Windows-7-logoWhen it comes to computer safety, Windows 7 offers a variety of solutions to protect users no matter their age. When you let kids on a computer, they can be exposed to everything you try to keep them safe from. Utilizing parental controls on a Windows 7 computer is one way to keep them safe.

Windows 7 has several tools parents can use to help keep their children safe. While you can opt to use other programs to help protect your children, too using what you have available on Windows 7 is an effective way to ensure their safety as well.

How to get started with parental controls in Windows 7

The first step to getting parental controls set up in Windows 7 is to open your “Start Menu.”

Start Menu

Then, click “Control Panel” or navigate to it how you would normally open it on your computer. Alternatively, you can just type Control Panel in the search box to access this feature.

Control Panel

Locate the User Accounts and Family Safety header. Click on “Set up parental controls for any user.”

Set up parental controls for any user

If you have not already set up a separate account for your child, creating one is the best way to get started.

Click on “Create a new user account.”

(5) create new account

Name the account, choose whether to set up a password for it or not, then click “Create account.”

You will now be redirected back to the primary parental control screen. The new account will be listed. Click on it to continue.

Here you will begin setting your parental controls for the account in Windows 7.

Click “On” to get started.

Then, click “Time limits.”

Time limits

You can now click on any day of the week and drag through certain times to limit when the account can logon to the computer.

Changing blocks of time

When they try to logon during those times, they will not be able to. When you are finished choosing blocks of times, click “Ok” to head back to the parental control options for the account.

Now, click “Games.”

Games

You can choose how your children play games on your computer. This refers to games installed on the computer.

Click on “Set game ratings.”

Control which games account cna play

This allows you to choose what type of game ratings your child can play. If a game is above the rating set, they cannot open the game at all. Click “OK” to save what rating you choose.

Now, click on “Block or Allow specific games.”

Control specific games account can and can not play

This will allow you to block or allow which games your child plays installed on your computer. Even if the game is below the rating threshold you said, if you block the game, your child cannot play it. Once you select your game settings, click “OK.”

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Click “OK” one more time to head back to the primary parental control screen for the account.

Finally, click “Allow and block specific programs.”  When this screen loads, click on “Test can only use the programs I allow.”

(12) checking programs

It will take a few minutes for the list to populate as Windows 7 loads all the programs available to choose from.

Once loaded, you will have to check every program box you will allow your child to access.

Which programs can account use?

Once finished, click “OK.”

Parental controls set

On the main screen, you will now see the limits set for the account. You can change them at any time by heading back to the parental controls option for the account in the Control Panel of your administrator account in Windows 7.

Are parental controls in Windows 7 foolproof?

No parental controls are foolproof. Kids are getting smarter by the day and often their computer experience eclipses their parents own experiences with them. By taking the time to learn what Windows 7 offers in the way of parental controls, you can then judge what other steps to take to protect your children.

This may include additional software or even just talking and warning your kids about the dangers of the Internet. Windows 7 parental controls are not the only step to take to keep your children safe from harm.

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