Windows and Parental Control had been there for a while in Windows, so if you had already used Windows 7, there are policies in place which you can use to control your Child’s Time spent, website visits, type of games he or she can play. In today’s post, I am citing out specific settings of Windows 8 which you need to look into, when you migrate to Windows 8.
Creating Child Account :
Windows 8 allows you to set an account as Child’s account, when you create a new account. This helps you to get set of policies already applied for that account but not all of them. The advantage, compared to Windows 7, is that family safety is well integrated and can be initiated from the OS without going to Windows Live Family Safety. This way you don’t have to add any Safety provider and all the interface of control is right on Windows PC than on the web interface.
Features of Windows 8 Parental Control :
App Restrictions : Since Windows 8 has Windows Store which allows any user to download apps and start using it without going to any website, App Restrictions allows you to block certain apps.
If you wish to block, change the setting for child account to “Only Use Apps I allow” which displays list of apps that can be allowed or blocked i.e. both desktop and store apps. In case you want to allow for a desktop app, you can browse for that executable and add it in the list.
Time Allowance or Time Limit : This is new in Windows 8, where you can set how long a child account can use a Windows PC. So if you want to give more time in weekend compared to weekdays, it is easy to setup now.
Curfew : This gives you a chart where one can set time limits quickly for any day but for Windows 8, this can set for 30 minutes increment basis which is not available in Windows 7.
So when you edit this for a child account which is available both in Windows 7 and Windows 8, Allowance and curfew is available for Windows 8 PC but allowance is missing for Windows 7 PC.
Important : When mixing Windows 8 Family Safety and Windows 7 Family Safety
When you manage a child account which is available both on Windows 7 and Windows 8 PC, it seems the store app control vanishes from the Web interface and Windows 8 PC. Not sure why but this means, Windows 8 store app control is not available for that user. I hope its a glitch.
The Regular Parental Control Options :
Like I said before, Windows 8 has Family Safety integrated in Windows 8 which means you don’t have to use a web account unless you are not on your PC i.e. in that case you need to use Web Account to change anything or view a request.
- You can control Which sites are allowed using the Web Filtering which where you can either use a predefined restriction level or just set up allowed or disallowed websites.
- You can also set to block any kind of file download by a child account. If you set it as allowed, you get to see list of files which were downloaded.
- Set Game restriction from Window 8 Store or any game on your PC based on rating level or plain blocks.
- Activity Reports tells you about Most Popular Websites, Latest Blocked Page, PC Time used and most used apps and games.
That covers most of the features of Windows 8 Child Control and Family safety option. You can always refer to the Windows 7 Safety How To’s which are more or less the same.