A first look at Kids Mode in Microsoft Edge

Martin Brinkmann
Feb 22, 2021
Internet, Microsoft Edge

Kids Mode is a new parental control feature in Microsoft's Edge web browser that is currently being tested in Canary versions of the browser on US-English Windows and Mac OS systems.

Kids Mode is integrated natively in Edge and may be started from any regular profile. All it takes is to click on the profile icon in Edge and then on the "Browse in Kids Mode" link displayed in the menu that opens.

Edge users don't have to be signed-in for Kids Mode to work, but signing-in will sync settings. The first time you launch Kids Mode you are asked to select an age range; the two options provided are 5-8 years, or 9 and older.

Fun fact: the preferences in the Settings define the second age range as 9-12 years.

microsoft edge kids mode

Kids Mode opens in full screen mode and the mode can only be exited if the Windows user enters the account credentials. To exit Kids Mode, select the Kids Mode icon in the toolbar and then "Exit Kids Mode window" from the menu.

One of the main differentiating factors between Kids Mode and regular Internet browsing is that the former limits access to sites in the allow list. The list is prefilled with sites and parents have options to add more sites to the list, e.g. to add a school site or another resource.

Sites that are not on the allow list will show a block page. An option to request the site to be accessed is available, but it requires that the owner of the account enters the device credentials to allow access for the browsing session.

kids mode settings edge

Regular users may manage sites on the allow list under Menu > Settings > Family. There they need to select "Manage allowed sites in Kids Mode" to see the list of allowed sites.

Websites can be added to the list and existing ones can be removed from the list as well.

Closing Words

Kids Mode provides young children with a locked-in environment of sites that they may access. Parents should go through the list of sites provided by Microsoft to make sure that these are appropriate, and may need to adjust the listing based on their children's interests and needs.

Advertisement may still be displayed to children while they use Kids Mode; the installation of a content blocker may help in this regard.

Kids Mode may be launched for other languages in the future, likely with a language-specific list of sites in the allow list.

Google Chrome includes options to create profiles for children in the browser which are limited in several ways. Search results are set to the highest filter setting and parents may access the list of sites their children accessed while using the browser. The browser does not restrict access to an allow list though in the mode.

Now You: What is your take on Kids Mode?

A first look at Kids Mode in Microsoft Edge
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A first look at Kids Mode in Microsoft Edge
Kids Mode is a new parental control feature in Microsoft's Edge web browser that is currently being tested in Canary versions of the browser on US-English Windows and Mac OS systems.
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  1. Client-side social media fix said on February 23, 2021 at 5:25 pm

    This client-side filtering of internet content is the answer to the dilemma created by section 230 of the US’s communications decency act, whereby the social media giants cannot be held liable for any user created content on their platforms because they aren’t the publishers of said content, but then are allowed to censor (edit out/shadow-ban/ban) any content or content creator that they don’t agree with, acting in fact, just like publishers.
    Section 230 should be amended to only apply to platforms who exist as open-dumb-pipes and who are only allowed to censor (with notification to the proper authorities) actual illegal content.

    Client-side filtering would allow the end user to choose what they see or don’t see with the help of
    the plethora of apps that would crop up like these kid content filters or ad/content blockers.

    And for those who believe that these companies are private and should not be regulated in any way, they are not private companies. As soon as they incorporate the become government created persons who are endowed by their creator to do just as they are told. Corporate charters generally, should be amended to require that all corporations refrain from any political activism.
    If for no other reason than it being impossible to fully carry out their primary fiduciary duty by taking sides in any political skirmish.

  2. ShintoPlasm said on February 22, 2021 at 11:02 pm

    YouTube Kids now has a prominently-displayed ‘Black Joy’ section where woke racialism is rammed down children’s throats. I wonder what Microsoft will offer us.

  3. Eponymous said on February 22, 2021 at 6:22 pm

    MS in the usual road to make edge like any other windows program. a slow bloated mess.

  4. Anonymous said on February 22, 2021 at 6:19 pm

    So Microsoft made a list of “interesting content for kids” ? Anything sponsored or otherwise suspect in there ?

    Looking quickly at the first five sites of the list that are displayed on their explanation picture, assuming it’s actually Microsoft’s list, one of their games sites makes kids download and install a .exe, not great. And they have Bing in their list, I wonder if they allow competing search engines.

    1. Anonymous said on February 23, 2021 at 3:28 am

      Microsoft copies everything from Apple and Google. Microsoft wants to copy Youtube so they can have their own Elsagate.

  5. Stella said on February 22, 2021 at 11:41 am

    Kids shouldn’t be browsing the Internet.
    But this is better than nothing I guess.

    1. Allwynd said on February 22, 2021 at 5:12 pm

      It’s true, kids should not use the internet.

      I first started using the internet in 2006 when I was like 14-15. My family bought the first computer in 2005 and only in 2006 we signed a contract with an internet provider. I think I was the right age where I could think for myself and not fall for scams or whatever.

      But kids now are using the internet as young as 2-3 years old and they get exposed to all kinds of trash, especially social media and they don’t know any better so they accept it as the norm and it causes them to become damaged and stupid.

      I remember last summer I was at the local stadium, at the running track and I was finishing my run for the day and right by me passed some kid (aged about 7-8) with their father and the kid was explaining their father how it posted something in some social media and got a certain amount of likes and was really ecstatic about it, like it was some big deal or a great victory in life. It made me very fearful about the future of humanity if kids nowadays are so damaged and stupid.

      The generation before these ones were less stupid and less damaged. The ones after this one will be even more damaged and more stupid.

  6. nobody said on February 22, 2021 at 9:49 am

    Quite “nice” from their side to think at the protection of our children on the WEB…..and use the “all-seeing eye” for it.
    They forgot to add the pyramid to the picture….

    Indeed the internet has become a WEB for the people, and the “Spider” is watching…

    1. I am a kid ha ha said on February 23, 2021 at 8:42 pm

      Perental control sux

  7. Allwynd said on February 22, 2021 at 8:36 am

    Edge is seriously turning into bloatware. I still remember when some people were praising it and saying how it’s the best and how they will only use that from now on. Edge has become like malware – it opens windows that don’t go away until you go out your way to close them, the new tab page has cookie notices and so forth… It has become pure garbage. I have uninstalled Chromium Edge from my PC and have renamed the .exe of old Edge to .exe2 so Windows wouldn’t know what to do with it and I did the same with Windows Defender so they won’t run in the background anymore.

    In general, Windows was not like that a few versions back. With Windows 10, Microsoft made it perform like some malware/ransomware virus that they ask you to pay for. It’s staggering at this point and getting ridiculous by the minute. If I did not play games, I’d move to Linux in an instant. I tried installing Windows 7, but my CPU is too new and doesn’t support Windows 7 s9 I’m stuck with the trash that is Windows 10.

    1. Mike Murphy said on February 23, 2021 at 5:01 pm

      It was bound to happen eventually.

      Microsoft is trying to make Edge what Internet Explorer was in the 90s. Available on all Windows installs and nobody tried to install a new browser as the one provided just works.

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