Click here to Skip to main content
15,122,083 members
Articles / Mobile Apps
Technical Blog
Posted 22 Aug 2014


1 bookmarked

Windows Phone 8, Family Safety, and Your Kids

Rate me:
Please Sign up or sign in to vote.
0.00/5 (No votes)
22 Aug 2014CPOL2 min read
Windows Phone 8, Family Safety, and your kids

Amazon recently had a sale on the Lumia 520 “GoPhone” from AT&T. It was down to only $40 out the door, and I also had $10 in Amazon gift card credit in my account. So why not. Free shipping, to my door, and I have a new test device for my Windows Phone app development.

One thing I also wanted to see with this phone, though, was just what Microsoft’s Family Safety brings to the table on the WP platform. I have been using FS on my kids’ desktop and tablet accounts for years, but hadn’t yet checked out what Microsoft offers on WP. Let’s dive in.

I first noticed this possibility when looking at my account and hovering over my profile in the upper right. “My Family? What’s this do?” I wondered. For the longest time, I was the only one in my house who owned a Windows Phone, then my wife got one but of course she doesn’t need/want any controls/lockdown being done on hers. So this 520 was the perfect chance to experiment.

When booting the 520 from scratch, I first had to put in the Microsoft Account ID (e-mail address) of one of my sons – in this case Corbin, my oldest.

After doing this setup on the phone goes exactly like every other time you’ve set one up, but now:



Corbin has some new options in my portal My Family area. Most notably, we have to accept the Terms of Use on his account in order to activate Family Safety’s controls:


After doing this, his “tile” on the Family Safety page turns to:


Of course, let’s View settings.


The game rating filter for WP comes from my overall FamilySafety settings which I have set for games for Corbin. Looks like w/ WP the only options we get are to enable/disable buying games, getting only free ones, or not allowing any at all. What does a denial look like?


Denied store purchase


Denied in-app purchase

How about Cortana?


I went to in the hopes that I’d be able to find apps and install them to the phone via the site as a way of “pushing” only the apps I want my kids to have on to their devices, should I choose “don’t allow” in the options above. Unfortunately, there was no such possibility. So this doesn’t really serve as a “poor man’s MDM solution” a la enterprise. But nonetheless, it is pretty nice to have. You can configure some additional settings through the family safety website:


If you haven’t used Microsoft’s Family Safety tools, I highly suggest looking into them for Windows 7 and Windows 8 users, and now of course Windows Phone users. They’re free and might very well fit the bill you’re looking for when wanting to monitor/safeguard your kids’ online and computer access!


This article, along with any associated source code and files, is licensed under The Code Project Open License (CPOL)


About the Author

Software Developer (Senior)
United States United States
I'm a Sr. Software Engineer in the Seattle area primarily focused on serverless technologies in the cloud. In my free time I enjoy hiking & other adventures with my family around the Puget Sound and the country! You can find out more about me at my homepage:

Comments and Discussions

QuestionWindows Phone 8, Family Safety, and your kids Pin
Ali Anderson26-Aug-14 3:53
MemberAli Anderson26-Aug-14 3:53 
AnswerRe: Windows Phone 8, Family Safety, and your kids Pin
BC3Tech26-Aug-14 4:10
MemberBC3Tech26-Aug-14 4:10 
To be honest, I couldn't disagree more. I would rather hand my mother a Windows Phone than an Android one any day and iOS has just strugged to innovate.
AnswerRe: Windows Phone 8, Family Safety, and your kids Pin
cheekytaurus26-Aug-14 4:17
Membercheekytaurus26-Aug-14 4:17 

General General    News News    Suggestion Suggestion    Question Question    Bug Bug    Answer Answer    Joke Joke    Praise Praise    Rant Rant    Admin Admin   

Use Ctrl+Left/Right to switch messages, Ctrl+Up/Down to switch threads, Ctrl+Shift+Left/Right to switch pages.