How to Set Screen Time Limits on Xbox and Windows

Limit Screen Time on Xbox and Windows 10

Afraid your child spends too much time in front of screens and devices? Find out here how to set screen time limits for Xbox and Windows 10/11.

First, the Paper-Trading Dolphins

The paper-trading dolphins at Mississippi’s Institute for Marine Mammal Studies are a smart bunch.

The dolphins get fish in exchange for human litter. Kelly, one of the dolphins, has realized that a small piece of paper nets the same number of fish as a big one. So, she hides larger sheets and leaflets to trade them in piece by small torn-off piece.

Need something to trade with your kids? They are a smart bunch after all…

How to Set Screen Time Limits on Xbox and Windows

Time needed: 5 minutes

To limit the time a child can use a Windows PC or Xbox with their account:

  1. Set up a Windows (or Microsoft) account for the child if they do not yet have one.

  2. Open Your Family settings for your Microsoft account in a browser.

    App: You can also use the Microsoft Family Safety application on Windows.

  3. Under Your family, select the child’s account.

  4. Go to the Screen time category.

  5. Make sure the device limit schedule is visible for Windows 10 devices or PC screen time limits.

    No schedule: If you do not see the schedule, click Turn limits on for the desired category.
    Xbox: For restricting Xbox use, enable Xbox devices as well.
    Universal schedule: You can also have one screen time limit across all devices. To enable this, turn on Use one schedule on all devices. This will disable limits for individual categories.
    Android: For limits on Android devices, install the Microsoft Family Safety app.

  6. For each day, choose the number of hours of allowed screen time in front of a PC or Xbox, respectively.

    Maximizing: To allow all time allotted on the timeline, select Max scheduled. For each day, choose the number of hours of allowed screen time in front of a PC or Xbox respectively

  7. Optionally, change when the screen time can occur:

    1. Click the timeline for the day.
    2. To remove a slot of allowed time, click Remove.
    3. To add an allowed time, pick the start and end times under From and To. then click Add.
    4. Click Save.

How to Limit Screen Time on Xbox and Windows 10: FAQ

How much screen time is ideal for children?

The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends the following:

AgeScreen Time Recommendation
under 2no screen time
from 2 to 61 hour of screen time
6 and olderlimit screen time so that other activities (especially social contact outside electronic media, physical play, sports, and sleep) do not lose their space. Depending on the kid’s schedule, this could mean some 3–4 hours in front of a screen, for example.

Will the total screen time be that of PC and Xbox combined?

Yes, the child has both Xbox and PC screen time and can use both.

If you restrict both to, say, the same 2 hours per day, they have to choose, though, and get only two hours in total, not four.

Is screen time per device or per category?

The limit is per category. The child does not get to use the same allotted time twice on two PCs, for example.

Will screen time on other devices (or with somebody else logged on) be counted?

No, if you set time limits on Windows 10 and Xbox, they only apply to the time the child is logged on to a PC or Xbox with their own account.

(How to limit screen time on Windows and Xbox tested with Windows 10; first published February 2018, last updated August 2023)

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