Microsoft family has new name, new settings, activity monitoring, and more

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Microsoft Family Safety is now Microsoft family, and with it comes new monitoring options, simplified settings, and changes to how multiple devices are handled. Microsoft has an faq page outlining the changes. Some of the changes have already been implemented and others will roll out over the next few months.

The redesigned activity page will show how kids spend time on their devices. Information from apps and games played to websites they visit will be included. Adults can then decide if content is appropriate and block that specific app, game, or website.

There are simpler settings with the goal of making it easier for parents to make sure content is age appropriate for members of the family. Here are the changes as outlined by Microsoft:

  • 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.

Family Safety is being moved to be part of account.microsoft.com. Users can go to account.microsoft.com/family for Family Safety settings and information. The move is happening over time so some of the settings will be at the old site but in the next few months everything will be under the new website.

One of the biggest changes is that under each kid’s accounts, adults will have to change settings separately for each individual device, not just each individual child. Microsoft says that they “know this may be painful for some of you, but we’re doing this to make way for a simpler, better experience.”

Microsoft family requires Microsoft accounts for each user, whether they are adults or children.

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