Our children are the most valuable things in our lives and we want to keep them safe, no matter what they're doing. Windows 7 offers some help to you for when they use the computer in the form of Parental Controls.

Computers are a vast store of information and can make learning fun, as well as providing a huge range of creative packages, entertainment and even state-of-the-art games. There is so much that you and your family can do with them, and they can easily become a useful part of everyone's day-to-day life.

While much of the material available for PCs and on the internet is fantastic for everyone, we all know there are certain things that aren't suitable for youngsters. You may have concerns over your children stumbling onto certain types of website, or being able to play games that are a bit too scary or violent for them. Parental Controls allows you to manage how your children use the computer, letting you limit such things as the hours that your children can use the computer or the programs they're allowed to run.

parental controls on a computer

While sitting with your child while they use the computer is always the best way to keep them safe, Parental Controls offer some peace-of-mind and security for the times when you let the kids work and play on the PC on their own. Here's how to get Microsoft's virtual nanny looking after things the way you want.

The Knowhow

Before you get started, make sure you have created a standard user account for each child that you want to set up Parental Controls for. Creating a standard user prevents those accounts making changes to your computer that could cause problems, and means they require permission from your administrator account before they install programs. Knowhow™ to create user accounts in Windows 7

To turn on Parental Controls for a standard user account

  • Click on Start and choose Control Panel in the menu
  • Find User Accounts and Family Safety and click Set up parental controls for any user
  • If you're prompted for an administrator password or confirmation, type the password or provide confirmationparent control screen
  • Click the Standard User Account that you want to set Parental Controls for. If the standard user account isn't set up yet, click Create a New User Account to set up a new account.
    parent control new account
  • Under Parental Controls, click on Enforce Current Settings
    parent control enforce
  • Once you've turned on Parental Controls for your child's account, you can adjust the following individual settings that you want to control:
    • Time limits: You can set time limits to control when children are allowed to log on to the computer. Time limits prevent children from logging on during the specified hours. You can set different hours for every day of the week. If they're on the computer when their allotted time ends, they'll automatically be logged off.
    • Games: You can control access to games, choose age-rating levels, choose what types of thing you want to block, and decide whether you want to allow or block unrated or specific games.
    • Allow or block specific programs: You can prevent children from running programs that you don't want them to run. For example, you may have certain software related to work projects you don't want them to access to avoid any accidental changing or deleting of your files.

Additional functions, such as internet monitoring, can also be set by downloading the free Windows Live Family Safety package. This adds extra features to Parental Controls allowing you to set what sort of things they can do online and see reports on the sites they've tried to visit. The following website will give you more information and allow you to download the software: Windows Live Family Safety


Updated On:

Jul 04, 2012

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