I have 4 kids so the battle for time on the living room computer never ceases, I am also implementing an attempt at some level of control over how much time the kids get based on their behavior etc during the week. Ideally I would like to be able to set each profile up to have only a certain allotment of time, say 2 hours that they can use and once that two hours is nearly up it warns them and once complete it automatically logs them out.

I know the family control stuff can limit the time frames during which they can login but it does not seem to allow this quantity based control I am looking for...

Any other options in the market that you know of?

  • Seems like it would be something pretty neat if there were a windows service that could monitor login time, and then auto-logoff when the time was reached - I wonder how hard that might be to write -I've wanted something like this at one point of time or another.
    – Spig
    Sep 3, 2010 at 15:47
  • 5
    Doesn't sound so hard for one to implement: Write "time,duration" to a file in a hidden folder with the right permissions: C:\Times\[UserNameHere] and update that file each minute, when the duration goes over a limit then logout, when the time was from the previous day then reset. Now you could create a scheduled task for each child... Warn on limit-1, etc... Sep 4, 2010 at 17:37
  • This question is relevant to me as well. I am looking for the simplest thing: limit amount of time, don't want any additional bells and whistles and DEFINITELY don't want any advertisements or sending of browsing history to 3d parties etc. The answers provided so far do not seem conclusive.
    – Gnudiff
    Jun 28, 2014 at 8:03
  • Microsoft Family Safety has way to limit total screen time on multiple devices, but per day only Nov 14, 2016 at 15:00

7 Answers 7


What you are looking for is a Parental Control software that limits the time each user uses the PC. The problem is that there's tons of "programs" out there that supposedly offer this service. My suggestion is to do some research and see what will work best for your situation. I did find this: TimesUpKids. It appears to provide what you are looking for, but again, do your research, because most of these products are paid services and you don't want to buy a crap piece of software.

  • 1
    appears to cost ...
    – rogerdpack
    Mar 16, 2013 at 22:04
  • 2
    It is not free. True. I've bought it about six months ago. It costs about as much as a lunch for two. For the last six months I have NEVER, EVER had to argue with my kids about their computer time allowance. This product is brilliant. The license is for all the computers in your home. I run it on XP and Win7. I can configure weekly allowance, daily allowance, and time frames. I can quickly adjust the settings if the kid needs more time for homework or a special cause. I can plan the week ahead and configure what they are allowed. Usage stats are included. Great tool. Worth every cent.
    – teylyn
    Jun 20, 2013 at 10:15
  • I have tried other approaches and tools, but they did not work and upset the computer. The Windows 7 built-in limits don't work either, since you cannot set a x hr allowance within an yy hr time frame (See the other comments). TimesUpKids just works perfectly. It was written by a former MS Employee who really knows Windows. I'm not affiliated with the author. I'm just a happy parent. The aggravation we avoided over the last 6 months is priceless. Kid plays for a while, computer says "5 minutes left", kid plays on, computer says "Time's up". Kid logs off. Perfect.
    – teylyn
    Jun 20, 2013 at 10:23

K9 Web Protection is a child's (or children's) web filtering and blocking software that is extremely configurable. It offers: web-page filtering, word block, site block, category block, and 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.

As for managing it for each child, I would recommend setting up separate user accounts, and then configure K9 Web Protection in each account to how you want that child to access the internet...

A big point is that you can turn off different aspects of the program, like turn off the webpage filtering, and just use the time feature, or whatever...

Have used the program myself with great success, highly recommend! absolutely no crapware or trialware or anything, just plain free! all you have to do is give them your email for a product key, and it works...they don't send any spam, or bug you about anything...

K9 Web Protection: http://www1.k9webprotection.com/

Did I mention that it is FREE?

  • He's asking for a time limit, not hours of operation limit. May 8, 2013 at 20:34
  • 2
    K9 is good but it records all web pages accessed by you and you family and sends it to their server later selling it to 3rd parties...
    – thedrs
    May 22, 2013 at 11:17
  • 1
    Not only that, it completely screws up your computer that even uninstalling won't reverse its effects.
    – ADTC
    Feb 10, 2014 at 10:22

You might want to try a program called TimeBoss. It allows you to set not only blocks, but brakes and flexible limits, and it’s really helpful in managing one’s time.

  • 1
    appears to cost...
    – rogerdpack
    Mar 16, 2013 at 22:07

Try these two (both are free):

Children Care


  • 2
    Could you please write something about these programs? People a generally wary of clicking blind links without knowing what to expect, and answers consisting mostly of links tend to look spammy.
    – oKtosiTe
    Mar 23, 2013 at 23:25

You can use the shutdown command, implement it as a script to be executed at logon, by admin.

The script content for a 2 h session is as follows.

%windir%\system32\shutdown.exe -s -t 7200 -f

You may try just logging out.

This solution is not bullet proof but simple and effective.

  • 1
    I think today's kids are smarter than that.
    – ADTC
    Feb 10, 2014 at 10:24
  • 3
    And then the user logs on again, and has another 2 hours...
    – Jan Doggen
    Apr 29, 2015 at 9:55

See Microsoft Family Safety at http://account.microsoft.com/family

at https://account.microsoft.com/family/faq it writes:

Screen Time changes Set multiple screen time limits per day for your kids' devices. You can also view the allowed time in a calendar. When your child runs out of screen time on a device, enter your password and give them more screen time on the same device. This works even when you don't have internet access.

btw, it also writes

One Microsoft family for Windows PC , Windows Phone and Xbox but this is not accurate, at least for Xbox One. You can't (yet) set a screentime limit via Microsoft family and have it apply for Xbox too, you can only for Windows and Windows Phone


Windows 7 has these features built-in. Try looking in Control Panel > User Accounts & Family Safety > Parental Controls.

From Windows Help & Support:

You can use Parental Controls to help manage how your children use the computer. For example, you can set limits on the hours that your children can use the computer, the types of games they can play, and the programs they can run.

  • 6
    It does allow you to select time frames, but it doesn't allow one to assign a time quantity to an account as he asked. As in: "Each child is allowed to only play 1 hour on a school day. So that the time they all played together is a maximum of 4 hours... This way it does not interfere with school/dinner/sleep. On a weekend day that could be 2 hours per child, or something like that..." Sep 4, 2010 at 17:32
  • I tried using the Windows 7 Parental Controls and they were terrible. A pain to configure, all the internet features only work with IE, since the management is web based it takes a while to get the computer to sync with the changes. To top it off, uninstalling it does not disable it, and disabling it completely it really difficult. I would suggest not touching the built in features at all! Jan 6, 2011 at 6:16
  • Microsoft Family Safety allows one (now) to set which hours are allowed on each week day and how much time per each of these days is allowed, but not a max time per week or other constraints Nov 14, 2016 at 15:03

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