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Setup Parental Controls in Windows 7 Media Center

If your family uses Windows 7 Media Center to watch a lot of Movies and TV, you might want to block certain programming from your younger ones. Today we take a look at the Parental Controls feature in Windows 7 Media Player which will let you block certain TV and movie ratings.

Setup Parental Controls

To setup Parental Controls in Windows 7 Media Center (WMC), scroll to Tasks in the main menu.

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In the Settings section click on General.

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From the General Settings list click on Parental Controls.

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Now you’re prompted to create a 4 digit access code. Make sure it’s something you remember and that you kids won’t be able to easily guess.

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Now in Parental Controls you can start selecting what you want to block your kids from accessing. Here we’ll start with TV Ratings.

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Select the box to Turn on TV blocking, select the Maximum allowed TV rating, then save your choices. From here you can also select Block unrated TV programs for content.

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Click on Advanced to get more detailed choices in what you want to block or allow. You can choose between Fantasy Violence, Suggestive Dialogue, Offensive Language, Sexual Content, and Violence.

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After you’ve saved your choices you can go back and decide to block Movie/DVD Ratings. Choose a maximum allowed Movie Rating, select if you want to block unrated movies, then save your selection.

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From the main Parental Controls Menu you can change you access code or reset the controls which will put them all back to the defaults.

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After you’ve set up Parental Controls, you’ll need to enter your access code every time you want to make any changes. This prevents your kids from going in and changing the settings.

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After you have everything setup, when you try to watch something that is blocked, you’ll see a message indicating the level has been set by Parental Controls.

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If you press Yes to continue, you’ll see the program has been blocked.

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To watch the show you’ll need to enter in your access code. So unless your kids got a hold of your code somehow, they won’t be able to watch the content.

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Of course you can watch whatever content you want by entering in your code. It may seem like a bit of an inconvenience, but if you want to help keep your children’s eyes away from inappropriate content, it’s a small price to pay. If you want to control the applications and Internet content your children access, make sure to check out our article on how to use Parental Controls in Windows 7.

Brian Burgess worked in IT for 10 years before pursuing his passion for writing. He's been a tech blogger and journalist for the past seven years, and can be found on his about me page or Google+

  • Published 03/2/10

Comments (3)

  1. RK

    I’m still testing, but it looks like the ratings filter depends on the programs actually being rated. And it looks like the majority are not. For instance, CSI, which routinely features graphic images of corpses, appears to have no rating in the MC guide. If I can’t block deliberately distrubing images, what’s the point?

  2. DaveyNC

    The point is that you have to pay attention. Computers can’t do everything.

  3. venture

    then the parental control feature “sucks”. There should be a way of manually classifying the TV programs or movies that has no rating. Otherwise this feature is just good for marketing purposes but fails on the real world.

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