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Sometimes the kids are on the computer too late and rather than yelling at them I want the computer to help me out. I already have a separate user set up so they don't have admin access to the computer but I can't find how I can force only certain login times.

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If your problem has been solved, please consider marking an accepted answer. If you need further help, please post a comment or edit your question to clarify. Thanks! – nhinkle Dec 29 '10 at 19:09

Create a scheduled task. Go to the control panel and find "Scheduled Tasks", then create a task to run at midnight. You have several options for the action it should take:

  • Just log off - no warning: shutdown.exe -l
  • Force shutdown, but give warning: shutdown.exe -s -t SECONDS_TO_WAIT -c "Bedtime!"
  • Force shutdown, no warning: shutdown.exe -s -t 0

If you also want to prevent them from logging back on, you can use the NET USER command line tool to specify their permitted logon hours. In Windows 7 you can do this through Parental Controls GUI, but on Windows XP you need to do it from the command line. For more info, see the Microsoft documentation for net user, specifically the /times switch.

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Also, just a note... I don't know how old your kids are, but keep in mind that there may be times when they'll need the computer for extended hours for homework. When I was in high school I would often have lab reports, etc. which would have be researching/processing data/typing reports until well after midnight. Just something to keep in mind - the technical solution could end up being a problem for them at times, so just make sure to discuss it with them if that might be a problem. – nhinkle Aug 31 '10 at 22:34
Thanks for the reminder. I'm not a big advocate of putting restrictions on computers but sometimes it's easier than arguing about it. I'll make sure whatever I do I can override if need be. – tooshel Sep 2 '10 at 3:10

Not sure if this is completely what you want, but K9 Web Protection is a child's (or children's) web filtering and blocking software that is extremely configurable. You could turn off all the settings that you didn't want (filtering, word block, site block, category block), and just use the Internet time feature. You can set what hours of the day you want the Internet on the computer to be blocked, and can customize each day of the week. All settings are accessed via the web browser, and are protected by a password, which you could give to someone else and not know yourself if you wanted to completely block access. It works cross-browsers; one configuration covers Internet Explorer, Firefox, and others all one the same machine.

K9 Web Protection:

Did I mention that it is FREE?

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Sweet! I'll have to check that out before I set up login time restrictions. But generally I'm not a big fan of having to install more software (even if it's free!). – tooshel Sep 2 '10 at 3:12

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