Over the last weekend, Microswoft announced that changes are coming to Microsoft family features. They have started rolling out changes to the way you manage your family and set boundaries for how your kids spend their time online and on their devices. Not all these changes are live now, Microsoft is now just letting us know what we can expect in the upcoming months.
A simpler, more friendly web experience
They have redesigned the family site to be friendlier and more intuitive, and they’ve simplified some features. Now, you will be able to manage your family in one place—visit account.microsoft.com/family to see all your family accounts, see the settings for each child in your family, and make changes to their settings online. Some recent changes you can expect to see:
- The recent activity page has been redesigned to show the most relevant information front and center.
- Setting websites restrictions is now simpler. When restrictions are turned on, all adult content is blocked. You can still allow or block individual websites, of course.
- Managing app & game restrictions is now more intuitive. Set your child’s age so they’ll only be able to acquire apps & games that are rated as appropriate for their age. You can also block individual apps or games.
- Managing child accounts has changed. The feature that allowed you to link accounts has been removed as most of our users found it confusing. If you previously linked accounts together to manage all their settings at once, you’ll now need to manage the settings for each account you had linked separately.
More about the changes:
Recent activity you can act onOn the redesigned recent activity page, you can see how your kids are spending their time on each PC, from the apps and games they’re using to the websites they’re visiting. And while you’re looking at their recent activity, you can decide whether or not something is right for them, and block or allow it right there. Simpler settingsWe’ve heard your feedback that some of the settings are too confusing and hard to use. So, we’ve made some changes to make it easier –
- For web filtering, we reduced the options down to a few crucial ways to keep your kids safe when they’re online. We now automatically block adult content in their 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 & games, we’ve simplified how restrictions are set. 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, we’ve 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.
We believe all these changes will make it easier for you to manage your kids settings on their Windows devices.
A new home for familyFamily Safety is now part of account.microsoft.com, which is the single place to manage everything connected to your account. To manage your family and kids’ settings, go to account.microsoft.com/family. Right now some of the settings pages still live on the old site—some things will look the same, and some will look different—but over the next few months, everything will be updated and moved to account.microsoft.com/family. Changes to linked accountsIf you’ve linked your kids’ Family Safety accounts, you’ll see that each of them are listed individually and that you now have to manage their settings separately for each device. We know this may be painful for some of you, but we’re doing this to make way for a simpler, better experience: roaming your child’s settings with their Microsoft account. We appreciate your patience as we make these changes. A few other notes:
- If devices show up on your list that you no longer use, you can select “Remove” to get rid of them.
- You’ll get a separate activity report email for each device.