Xbox Family Settings app adds new features for managing child accounts

Kareem Anderson

Microsoft Xbox Family App Cropped

Microsoft and its Xbox division continue the pace of gaming-related news this month with the announcement of new features available in the Xbox Family Settings app.

Xbox Operations VP Dave McCarthy wrote about the new Xbox Family Settings app updates that now include the ability to Pause Screen Time and a new ‘Ask to buy’ toggle to help manage account purchases.

Pause Screen Time

The ability to pause screen time has been our number-one requested feature from parents and caregivers. Today, we are happy to add the Pause Screen Time feature to the app, which empowers parents to temporarily pause screen time for their children’s accounts – even if they have more screen time available for the day.

When in use, children see a “Your screen time is up,” and subsequently blocked from their account until the parents allotted time threshold has been met.

Ask to Buy

As we head into the holidays, it makes sense that children might want to purchase new games to play. We saw that our Ask to Buy feature – which is currently available via family settings on Xbox via console and PC – helps parents manage their children’s spending. So, we brought the feature to the Xbox Family Settings App so parents can manage from their phone.

In addition, parents will be sent notifications with ‘Review’ and ‘Deny’ options ready at the fingertip.

As a refresher, here is the current list of functionality and features offered in the Xbox Family Settings app.

  • Screen time limits – set limits for each day of the week; for example, you can allow for more game time on the weekends or reduce it during the school week. And a new feature available today allows parents to proactively grant additional screen time – a great option if they did well on a test or completed their homework!
  • Content filters – set filters based on the age of each child; for example, an 8-year-old can only access games that are rated E and will be blocked from accessing titles that are intended for more mature players.
  • Play and communication settings – choose the option to block all access to play and communicate with other players, limit access to “friends only” or grant permission for older children to play and chat with “everyone.”
  • Friends list – new with the app is the ability to approve or decline friend requests your child has made to add friends; parents can also view their friends’ list.
  • Activity reports – view daily and weekly activity reports for each child to understand how they are spending their time on Xbox.

The Xbox Family Settings app is available via the iOS App Store or Google Play Store platforms.