How to Change Parental Controls on an XBox Live

By Jonathan Langdon

Updated September 22, 2017

Items you will need

  • Xbox 360

  • Xbox accounts (at least one for children and one for adults)

No matter your political or philosophical leanings, sometimes you just do not want children exposed to certain content. The Xbox 360 was designed to appeal to a wide audience, so content may go beyond what you are willing to let your child experience. Fortunately, the Xbox 360 comes with tools to help you regulate how your child uses the system and interacts with others over Xbox LIVE. This guide will give you an overview of the parental controls on the Xbox 360.

Switch to the profile of your child's account and navigate to the My Xbox line. The My Xbox line contains options for profiles and console settings.

Select System Settings. You will find various settings for console operation in the System Settings.

Select Family Settings. Family Settings contains the parental control options.

Select Console Controls. These settings apply to all profiles on the Xbox360.

Browse through the options within Console Controls and set the privileges for your Xbox 360. The various settings for Console Controls are organized in a list of categories explained below. Game Ratings: Limit what games a profile can play by ESRB rating. By default, any game can be played, but by selecting a rating lower than M, then mature-rated games cannot be played. Video Ratings: Restricts what movies and TV shows can be viewed through the Xbox 360. Xbox LIVE Access: You can choose whether or not a profile can use Xbox LIVE. Xbox LIVE Membership Creation: Prevents someone from just creating another profile to get around the limited access set in Xbox LIVE Access. Restricted Content: You can prevent content you restricted in Game Ratings and Video Ratings from even appearing in the Xbox360 menu. Family Timer: The Family Timer lets you set a schedule of operation for the Xbox 360. You can set the Xbox 360 to only allow play between three in the afternoon and seven at night, Monday through Thursday. Set Pass Code: If you made any changes to the Console Controls, you will have to set a password to prevent someone else from changing the settings. Turn Off Family Settings: Allows you to restore the Console Control settings to default.

Return to Family Settings and select Xbox LIVE Controls. The settings in Xbox Live Controls deal with how a child account interacts with Xbox LIVE. There must be a child account profile on the Xbox 360 to access Xbox LIVE Controls. The settings for Xbox LIVE Controls are listed below. Online Gameplay: You can block a child account from playing Xbox 360 and original Xbox games over Xbox LIVE. Privacy and Friends: You can prevent the profile from setting other accounts as Friends, maintaining a Friend List and sharing or viewing profiles through Xbox LIVE. You can also restrict video, voice and text chatting. Online status can be hidden in this category. Content: You can limit a child account's access to Xbox LIVE member and content available to download. Once you set the parental controls, they can only be altered or removed with a password.


If you do not want your child to play games late into the night, use the Family Timer to cut off game play around bedtime. New child accounts come with a month of Xbox LIVE Gold membership.


Some settings in Console Controls apply to all profiles, not just ones created for children. Setting the parental controls on another Xbox 360 is a sure of making the owner angry.