How to set up parental controls on the Xbox One

Microsoft gives parents complete control over the content and features their kids can access on the Xbox One. Here's how to get started.

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There's nothing like killing zombies in Dead Rising 3 on your new Xbox One . The violent video game is just one of a handful of launch titles that is available alongside Microsoft's new console.

While Dead Rising 3 (which was recently banned in Germany) and titles like it will offer you hours of endless and violent entertainment, they may not be games you want your kids playing.

Like Sony with the PlayStation 4 , Microsoft has included various parental controls that can prevent your kids from accessing certain games and features on the Xbox One.

Setup

From the console's main menu, click on Games & Apps, scroll over to Settings, and select Privacy & Online Safety. This page will give you a variety of options for customizing your Xbox One experience, including settings for controlling your privacy and restricting inappropriate games or features.

The Xbox One's settings can also be accessed by tapping the menu button, which is represented with three horizontal lines, on the controller.

Privacy

Three default options are available -- child, teen, and adult -- for controlling privacy settings

The child defaults allow children to play and download free games, music, videos, and apps, along with making video game clips. This setting also lets kids see other profiles and communicate with friends, however a parent is required to add a new friend. Other gamers can also see when the child is online and available to play.

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In addition to the child defaults, teens can see and share Kinect content, add friends, socialize in multiplayer games, and share to social networks.

The adult setting allows everyone to see your friends, game clips, and any musics, apps, and games you've enjoyed. The setting also lets others see your full profile, in addition to being notified when you come online.

All three defaults can be used as a base and customized to your liking. You can also start from scratch and create your own privacy settings.

By default, Microsoft uses your video app history to improve your experience. The company also stores your exercise information with your online profile. While there doesn't appear to be a way to disable this, Microsoft notes that the information is kept private and not shared with others.

Content Restrictions

The Content Restrictions settings can be found on the right-hand side of the Privacy & Online Safety menu. From here you can restrict access to content, features, and more. The menu consists of four options: Access to content, Web filtering, Descriptions in OneGuide, and Contact preferences.

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Restrictions for games, music, movies, and apps can be found in the "Access to content" option. Unlike Sony, which uses a confusing number scale to prevent certain features, Microsoft allows content to be restricted based on age. The system can be configured to allow only appropriate content from ages 3 to 18; there is also an unrestricted option for the older crowd.

Once the restriction is set, check the "Hide listings in search, stores, and apps" box to prevent inappropriate content from appearing in search results or the Xbox Store.

The Web browser can be filtered to only allow only sites you previously approved, sites designed for children, general interest pages, access to social networks and mail services, or to simply warn on adult sites.

Sarah Tew/CNET

To block "explicitly sexual, violent or otherwise objectionable" descriptions while browsing through channels, click on the "Descriptions in OneGuide" option.

Inside of the Contact preferences you can opt-out of promotional offers from Microsoft, Xbox, and its partners.

Passkey

You must create a passkey to fully implement parental controls. Enter the settings, select the "Sign-in, Security, and Passkey" option, and create a new 6-digit passkey.

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Once completed, you will have the option to require the key for signing into the system and when purchasing items from the Xbox Store. The console will also require the key to Microsoft Xbox One be entered to allow your kids to add friends or play certain games, depending on the parental settings you opted for.

About the author

Dan Graziano is an associate editor for CNET How To. His work has appeared on BGR, Fox News, Fox Business, and Yahoo News, among other publications. When he isn't tinkering with the latest gadgets and gizmos, he can be found enjoying the sights and sounds of New York City.

 

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