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How to set up parental controls on your Xbox Series X and Xbox Series S

If you've gifted an Xbox Series X or Xbox Series S to the kids in your household, ensuring they have a fun and safe gaming experience is essential. Parental controls on these consoles allow you to set limits and restrictions on what they can access.

These features are integrated with Microsoft Family Safety, making it easy to manage and monitor your child's gaming activities.

Best of all, it's a free service that comes with your Microsoft and Xbox account.

You can filter messages, control community content, and even manage specific settings for games like Minecraft.

In this How-To guide, we'll explore the parental control features available on the Xbox Series X and Series S and walk you through the setup process.

How to Set Up Parental Controls on Xbox Series X or S Consoles

If you want to prevent unauthorized purchases, account changes, or access to certain content, follow these steps:

  1. Open Settings by clicking on the cog icon at the top of the home screen.

  2. Select "Account" > "Family settings" > "Manage family members."

  3. Choose your child from the list of family members.

From here, you can set up various controls:

  • Access to Content: Apply age restrictions to games, movies, and other content on the Xbox.

  • Web Filtering: Manage what your child can access through the Xbox web browser, including the option to allow specific sites.

  • Message Safety: Filter or block content from the internal Xbox messaging service.

  • Xbox Privacy: Customize various parental control settings, including online status, profile visibility, friend and club management, communication, multiplayer access, game content sharing, and buying and downloading privileges.

You can choose default settings (child, teen, or adult) for quick setup, or go into more detail by selecting "View details & customize."

Managing Your Family Members From Your Xbox

xbox settings

Aside from sign-in preferences, you can manage family members directly from your Xbox:

  1. From the Family settings page, select "Manage Family Members."

  2. To remove a family member, choose an existing user and select "Remove from family." To add a new member, select "Add to family."

After entering the required account information, the family member will be linked to your parental control options directly from your console.


With parental controls in place, you can also explore game sharing on Xbox among your family's consoles and accounts, saving you from purchasing the same game multiple times.

Ensure the Safety of Your Family Online With Xbox’s Parental Controls

Now that you have a comprehensive understanding of Xbox's parental control options, you can customize them to suit your family's needs.

In a gaming landscape with increasing microtransactions, these controls are essential for promoting responsible gaming practices.

xbox account

Adding age restrictions, spending limits, and multiplayer restrictions on your Xbox Series X or S console is crucial for ensuring a safe and controlled gaming environment, especially for kids.

To take your parental controls to the next level, consider using the Xbox Family Settings app. Here's how you can set it up:

  1. Launch the Xbox Family Settings app, which you can download from Google Play for Android devices or the App Store for Apple devices.

  2. Sign in with your Microsoft/Xbox account details associated with your Xbox Series X or S console.

  3. Select "Let's Go" when prompted, and then tap "Add Child."

  4. Choose to create a new account for your child or add an existing one if you've already done so.

  5. The app will guide you through essential settings for the added child, including age restrictions. You can customize the suggested age or select a different one. Tap "Next" to continue.

  6. Decide who the child can communicate with: Everyone, Friends Only, or No-one. Opting for the latter two settings provides higher security. Tap "Next" to proceed.

  7. Determine if you want your child to play multiplayer games. Be cautious here, as allowing multiplayer gaming can expose your child to strangers. You may choose to block it. Tap "Next" to move forward.

  8. You can revisit these settings anytime and apply more controls. Simply tap the child's profile on the main screen in the Xbox Family Settings app. This takes you to an overview of their account and preferences. Tap the "Settings" icon.

  9. Go through the list and review the current settings. Adjust preferences as needed. For instance, you can change the "Approval required" setting under Multiplayer to make it less restrictive whenever you like.

Now you're equipped with comprehensive parental controls on your Xbox Series X or S, providing you with peace of mind whenever a child is in charge of the gamepad.

And, with the rise of more predatory style microtransactions in popular free-to-play games, Xbox's parental controls could be a much-needed aid in ensuring sensible gaming practices online.

Enjoy Free-to-Play Games With Caution

While free-to-play has its problems due to microtransactions, there are of course examples of some free-to-play games that manage your gaming experience with its monetization better than others.

You may find it useful then to navigate free-to-play games with caution, keeping an eye out for microtransactions that could potentially make playing the game not worthwhile.

However, now that you are aware of some of the dangers of free-to-play monetization, you may want to check out some better examples of free-to-play gaming.


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