In Microsoft’s continued effort to convert people to its Edge web browser restarted, it launches a new Kids Mode which makes it easy for parents to control the way their kids surf the web.
Kids Mode is a free option built right into Microsoft Edge on Windows and macOS. Enabling it is as easy as navigating the user profile menu in the upper right corner of the browser and selecting “Browse in Kids Mode”. There are two versions for parents to choose from, one for children ages five to eight and one for ages nine to 12. Both enable the strictest level of tracking prevention in Edge and Bing SafeSearch by default to filter adult text, images, and videos from search results. The only difference between the two age groups is that the older one includes a news feed with articles selected by MSN for Kids. Don’t worry though: it focuses on more kid-friendly topics, such as fun science and animal facts, rather than breaking news and politics, Microsoft said.
Kids Mode also limits which sites kids can access, with around 70 popular kids’ sites allowed right off the bat (any additional allowed sites must be added to the list individually). If a child tries to visit a site that isn’t on this list, they’ll come across a cute block page, pictured below, that invites them to ask an adult for permission.
In a blog post Breaking the news Thursday, Microsoft corporate vice president Liat Ben-Zur called kids mode “a game-changer for parents who juggle all the demands of today’s life.” Microsoft designed it intentionally to make adding and removing authorized sites as convenient as possible for parents to have peace of mind when using shared devices.
Microsoft also discussed a workaround that children could use to bypass these measures. Kids Mode restricts popular Windows keyboard shortcuts to prevent users from simply exiting the browser and opening a new one, Verge reports.
More than anything else, however, Microsoft designed Kids Mode with its younger users in mind, Ben-Zur said.
“[I]It became clear that the best way to stop children from trying to leave was to make them want to stay. In other words, we set out to create the most engaging environment a child could want for browsing the web. ”
So, as you can see in the screenshot above, the visual designers at Microsoft have gone for lots of bright colors and silly characters to create a kid-friendly browsing experience. It also added the ability to customize the look of the browser so kids can get creative and opted for an easy-to-navigate layout.
In order for the browser to return to normal, an adult must enter their Windows or macOS credentials.
Kids mode is one of the several new features it’s rolling out for Edge this month, Microsoft said Thursday. So if you’re already an Edge convert, keep an eye out for future coverage.