How to Stop Kids From Downloading Games on a Computer

By Seth Amery

Updated September 22, 2017

Most parents already have conjured images of dangers their child could run into on the Internet, like accidentally getting a virus from a download or talking to strange people on online games, and they're right to worry; it's not feasible to monitor a child's every action. Instead, consider changing your Internet Explorer security settings to prevent children from downloading games or accessing unwanted sites.

Press the Windows key and type "Internet Options." When the option appears, click it to open settings for Internet Explorer.

Switch over to the Security tab, right next to the default General tab. Parents can change settings for specific situations, such as trusted websites, restricted websites and the Internet as a whole. By default, Internet is highlighted.

Click "Custom Level" to open another dialog box. While you might feel most comfortable disabling anything with the word "Download" in it, there is one primary setting you should focus on: file downloads.

Scroll down until you see the category "Downloads." Beneath that is the category "File download," which you can toggle to "Disable." Click "OK" to return to the previous box, saving your settings when you're done.

Click "Restricted Sites." By default, the security level for this is "High."

Click "Sites," which lets you add specific URLs you know you don't want your child to visit. Type in a URL and click "Add." When you're done, click "Close" and "OK" to apply all of your new settings.


Don't just tell your child what they can't do; give them some ideas where to go instead and list them as a trusted website. For instance, Nickelodeon, PBS and Mattel all offer safe online games for children of varying ages.

Honesty still is the best policy sometimes; consider talking about the dangers that concern you with your child to help them understand why they're not allowed to do something.


If you change the settings back for your personal use, don't forget to disable downloads for your child again.