When we launched the Xbox Family Settings app last year, our goal was to make it easy for parents and caregivers to manage their children’s gaming while on-the-go. The app is available for free on iOS and Android, and empowers parents to create child accounts, update screen time limits, respond to notifications, manage who their children can play and communicate with and much more – all from their phone. It’s a simple way to find the right balance of gaming in your family’s life and ensure there’s time for school, homework, sports, and time spent with friends.
One of the top pieces of feedback we’ve received from parents about the Xbox Family Settings app is to include options to track and manage kids’ spending. Feedback has ranged from “I’d like to add money to my child’s account as a reward for good grades on their report card. Can I do this from the app?” to “I want to give my kid an allowance to spend money on games through the app,” and “How do I manage how much money my son can spend while he’s gaming? I don’t want any surprises!”
We’ve heard your feedback and today, we’re excited to announce multiple new features for the app which will help you manage your child’s spending:
- Set spending limits: Parents can manage their children’s spending by adding money to their account directly from the app – you decide how much is approved for your child to spend. The funds you decide to add to your child’s account can apply to any purchase, including games, in-game purchases like skins, and apps.
This feature is also a great way to reward your child. For example, if they complete their weekly chores, you can add money to their account as a weekly allowance. Or add money to their account if they did especially well on a recent math test. Whatever the reason, use this feature to make sure your child stays within budget and to prevent any surprise spending.
- Ask to Buy Turn this feature ‘on’ to receive a notification each time your child wants to make a purchase that they don’t have sufficient funds for. Parents can then make the purchase on their child’s behalf (if it’s a game or app), or add money to their account for an in-game purchase, like a new skin or an accessory. And if you don’t want to approve the purchase, simply select the “deny” button on the notification you receive.
- View your child’s account balance: Interested in how much money your child has left in their account? At any time, you can review your child’s balance and decide if you’d like to add additional funds to their account.
Parents can also view their child’s spending history to keep track of their recent purchases.
We know it’s important to parents to track and manage their children’s spending when they game to avoid any unexpected surprises or bills. With these new features, parents are empowered to customize their family’s access to spending money in games or in the Microsoft Store to fit what’s right for them. For information about preventing unauthorized purchases on Xbox, visit our support page.
We will continue to add new features to the app that parents want. For example, in May, we added the ability to approve multiplayer access – where you can play and communicate with other gamers – by specific title, directly from your console or in the Xbox Family Settings app. If your child wants to play a specific game in multiplayer mode, they can send a request to unblock multiplayer for that game, which parents can approve or decline.