Microsoft Details New Family Features in Windows 10

Posted on August 22, 2016 by Paul Thurrott in Cloud, Microsoft Consumer Services, Windows 10 with 0

Microsoft Details New Family Features in Windows 10

If you’re using the Microsoft Family parental controls features in Windows 10, you probably received a nice email in the past week detailing what’s changed with the Anniversary Update. No? Here’s a quick rundown.

“Thanks for using Microsoft family features,” the email notes. “This year’s Windows 10 Anniversary Update will have some exciting new features and improvements.”

I’m a bit curious about why/how these changes are related to the Anniversary Update, since Microsoft Family—which was called Family Safety before Windows 10—has been configured on the web for quite a while now. But looking through the list, some of these things are in fact related to Windows 10 specifically. Some, however, are not.

Anyway, the changes that Microsoft calls out include:

One Microsoft family. You manage your family in one place: The Your Family page on the Microsoft Account web site. “You can see all your family accounts for Windows and Xbox, see the settings for each child in your family, and make changes to their settings,” Microsoft says. But this has been the case for a while.

Multiple time limits per day. Now, you can set multiple time limits per day for your child’s Windows PCs. “When your child runs out of time on a Windows PC, you can also give more time on that device even when it’s not connected to the internet,” Microsoft explains.

Keep your kids safe while browsing the web. Assuming your kids use Microsoft Edge, or, God forbid, IE, you can use Microsoft Family to block them from using any web sites you haven’t specifically allowed. You can also block other commonly used browsers if you want. Microsoft is even nice enough to enable that one by default! Cough.

Windows Store is more family friendly. Called the “Microsoft Store” in the email for some reason. Anyway, your child will only see content in Store that is appropriate for their age. “You can choose what content your child can download, receive notifications when they download content from the store, and easily add money to your child’s Microsoft account,” the email reads.

Instant notifications of your kid’s requests. When your child sends you a request, you will be notified immediately so you can act on it.

You can read more about these Microsoft Family changes on the Microsoft Family FAQ page. I also cover this functionality in my e-book, the Windows 10 Field Guide, which is now being updated for the Anniversary Update.