup?  Security suite?

 

Comments (13)

13 responses to “Windows 10 Laptop setup for a child – advice please”

  1. 170

    You can limit the amount of screen time and access to the computer by using the Family controls built into the adults Microsoft account.  You can block websites, set time frames that the kid can be logged in.  You can also block all of the time and have the kid request access that the parent can receive by email and the parent can choose between 15, 30, 1 hour, along with a few other options if you go to the account page I believe.  

    This is what I've been doing with my family and it has been working for us so far.

    • 830

      In reply to Sprtfan: Yeah, I can second this.  I've been doing this with my daughters laptop.  You get a nice weekly report of all activity, so which apps they use, how long they've be using the device, which websites they visited, etc.  Its a nice tool.

       

    • 5172

      In reply to Sprtfan:

      OK so that's really helpful guys, thanks.

      So I need to setup a Microsoft Account for the mother and the child separately?  Presumably that also stops the child accidentally installing suspicious software etc?

  2. 5514

    To get the Family reports, the mother will have to add the child's account to her family. She can then set all the parameters she wants, and will get reports weekly. I have found that setting them loosely works well. If you cannot trust your kids, then there are bigger issues than technology. Mom will get a report anyway...which can lead to some uncomfortable conversations.

    Remember when setting up both accounts to work something out regarding the store, so the child can get some applications. Think about Office365 Home if the family does not have any other means of getting Office.

    First account on the machine, which is the de facto admin account, should be a local account. Mom should get the username and password. Then add the Mother and child as regular users. Let the child pick the machine name, makes it more fun.

    For anti-virus, Windows Defender has worked for my family. If you are restricting browsing to Edge, I would make sure that you have an ad-blocker installed, or better yet use hostsman and the mvps list to send any ad and tracker domains to 0.0.0.0. Fewer ads means fewer chances of malware. Hostsman also blocks ads across all browsers. It does not seem to work for the built in News and Sports apps. Also set any browser to dump the cache, and have each one open links in a new tab...keeps things consistent instead of suddenly jumping from a non-default browser to the default.

    I have two in college and one in high school and have been configuring machines for them since the oldest was in elementary school.

    Another thing is have them talk about is realizing that search engines learn from their behavior and cater results and that not everything on the internet is true...if more that 2 or 3 percent is at this point, I would be surprised.

    Oh, and there is no privacy on the internet. They do know you are a dog.

  3. 442

    Microsoft Family is definitely the way to go.  They've been adding a few features recently too making it much more capable and helpful.

  4. 157

    I setup an account for my 5-yo on my tablet and set it up under Microsoft's family settings. So far, I like the ring-fenced area for her to play the games I setup for her and not be able to get to my pictures or make purchases. I don't like that so many of the apps are "put another nickel in" but guess that's the way it is today.

  5. 9203

    The other idea is to use a special parental control program :). If your child has admin rights on PC...
    There are loads of them in the net, so you are free to chose, depending on the age of a child
    or on the seriousness of control, eg K9 or Time Boss Pro ...
    Additionally you give remote access to kids PC, forced breaks, limitation internet websites by time and others

  6. 5496

    For a 9 year old. I would tell her to get him a chromebook.

    I wouldn't get a 9 year old more the a $400 laptop anyway.

    • 5172

      In reply to lordbaal1:

      I actually did that, but they didn't listen (but still expect my help setting up the Windows PC they chose instead!).

      The parents know zero about technology or computers, and care even less.  They use iPhones for everything.

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