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parental controls13 Set Parental Controls and Protect Your Children with Windows 7 [How To]Like Windows Vista, Windows 7 comes with a suite of Parental Controls tools to help you protect your children from viewing inappropriate content on your PC or from using a computer during restricted hours. In this guide you’ll learn how to do the following:

  • Create a new user account for your child.
  • Set up Parental Controls for a Windows 7 user account.
    • Set time limits for account access.
    • Control games by rating, content, or title.
    • Allow and block specific programs.
  • Restrict access to specific websites.

If you use Windows Vista, the settings are almost identical; however, a Windows Vista-specific series of guides can be found here: Vista User Accounts and Parental Controls Series.

Create a New User Account for Your Child

To set up a new user account for your child, follow this guide.

Note: be sure to set a password for the “parent’s” account to that the child cannot circumvent access restrictions by using your account. If the computer is used solely by them, you will need to create an [insert account name here] account from which you will set the rules and continue to allow use of the pre-existing child’s account for their needs.

Set up Parental Controls for a Windows 7 User Account

To set up Parental Controls for a Windows 7 user account:

  1. Click the Start button and click Control Panel.
  2. Under User Accounts and Family Safety, click Set up parental controls for any user.parental controls01 Set Parental Controls and Protect Your Children with Windows 7 [How To]
  3. Click the account for which you’d like to set up parental controls by clicking the user account under Users.

    parental controls02 Set Parental Controls and Protect Your Children with Windows 7 [How To]

  4. Select On, enforce current settings.
  5. Follow the instructions below for each setting.

Set Time Limits for Account Access

To set time limits for account access:

  1. Follow the instructions, in this guide, under “Set up Parental Controls for a Windows 7 User Account” to get to the parental controls screen.
  2. Click Time limits.parental controls03 Set Parental Controls and Protect Your Children with Windows 7 [How To]
  3. Now select the time (by clicking the time slots) for which you’d like to block account access and Save.parental controls04 Set Parental Controls and Protect Your Children with Windows 7 [How To]
  4. Now, if you try to log on to the user account during restricted hours, you’ll see the following message: “Your account has time restrictions that prevent you from loggong on at this time. Please try again later.” I’d like to see “You can log back in at 7A.M.” (or whatever time it may be) but I’m sure there’s wisdom in not giving your child a time to count down to!parental controls05 Set Parental Controls and Protect Your Children with Windows 7 [How To]

Control Games by Rating, Content, or Title

To control your child’s use of video games:

  1. Follow the instructions, in this guide, under “Set up Parental Controls for a Windows 7 User Account” to get to the parental controls screen.
  2. Click Games.parental controls06 Set Parental Controls and Protect Your Children with Windows 7 [How To]
  3. Determine whether or not the user should be allowed to play games at all by selecting Yes or No under Can [account] play games? (in this example, I allow the user to play games.)
  4. Click Set game ratings to specify which ratings are permitted.parental controls07 Set Parental Controls and Protect Your Children with Windows 7 [How To]
  5. I opted to Block games with no rating (safest) and allow games that are rated E for Everyone (which automatically allows games that are rated eC for Early Childhood by virtue of them being “under” the Everyone rating.)parental controls08 Set Parental Controls and Protect Your Children with Windows 7 [How To]
  6. Now, when you try to play a game that is, for example M for Mature, you will see the following message: Parental Controls has blocked this game. To find out why this game is blocked, check your Parental Controls settings. If you need access to this game, ask permission from the person who set up Parental Controls.parental controls09 Set Parental Controls and Protect Your Children with Windows 7 [How To]

Allow and Block Specific Programs

To allow and block specific programs:

  1. Follow the instructions, in this guide, under “Set up Parental Controls for a Windows 7 User Account” to get to the parental controls screen.
  2. Click Allow and block specific programs.parental controls10 Set Parental Controls and Protect Your Children with Windows 7 [How To]
  3. To allow and restrict specific programs select [account] can only use the programs I allow.
  4. Check the programs which you would like to allow for use.parental controls11 Set Parental Controls and Protect Your Children with Windows 7 [How To]
  5. If you try and run an unauthorized program, you’ll get the following error message: Parental Controls has blocked this program. An administrator can allow this program by opening Parental Controls and changing the permissions.

    parental controls12 Set Parental Controls and Protect Your Children with Windows 7 [How To]

Bonus: Restrict Access to Sspecific Websites

If you’d like to restrict access to specific websites, you can do it the manual way here: Restrict Access to Sspecific Websites.

There you have it, you should have a pretty tight security policy in place after using these settings. There’s tons more you can do to protect your children–what did I miss?



 Set Parental Controls and Protect Your Children with Windows 7 [How To]

About Rich

Rich is the owner and creator of Windows Guides; he spends his time breaking things on his PC so he can write how-to guides to fix the problems he creates.

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