Microsoft now lets parents limit how much time their children spend in apps and games

Limiting the amount of time spent on devices such as smartphones, and specifically within specific apps, has been a feature touted by a few companies over the past year or so. Now, Microsoft is joining the fray with new app and game limits for families, which let parents control how much time children spend using specific apps and games. Support for this feature was added to the Xbox One with the version 1910 update released today.

Microsoft already offered the ability to set limits for how long specific devices can be used, but now those limits can be set for individual apps and games on those devices. To use the settings, you'll need to create a family group with your Microsoft account, and add children accounts to the group. From there, devices linked to the Microsoft accounts of your children will be affected by the restrictions you set. These devices include Windows 10 PCs, Xbox One consoles, and Android devices, so long as they have Microsoft Launcher installed. The latter has also offered its own screen time feature for some time now.

With limits set for specific apps, children will be reminded how much time they have left on the app they're using, as well as when they only have 15 and then five minutes left. At this point, children can also ask for an extension of the time limit, which parents can respond to via e-mail or Microsoft Launcher on Android. Family members can also choose to create a weekly report detailing what apps they used and how much time they spent on them during that week.

These new features are now available in preview through the Microsoft Family portal.

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