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Ahead of Windows 10's release, Microsoft makes changes to family features

If you are a parent and use Windows built in tools to monitor how your kids spend their time on the PC, Microsoft is making a few changes to this service. The company is redesigning the family features website and has simplified the settings page as well along with a couple of updates for Windows 10.

Microsoft is rolling out a new family features website that is now nested inside of account.microsoft.com, and with this new page comes simplified settings that are listed below.

  • For web filtering, Microsoft reduced the options down to a few crucial ways to keep your kids safe when they're online. By default, Microsoft now automatically blocks adult content in its web browsers, and if your kids are very young, you can allow them to access only specific web sites that you want them to see.
  • For apps and games, how restrictions are set has been simplified. You can choose an age setting for them, and based on that, they'll be able to only download apps and games that have been rated appropriate for their age.
  • For screen timers, Microsoft has taken the complex graphs and settings and simplified them down, while giving you the flexibility to easily control when your kids can use the PC..

There are also changes to linked accounts that may perturb some users. Going forward, you will have to manage permissions per device per account. This means that if you child has three different PCs that he or she uses, you will need to configure permissions for each device and can no longer apply a blanket policy for all the devices.

With Windows 10, you will need a Microsoft account to use Microsoft family, for both the adult and the child. When a child is added to a Microsoft family with a Microsoft account, any time he or she logs into a Windows 10 device, permissions will be set and the activity will be reported to the adults in the Microsoft family account.

It's important to know that not all of these changes are available right now, as Microsoft notes that these changes are rolling out now to accounts. So, if you don't see these updates yet, you should see them in the near future.

View: Changes to Microsoft Family accounts

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