How-To Geek

Use Parental Controls to Filter Websites in Windows Vista

The new Parental Controls in Windows Vista will allow you to filter the content your children can view on the web. You could, for instance, block your kids from using MySpace or other similar sites. Before you set this up, you should make sure your child has a non-administrator account so they can’t immediately reverse the changes.

Start by opening the Control Panel and select “Set up parental controls for any user” under the “User Accounts and Family Safety” heading.


You could also just type “Parental Controls” into the start menu search box to get there…


Now you should see a list of accounts, so click on your child’s account on the list. We’ll use Johnny as the child in this example.


Now you will see a screen with a whole bunch of options that we will discuss in future articles. Today we’re just trying to filter the web sites.

Under “Parental Controls”, click the radio button for “On” to turn on the parental controls. Now click on the “Windows Vista Web Filter” to take us to the next screen.


Now you’ll want to check the “Block some websites or content” radio button, and now you have a choice… You can check the box for “Only allow websites which are on the allow list”, which means you’ll have to add each site you are ok with to the list of allowed sites. We’ll choose that for this example.


Click the link for “Edit the Allow and block list” to take us to the next screen, which will allow us to specifically block or allow certain sites.

Enter in the website address of the sites you want to block or allow, and then click the Allow or Block button accordingly. Note that if you checked the “Only allow websites which are on the allow list” that you don’t have to add anything to the blocked list, as everything will be blocked by default.


Now when “Johnny” tries to go to he is greeted with the Parental Control screen.


Editor’s note: Don’t use these features as a substitute for watching what your kids are doing… kids are smart, and could find a way to get around these filters by installing another browser or using one of the many open proxies on the internet.

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 07/15/07

Comments (8)

  1. Phillytrip

    Wow, I’ve had Vista for a few months now and wasn’t aware of these safety features for kids. With all the dangers on the internet these days I find safety features like this to be very important for parents to use. You can never be too careful. I know is a good website that teaches parents ways to keep their kids safer online and helps them monitor their kids. Great post and thanks for the info!

  2. Alex

    Great detailed how-to. In any case, I’ve thought of a use for the whole Parental Control feature – as your productivity watchdog. Just create a user account that you’d use for work. Set all the parameters (block websites, assign time constraints, and even limit program access) so that you’d have a user account that helps you focus on work.

  3. natasha

    i think it would be great also if when you tried the website and it was blocked for it to just look like it wasn’t working so the kids wouldn’t know it was blocked by their parents.

  4. steve

    I have tried to establish the parental controls as said above. I have decided to block all websites except a few like . However whenever I go to it allows me to see the home page but doesn’t allow me to brows freely through the foxnews website. Same thing happens for every site I put on the approved list. I can get to the home page but nowhere else. How do I solve this problem?

  5. Emilia

    How can i remove the parental controls filter forever, ’cause i’m having problem in login into and its a hassel I been for almost a week without entering in internet please help me out to remove it or at least change the passport. I will be very thanful if someboby help me whit this matter. I will waiting for your response thank you.

  6. caman


  7. Michelle

    Helpful post, thanks! But I’m having problem with the web filter on a standard user account that has parental controls enabled. It’s not working. Web filter still allows the blocked websites I listed under the Blocked websites. I can still view it on IE 8 and browse the whole website without any problems. Is there any other way I can block websites from all browsers that the user account can use? Help will be greatly appreciated. Thanks in advance!

  8. Chetan

    Well i dnt have option of windows web filter
    Am using windows 7 ultimate
    Can i get your reply resolving this issue of mine please

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