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How to Set Up Parental Controls in Windows 7

By | Sep 2, 2012

The Parental Controls feature is very useful for controlling the amount of time your children spend on the computer and the programs they’re using. Today we take a look at how to set up Parental Controls in Windows 7.

Parental Controls

Windows 7 parental controls can be accessed by going to Start → Control Panel → User Accounts and Family Safety → Set Up Parental Controls for Any User.

Click on the name/icon of the user to whose account you wish to apply parental controls, then set Parental Controls to “On, enforce current settings”.

Once you have turned on Parental Controls, there are 3 basic types of settings for you to tweak:

  1. Time Limits — control when the user is allowed to user the computer.
  2. Games — allow or block games by rating or content type, or allow/block specific games.
  3. Specific Programs — allow/block specific programs that the user can or cannot use.

Limiting Access Time

Time limits presents you with a simple grid with which you can allow or block use at certain times of the day. Click on a time period to toggle whether it is allowed or blocked. The following screenshot shows a user account that cannot access the computer during school hours or nighttime hours.

Limiting Games

The parental controls for games allow you to decide overall whether or not the account can play games. If games are allowed, you can fine tune the controls by choosing which ESRB ratings are allowed/blocked, and which themes are allowed/blocked such as “Blood and Gore”, “Drug References”, etc.

If you click Block or Allow specific games, you can see a list of the games installed on your Windows 7 PC and choose whether the account is allowed to play that specific game.

Limiting Programs

If you click Allow and Block Specific Programs you can choose which applications the user account is allowed to access. Choose “[Username] can only use the programs I allow” and then check off the programs that can be used.

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