Leaving kids alone to browse the internet can be a scary thought. You have to chaperone them to make sure they don’t end up somewhere they have no business being. Even then, you can’t always watch them like a hawk. Microsoft Edge is introducing something that makes sure you don’t have to.
Microsoft is adding a Kids Mode to the Edge browser. Designed especially for kids under the age of 12, this convenient browsing mode provides a safe environment for them to browse the internet.
What is Kids Mode in Edge?
Coming as a part of the browser, this free-to-use feature places restrictions in place that make browsing safer for the kids. Microsoft already has a list of 70 kids-safe websites in place. And parents can manually add any number of more sites. Even Bing SafeSearch converts to a strict search with kids-safe restrictions in place.
To exit Kids Mode, Windows or Mac credentials are required. When the browser is in the Kids Mode, all Windows shortcuts are disabled so the kids don’t accidentally exit the mode.
Note: The shortcuts restrictions aren’t in place in macOS yet.
The tech giant has just announced the feature, saying it will be available from today. But if you don’t see it on your browser yet, don’t worry. It can take some time for features to roll out worldwide to all users.
Enabling Kids Mode in Microsoft Edge
Kids Mode will be built directly into Microsoft Edge, keeping parents’ convenience in mind. Enabling it will be a matter of a couple of clicks.
Go to the Profile switcher icon on the right of the address bar in the Microsoft Edge. You’ll find a straightforward ‘Browse in Kids Mode’ button there. Click it. When you launch the Kids Mode for the first time, an explanation for the feature will also appear. Click ‘OK’ to proceed.
Note: Using Kids Mode doesn’t require you to sign-in to the browser, but if you do sign-in, the Kids Mode settings will sync across all your devices.
Kids Mode operates in two modes: one for younger kids from the age of 5-8 years, and the other for older kids from 9-12 years. The mode for older kids includes a news feed with age-appropriate curated news and content. Select the appropriate age range to proceed. You can change the age selection later.
Now, your current browsing window will be saved and closed, and a new Kids Mode window will open in full screen that kids cannot exit without the device password.
Using Kids Mode in Edge
Kids can browse the sites added to the ‘allow list’ by Microsoft and any new sites that the parents add to the list for kids.
Additionally, kids can also change the theme and customize Kids mode the way they want to. The themes applied to Kids Mode don’t affect your normal browser. Click the ‘Colors and background’ button to change the theme.
To exit the Kids mode, click the ‘Kids Mode’ icon at the top of the browser. Then, click ‘Exit Kids Mode window’.
Microsoft Edge will prompt for your Windows/ Mac login credentials. Enter the password to exit. Microsoft Edge will always launch in Kids Mode until you exit it.
Granting Permission to a Blocked website in Kids Mode
If a kid visits a website that’s not on the list, they’d instead be greeted by a block page.
You (the parent) can approve the website for the current browsing session. Click the ‘Get Permission’ button on the block page. Then, enter the credentials of the device.
The page will refresh and will be available for browsing for the current session only. To make it available for the future permanently, you can add it to the ‘allow list’. The allow list can only be edited outside of the Kids mode.
Changing the Allow List
Changes to the allow list can only be made from outside of the Kids Mode and only from the profile that launches the Kids Mode.
Go to the profile switcher icon and click ‘Manage Profile settings’ to open settings.
Then, go to ‘Family’ from the navigation menu on the left. Click ‘Manage allowed sites in Kids Mode’.
The list of allow sites will open in alphabetical order. To add a new site, click the ‘Add website’ button and enter the URL of the website.
To remove a site from the list, click the ‘X’ icon next to the site name.
Additionally, there are also some privacy settings in place to make Kids Mode safer. Tracking prevention is set to strict to block a majority of tracking. All cookies and other site data is also cleared automatically when Kids Mode closes. You cannot change these settings.
Kids Mode also uses some privacy settings from the adult profile that set it up. These include settings like blocking malicious websites or content downloads, etc. It’s going to make the lives of the parents with a shared PC a lot easier, bringing them some much-needed peace of mind.