How to set up & use Family Safety in Windows 8 to monitor your kids activities


  1. Can we no longer block email contacts our kids send/recieve to/from?

    Previous implementations of family safety included this essential feature!

  2. Why does a warning come up for the user that their account is being monitored. That’s totally stupid – why would you provide the child or teen information that their account is being monitored?

  3. Beware — This feature does not work on Windows 8. It allows you to set it up and it appears to be working from the parent’s end. The child’s account is not blocked from anything.

  4. I do not have any of the kids accounts able to buy any apps. I buy apps on my account. But I have found that the kids cannot access the apps I buy. I will not let my kids buy their own apps, so how do I enable the apps on their accounts. I Didn’t buy Tinkerbell for me! As Family Safety is right now it’s usless.

  5. p.s. I agree about the warning that comes up. Maybe Microsoft could have someone work on this that has kids.

  6. Just stumbled across this article. Sorry I’m coming to it so late, but…

    Windows 8 has a stupid app installation paradigm, in which each individual user is required to install Windows Store apps for themselves. This means that if you want an app usable by any given user, you have to log in as that user and install the app.

    On the bright side, this is merely stupid and inconvenient for the user, and not completely broken. That is, if for a different user you temporarily log into the Windows Store with the original account that purchased the app, you can reinstall that app on the same device for that user without having to re-purchase the app or use up one of the five device licenses for the app. As near as I can tell, it also does not install a new copy of the app on the device; it just enables the existing installation for the current user.
    Once you’ve logged in on the device as the user for which you want to enable the app, and then logged into the Windows Store as the Windows Store user that originally purchased the app, you should be able to swipe down from the top of the screen to get the “My Apps” option, under which will be listed all the apps you’ve purchased, with the ones not yet installed on the current device under the current user called out separately.
    Don’t forget to log your authorized Windows Store user out after you’ve done this, otherwise the logged in device user will be able to purchase and install other apps again later!
    Also, on my Surface, all the user accounts are not tied to an online account. I have heard that there may be difficulty switching Windows Store accounts from within a device account that is tied to an online account, but I don’t know anything about that specifically.

  7. Sorry peted66616. Apps are blocked (even though you log in as that person) if you have family safety on. So what it comes down to, is Family Safety for windows 8 will allow you child to see what ever they want on the internet, but block apps which you have authorized. That’s a bit backwards. There is some serious work that needs to be done here by Microsoft. Too bad they obviously never read the posts, because people have been complaining about this issue since the beginning, and nothing has changed yet.

  8. What web filtering level are you using for your children? I am using Designed for Children, and then adding sites to the allow list so they are only able to see things I would like them to see.
    I also had an issue with kids accounts using the Designed for Children web filter. It wouldn’t load any games or even sign them into xbox live to keep track of achievements. In order to overcome this, please add the following domains to the allow list. – used for games – used for games – used to sign in

  9. Doesn’t work at all! Says it is, blocks one thing and then not the next. I am horrified and angry that I thought my child was protected and I was doing what I needed to do to protect them and now because of it being a piece of crap my child has viewed things that he shouldn’t have! I am just sick to my stomach, thanks a lot Family Safety and Microsoft, you suck!

  10. I set up the time limit for my child to 0 recently, However, she can still log in to use her account. Further more, the user activity report shows that she has no activities. I wonder she she learned some tricks to by pass the parental control. Please help ASAP!

  11. So basically you are mad at Microsoft because you didn’t bother to test to see if things were working properly. That makes sense. Definitely a software problem.

  12. Using this on kiosk machines at work. Seems to work OK so not sure why the complaints about the filtering. I know that I had to read through the options to make sure I picked one that made sense for what I need. It even blocked Facebook even though I didn’t want it to. Rather than selecting a different option level I just allowed Facebook. At home, for my kids, I was OK with it letting them know. I’m not sure about the complaints that it comes up unless you want to be sneaky about what your kids are doing. This sends the wrong message in my opinion. You can’t then blame them for being sneaky either I suppose. I should also mention that I have this installed and working on 6 Windows 8.1.1 computers.

  13. Just a suggestion: Try setting it to 1 minute instead. I don’t see anywhere that a time limit of 0 is supported and to me a time limit of 0 means NO LIMIT.

  14. Wow! Someone NOT bashing Microsoft! I think you make a good point but the software should be a little more intuitive for those of us who are not computer experts. I also noticed that if you go to Google and type “Free porn” almost all the sites are blocked by Family Safety (for the setting I chose at least). But, if you type something like “breasts” and choose images rather than web (in Google) then pictures come up. Knowing the limitations of the tool I guess is the best idea but who has time for that?

  15. Why would you expect your child or teen not to be sneaky about their Internet activity if you are being sneaky about monitoring it? I have to admit I got this idea from another post below. I did not agree with it at first and was going to comment that that person obviously does not have kids but then realized it is a good point. Also, what made this thread so popular today?!?!

  16. works fine for me but this is a year later with 8.1. just in case others are reading this too.

  17. Can anyone tell me if they have successfully blocked websites for a child account? I have set up the web filters to: Allow List Only. Then, I typed in one or two websites into the low list, and Any website is still accessible. Everything has been checked and double checked, but it still doesn’t work. Fam safety is ON, as the curfews and timers do work, and when I log onto the child account, there is a pop up box that says family safety is turned on. yet, any website can be accessed. Even a Microsoft tech who went onto my computer remotely couldn’t get it to work. So, I am left wondering if the web filters even work at all. Would love to hear if they work for anyone out there. Thanks

  18. My child accounts seem to be unable to use the google search engine does anyone know why?

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