large image

Trusted Reviews is supported by its audience. If you purchase through links on our site, we may earn a commission. Learn more.

How to set up a Windows Family Safety account for a child

Microsoft provides powerful parental controls in the form of its Family Safety settings, but both guardians and children have to be enrolled online. Here’s a how to set up a safe and secure managed account for your child.

While the set-up process is a little involved, once configured, Microsoft Family Safety makes it easy to set and agree clear, helpful and healthy limits on the computer and internet use of young people in your care.

However, just turning parental controls on and hoping for the best isn’t a winning long-term strategy. It has to go hand-in hand with evolving conversations about online safety. It’s also important to be honest and explain that you are using content filtering. Even young children can understand that not everything on the internet is for them and that you’re filtering out things that might scare, trick or upset them.

Kaspersky Safe Kids

Kaspersky Safe Kids

Protect your kids when they’re out of your sight

Protect your kids online and offline with award-winning parental controls. Get flexible tools that help you safeguard their activities, monitor their behaviour and teach them self-control.

  • Kaspersky
  • Auto-Renewal
  • £14.99 per year
Buy now

The Short Version

  1. Search for your Microsoft account info
  2. Make sure you’re signed into your Microsoft account on Windows
  3. Sign in to Microsoft Family Safety
  4. Add another user
  5. Enter their email address
  6. Confirm the address
  7. Choose their role
  8. Click Next
  9. Confirm your humanity
  10. Click Invite
  11. Have your family member sign up
  12. They then click join on the website
  13. Sign into your member’s Microsoft account
  14. Optional: Create an account
  15. Click Next on the Create account screen
  16. Create a password
  17. Click next
  18. Enter their name
  19. Click Next
  20. Enter their date of birth
  21. Click Next
  22. Get an email verification code
  23. Paste it in
  24. Click Next
  25. Click Next when asked to prove you’re not a robot
  26. Solve the puzzle
  27. For under-thirteens: Parental consent required
  28. Click Continue
  29. Sign in to give your child consent
  30. Click Next
  31. Opt for them not to stay signed in
  32. Read the consent form
  33. Sign the consent form
  34. Click Yes, I agree
  35. Allow non-Microsoft apps
  36. Press Continue
  37. See default account settings and sign out
  38. For over-thirteens: Confirm that they want to join
  39. Take a look at their member account
  40. Open Windows user management
  41. Find your member in Family & other users
  42. Select them
  43. Click Allow
  44. Give your new family member access to Windows
  45. Log out of Windows
  46. Time to sign in as another user
  47. Select your new Windows user
  48. Have them sign in
  49. Configure their Windows account to use a PIN
  50. Allow OneDrive backups
  51. Click Next
  52. Deny app location sharing
  53. Click Accept
  54. Deny inking and typing diagnostic data
  55. Click Accept
  56. Refuse tailored experiences
  57. Accept and move one
  58. Deny apps the ability to use advertising ID
  59. Click Accept
  60. Click Start
  61. Open the user list
  62. Select your account from the list
  63. Log in
  64. Open your web browser
  65. Configure their access privileges

Kaspersky Safe Kids

Kaspersky Safe Kids

Protect your kids when they’re out of your sight

Protect your kids online and offline with award-winning parental controls. Get flexible tools that help you safeguard their activities, monitor their behaviour and teach them self-control.

  • Kaspersky
  • Auto-Renewal
  • £14.99 per year
Buy now

  1. Step
    1

    Search for your Microsoft account info

    To start with, let’s make sure you’re logged into your Microsoft administrator account. Type “Your info” into the Windows search bar, click the “Your account info” result that shows up at the top.Windows child account stage 1

  2. Step
    2

    Make sure you’re signed into your Microsoft account on Windows

    To check, and check that you’re signed in on the account you expect to be. Make sure it shows an email address – this tells you that you’re using an online Microsoft account to, and that it lists you as “Administrator”.Windows user account settings

  3. Step
    3

    Sign in to Microsoft Family Safety

    Go to https://family.microsoft.com/ and sign in using your Microsoft account – the one that your Windows license and is associated with, and which you use when signing in to Windows. If you have no associated family members, you’ll be prompted to create one immediately via a pop-up, but we’re going to take the conventional route – either close the pop-up or skip to step 3 to follow along with the tutorial.Microsoft Family Safety website - not logged in

  4. Step
    4

    Add another user

    Click “Add a family member”, next to your own profile.Microsoft family web interface screen shows add a family member box

  5. Step
    5

    Enter their email address

    If they have a phone number or email address, enter it here. If not, you’ll be invited to create a Microsoft Outlook email account for them. Any email address or phone number can be used, however. If your kids already have Microsoft accounts, for example for Minecraft or Xbox, then you should use the address associated with these.A pop-up invites you to add a user to Family Safety

  6. Step
    6

    Confirm the address

    Click Next.Highlight of the next button to click to move on

  7. Step
    7

    Choose their role

    Set the user up a member or an organiser. If they’re a co-parent, guardian or other person you wish to give administrative powers to, they should be an organiser. Otherwise, select member here. I’m going to create a member account for child in the following steps.Choose whether the user is a member or organiser

  8. Step
    8

    Click Next

    The Next button will turn green once you’ve chosen a role. Click it.Highlight of the next button to click to move on

  9. Step
    9

    Confirm your humanity

    Enter the captcha A catcha

  10. Step
    10

    Click Invite

    And then click the Invite button.Click invite after entering the captcha

  11. Step
    11

    Have your family member sign up

    Your family member will receive an email at the account you added, inviting them to join Microsoft Family. They should click the Join now link.An email invitation to join Family Safety

  12. Step
    12

    They then click join on the website

    The “Join now” link in the email will take them to the Microsoft family group account creation website. They should click Join now here, too.An online joining page for new Family Safety group members

  13. Step
    13

    Sign into your member’s Microsoft account

    If there’s a Microsoft account already associated with the email address you invited, they’ll be prompted to sign in. Click Next and enter the password when prompted. If they don’t already have a Microsoft account, they’ll be prompted to set one up – click “Create one!” and follow the on-screen instructions to do so – their account details should be saved in a password manager. Microsoft account sign in

  14. Step
    14

    Optional: Create an account

    If they don’t have a Microsoft account they – or you – will have to create one. Click “Create one!”Microsoft sign in screen - this account doesn't exist

  15. Step
    15

    Click Next on the Create account screen

    Check that you have the address right and click NextMicrosoft Create account screen - prefilled

  16. Step
    16

    Create a password

    Create a strong and memorable password – this should ideally be stored in a password manager but you may need to write it down while you’re working through account creation.Enter a password for the new Microsoft account

  17. Step
    17

    Click Next

    Once you’re entered the password you want, click Next to confirm it.The password entry screen with a circled next button

  18. Step
    18

    Enter their name

    Enter your child’s first and last name here. You can use a pseudonym for extra privacy.Microsoft account creation prompt - What's your name entry box

  19. Step
    19

    Click Next

    Once you’re happy with that, click Next.Click next fter entering a name

  20. Step
    20

    Enter their date of birth

    You’ll want to accurately enter your child’s date of birth here, as it affects both the content filtering options for their account and can appear as a security question if access to the account is lost.Microsoft account creation prompt - enter date of birth

  21. Step
    21

    Click Next

    Once you’ve filled in their birthdate, click next.Date of birth entry with a circled next button

  22. Step
    22

    Get an email verification code

    A four-digit code will be sent to the email address associated with the account you’re creating. Copy this number.A verification email

  23. Step
    23

    Paste it in

    And paste or type it into the next sign-up step in your browser. Untick the “I would like information, tips and offers about Microsoft products and services” box while you’re here.Code entry box

  24. Step
    24

    Click Next

    Tap the next button to verify.Code entry box with circled Next button

  25. Step
    25

    Click Next when asked to prove you’re not a robot

    Your member will be informed that they should solve a puzzle to prove they’re not a robot. Click Next here.A no robots allowed image. It is whimsical. There is a next button.

  26. Step
    26

    Solve the puzzle

    This kid-friendly captcha alternative will ask them to identify an animal, fruit or similar. If your child if over 13, they should be signed in after completing this step. Go to step 36.A puzzle asked you to select the image with grapes in it

  27. Step
    27

    If your child is under 13, they’ll be asked to have you provide consent for their account. Click “I’m a parent or guardian”. Parent or guardian consent

  28. Step
    28

    Click Continue

    Once you’ve made a choice, you’ll be able to click Continue. Do do.Click continue to sign in as a parent or guardian and approve the account

  29. Step
    29

    Enter your own Microsoft account email addressSign in to give consent box

  30. Step
    30

    Click Next

    Once you’ve done that, you’ll be able to click Next. Do so.Filled in Sign in to give consent box, Next button is circled in red

  31. Step
    31

    Opt for them not to stay signed in

    They’ll be asked if they want to stay signed in. If you’re doing this set up via your account, click No.Stay signed in box

  32. Step
    32

    Read the consent form. It’s short, informative and details exactly what information Microsoft will have and hold about your child.Microsoft Family Safety terms of parental consent page 1

  33. Step
    33

    Scroll to the second page, read it and, if you agree, type your name into the signature field.Microsoft Family Safety conensent for minors page 2

  34. Step
    34

    Click Yes, I agree

    Click the Yes, I agree button to give your consent to Microsoft holding data about your child.The signed consent form with a circled Next button

  35. Step
    35

    Allow non-Microsoft apps

    You’ll next be asked if you want to allow your child to be able to sign into non-Microsoft apps with their account. While this may allow some third parties to collect data as described in the box, it provides a better users experience. Tick the box.Box asks if you want to allow the child to use their account to sign into non-Microsoft apps

  36. Step
    36

    Press Continue

    The Continue button will now be clickable. Click it.A box asking if you wish to allow non-Microsoft app logins, with a highlighted continue button

  37. Step
    37

    See default account settings and sign out

    Your under-thirteen now has a Microsoft account and is part of your Family Safety group. Click Sign out to sign out of your own account and go to to Step 38.A box shows the default settings for a child's account. The sign out button is circled.

  38. Step
    38

    For over-thirteens: Confirm that they want to join

    Finally, Family Safety explains some of the things they’ll be able to do with their account, such as requesting that an adult buy them Microsoft Store software, opt to share their activity or location with family members, and have content filters and screen time limits set for them. They should click Join now, but there’s still time to switch to a different account if you need to.Confirm that you wish to join a family group as a member

  39. Step
    39

    Take a look at their member account

    Your new user will be logged into their member account. Any Microsoft devices your member’s account is already logged into will appear here. If there are none, the next step is to connect a device. We’re going to use a Windows PC, but Windows PCs, Xbox consoles, and Android and iOS drives can all be connected to Microsoft Family Safety.Family Group member's overview page

  40. Step
    40

    Open Windows user management

    In Windows, use the taskbar search box to search for “add user”, then click on “Add, edit, or remove other users” in the results.Search Windows to add or edit users

  41. Step
    41

    Find your member in Family & other users

    Your new family member’s account name or email address should appear in your user list with text reading “can’t sign in” next to it.Family and other users screen

  42. Step
    42

    Select them

    Click on their account name.Windows Family & other users interface

  43. Step
    43

    Click Allow

    Now click the Allow button that appears below their account nameFamily and other users screen

  44. Step
    44

    Give your new family member access to Windows

    Click allow again when asked to confirm that they should be allowed to sign in.Box asks you to confirm that you wish to allow a user to sign in

  45. Step
    45

    Log out of Windows

    Press Ctrl-Alt-Delete and click “Sign out”. Control alt delete sign out page in Windows

  46. Step
    46

    Time to sign in as another user

    You’ll find yourself at the Windows sign-in screen.Windows login screen

  47. Step
    47

    Select your new Windows user

    Click once, anywhere on the screen and have your new user select their account name from the list at the bottom left. They should now click “Sign in”.Windows login screen

  48. Step
    48

    Have them sign in

    A Microsoft account login box will appear, requesting them to enter their password. Do that, then click Sign in.Windows user is asked to enter the password for their online Microsoft account

  49. Step
    49

    Configure their Windows account to use a PIN

    They’ll be prompted to create a Personal Indentifiction Numer for login – this is a good idea, particularly if their strong master password is long or difficult to type. With that done, they’ll be logged into their new Windows account. This will take a few minutes as the new account is set up by WindowsWindows user is asked to create a PIN code

  50. Step
    50

    Allow OneDrive backups

    Backups are generally desirable and an automatic backup of key folders, such as Documents, can help avoid your kids losing any important files in case of hard disk failures. Select

  51. Step
    51

    Click Next

    Read through the explanation and click Next.Microsoft explains the on-by-default OneDrive backup system, with Next circled in red

  52. Step
    52

    Deny app location sharing

    You’re about to be given lots of choices to make about Windows’ initial settings. It’s tedious, so you should do this by yourself for smaller children. For anyone below the age of majority, always consider configuring Windows’ account settings for maximum privacy. Select No when asked to “Let Microsoft and apps use your location”.Let Microsoft and apps use your location question screen

  53. Step
    53

    Click Accept

    Click Accept to move on to the next question.Let Microsoft and apps use your location question screen

  54. Step
    54

    Deny inking and typing diagnostic data

    Click no to prevent Microsoft from sending back data about how the user types or uses a stylus when writing.Deny permission to return inking and typing diagnostic data

  55. Step
    55

    Click Accept to move on

    Click Accept.Deny permission to return inking and typing diagnostic data

  56. Step
    56

    Refuse tailored experiences

    You don’t want Microsoft to record or base advertising on a child’s internet and computer use, so select No here.Tailored experiences query screen during Windows setup

  57. Step
    57

    Accept and move one

    Click Accept to go to the next question.Tailored experiences query screen during Windows setup

  58. Step
    58

    Deny apps the ability to use advertising ID

    More ad tracking here. Say no.A Windows setup screen asks if you want to give apps the ability to use advertising ID

  59. Step
    59

    Click Accept

    Click Accept to move on again.A Windows setup screen asks if you want to give apps the ability to use advertising ID

  60. Step
    60

    Click Start

    Having made it through that, click the Start menu when Windows’ main interface loads.Windows Start menu

  61. Step
    61

    Open the user list

    Click the user profile icon – the top icon on the narrow the left-hand column.Windows Start menu

  62. Step
    62

    Select your account from the list

    Click your own username to return to the login screen. start menu with expanded user names and logout options

  63. Step
    63

    Log in

    Click your user name at bottom left to log back into your own account. In this example, my admin account requires a PIN to log in.Pin login for Windows admin user

  64. Step
    64

    Open your web browser

    I’m selecting Microsoft Edge here.Selecting Microsoft Edge browser

  65. Step
    65

    Configure their access privileges

    Go to to https://account.microsoft.com/family/. You should see your PC listed as connected to your new member’s. Click on your child’s member icon to configure their screen time, content filtering and access settings. You’ll have to do this for younger children, but most kids – and certainly tweens and younger teens – should be involved in configuration by mutual consent.Microsoft Family Safety web interface shows multiple members added and invited

Now you’ve created accounts for your family members, I’ll take you through the ins and outs of Family Safety configuration and Microsoft Parental controls in my next tutorial.

Kaspersky Safe Kids

Kaspersky Safe Kids

Protect your kids when they’re out of your sight

Protect your kids online and offline with award-winning parental controls. Get flexible tools that help you safeguard their activities, monitor their behaviour and teach them self-control.

  • Kaspersky
  • Auto-Renewal
  • £14.99 per year
Buy now

FAQs

My family member doesn’t appear in Family & other users after account creation

Make sure your PC is connected to the internet and that you are logged in on your PC with the account that you’re using to manage Family Safety, as an administrator. If that’s all correct, click Add a family member to send another invitation.

Can I use Family Controls for local accounts?

No. Although Windows 7 allowed you to apply content filtering and parental controls to any account on the PC, managed Family Safety accounts now must be registered online with Microsoft.

Do Family accounts cost anything?

No, they’re free, and adding extra accounts to a Windows system that you have a Windows license for is also free.

How many people can I have in a family account?

Microsoft Family accounts are limited to a total of six members and organisers.

Does this have privacy implications for my family?

Yes. Although children’s data is protected under UK law and Microsoft provides information on revoking consent for the company to handle the data of the children you’re responsible for, signing kids up for an online service always means that someone – Microsoft in this case – will have access to the data they generate. However, Family Safety means that you’ll be better able to manage your kids’ interacting with the online services they already use, making it a net benefit once the children in your care are old enough to have Microsoft accounts anyway.

Do I have to enter fully accurate information for my child?

No. I use one of my own Microsoft accounts to give my child controlled access to specific Microsoft services, and you can take the same approach in setting up your family controls. Keep an eye on which software purchases are associated with which accounts to avoid future angst, though. When your child is old enough to have their own software license keys, they should probably have their own account to hold them in, even if you don’t give them full control over it until they’re older.

Why trust our journalism?

Founded in 2004, Trusted Reviews exists to give our readers thorough, unbiased and independent advice on what to buy.

Today, we have millions of users a month from around the world, and assess more than 1,000 products a year.

author icon

Editorial independence

Editorial independence means being able to give an unbiased verdict about a product or company, with the avoidance of conflicts of interest. To ensure this is possible, every member of the editorial staff follows a clear code of conduct.

author icon

Professional conduct

We also expect our journalists to follow clear ethical standards in their work. Our staff members must strive for honesty and accuracy in everything they do. We follow the IPSO Editors’ code of practice to underpin these standards.