Using the Parental Controls feature in Windows Vista

Do you find that your child is spending way too much time in front of the PC? And, considering that you are not there in the house during the day, you cannot keep a continuous watch on when your child is going to be playing games and when he/she is going to surf the web. Well, if you have a Vista PC then you can take care of this problem by simply using the Parental Controls feature that is there in Vista.

Here’s what you have to do.

  1. Open the Control Panel in Vista by navigating to Start (Windows button) -> Control Panel.
  2. Click on User Accounts and Family Safety.
  3. Click on the tab that says Parental Controls.
  4. The User Account Control warning will pop up – click on Continue at this prompt.
  5. Select the particular User Account on which you want to enforce Parental Controls.
  6. Now, you will be taken to a page where you can set the different parameters of the Parental Controls feature. First, to the left, you have select the options for Parental Controls: On, enforce current settings, and Activity Reporting: On, collect information about computer usage.
  7. After this, go through the four options below – Windows Vista Web Filter, Time Limits, Games, Allow and block specific programs – and adjust the parameters as per your needs.
  8. Once you are done, click on OK in the Parental Controls window.

Each of the four options in Step 7 above is almost self-explanatory. The first lets you control the web activity, the second lets you set specific times when the computer can be used by that User, the third lets you control if that User can play Games on the PC or not, and the last option lets you control what programs that User can use.