When it comes to kids and video games, it’s usually better to play games with your younger kids than just let them lose on their own. Both of you will have more fun playing together. However, as kids get older, you won’t always be able to keep track of what they’re playing and for how long. That’s where parental controls on Xbox 360 and Xbox One can help you.

Xbox 360 Family Settings

Family Settings, available on Xbox 360, allows you to restrict access to game or movie content that your children should not see. You can set your console to only play games below a certain ESRB rating or movies below a certain MPAA rating. Whether you want to use the system on your own or allow your kids to view something locked, just tap on the password you set when setting up family options.

Minecraft Xbox One Screen 1

You also have several options for controlling what your children can see and do, and who they can interact with. Xbox Live . You can manually approve people who want to be on their friends list. You can choose whether to let them speak and hear voice chat from anyone, from no one, or just from people on their friends list. And you can also dictate how much they can make on Xbox Live Marketplace . You can also completely block access to Xbox Live if you wish.

A great new feature is that you can set the box to only play a certain amount of time each day or even each week. You can set a daily timer in 15 minute increments and a weekly timer in 1 hour increments so you can determine exactly how long your child can play. Notifications will pop up from time to time to let your child know how long they’ve been gone. And when you want to play or want your child to play longer, just click on your password.

Xbox One Family Settings

Xbox One has a similar setting. Each child can have their own account (they are free and if you have Xbox Live Gold on your XONE for one account, this applies to all of them), and you can set the privileges for each account separately. You can set per account general defaults for «Child», «Teen» or «Adult», which provide different degrees of freedom, such as who they can chat/friend with, what they can see and access the store, and more.

If you wish, you can also select custom settings, which will allow you to manually configure exactly what your child can access from a long list of options.

For more information on how to keep your kids safe and limit their playtime (plus more details), see the » How to use parental controls on Xbox One » .

Another great feature is that, unlike in the past on the X360, Xbox One accounts can «transfer» so they don’t have to be tied to child controls forever. They can also be removed from the parent account and can be set up as full Xbox Live Gold accounts on their own (presumably on your child/teen/student’s own Xbox One).

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