In the guide that follows we will show you all the free and effective methods for limit the daily computer usage time to users registered on the Windows PC. As anticipated we can use both the parental control functions integrated in Windows 10 and Windows 11 and use programs designed to limit the use of the PC at certain times of the day.
READ ALSO -> How to limit the use of smartphones and tablets to minors
Microsoft Family Safety
In Windows 11 e Windows 10we can use Microsoft Family Safety as a way to limit the hours of use of a computer, by setting up a family account for all members who have access to the PC.
Microsoft Family Safety works through a Microsoft account and is free on all PCs that still have operating systems supported by Microsoft. To be able to activate it we must first of all log in to Windows with a Microsoft account: if we had used a local account so far we can fix it immediately by taking us to the path Settings -> Accounts -> Your info and clicking on Sign in with a Microsoft account. After adding the Microsoft account that will act as administrator, let’s add the Microsoft accounts of the users with time limitations (the children’s accounts for example) taking us to the path Settings -> Accounts -> Family and other users and clicking on Add account under the section Other users.
Now that the accounts are ready we open (from the parent / administrator account) the Start menu, let’s search Windows securitywe press on Family options and press on the item View family settings; alternatively we can access the parental controls settings directly from the official site.
In the new screen, make sure that there are our children’s Microsoft accounts (or Microsoft accounts to be limited), press on the item Usage time under the account we want to limit, we activate the switch on the screen to activate the scheduler for all devices and use the calendar and the time slots proposed to limit the use of the PC at certain hours or days of the week.
From now on, the configured Microsoft account will not be able to use the PC at set times and will be notified when the time available is running out. This limitation cannot be bypassed in any way, as it is linked to the Microsoft account.
To learn more about the use of this parental control system, we invite you to read our guide on how check how your children use the PC and the internet with Windows Family accounts.
Restrict PC use from command prompt
If instead we are using a account locale in Windows 10 o Windows 11there’s a another way to limit the computer usage time for a specific registered user. In fact, we can define an interval of hours in which, for specific days, the computer can be used Windows 10 using a local accountby configuring the usage timer directly from the command prompt.
To proceed we open the Start menu, type cmd right click on the Command Prompt and we choose Run as administrator to immediately open the command prompt. From here, we write the following command:
net user nomeutente /time:giorno, ora
Instead of in name write the name of the local account registered and to be restricted.
Instead of dayindicate the day of the week using the initials in English: M,T,W,Th,F,Sa,Su. Instead of not write the time interval instead. Below is a good example of the use of the command:
net user pomhey /time:M-Sa,5pm-7pm
This command allows the user to log in with the login name pomhey to use the PC only from 5 to 7 in the afternoon, from Monday to Saturday. This is another example:
net user pomhey /times:M-F,10:00-22:00;Sa-Su,09:00-23:00
This last example tells us that the user pomhey can use the PC from Monday to Friday from 10 in the morning to 10 in the evening while Saturday and Sunday from 9 to 23. Outside this time limit, the user pomhey he will not be able to access his account and, if he does not have the password of other accounts, he will not be able to use the PC.
To cancel this setting and go back to allowing full access to the user, you need to execute this command instead:
net user pomhey /time:all
In this way, the named user pomhey can go back to using the PC at any time.
Programs and services to restrict PC use
To limit the use of the PC, we can also rely on some applications and services designed to be used as parental controls or as a PC control system in the company. The first service we can rely on to limit PC use is Qustodio.
With Qustodio we can set a usage limit for individual applications, for access to the web browser or for the use of the device, so that we can customize parental control based on the age of our children (who can always ask for extensions. to parents about the hours of use).
In a business or home environment, we can limit the hours of use of a PC by using an application such as Time Boss.
With the Time Boss app we can set the time of use of the PC for all accounts on the computer and protect the settings with a password, as well as monitor all logins and disconnections. The program is free but offers only basic settings; if we want to best configure all the options we can buy a professional license.
Another valid parental control system that we can install on the PC to limit its use to specific times or days is Norton Family.
Using Norton Family we can limit the use of the PC to certain hours of the day or certain days of the week, effectively blocking the use of the computer when children go out of hours. This parental control system is available free of charge for 30 days, after which a user license must be purchased to continue using it.
Nowadays it is possible to limit the use of the PC only for certain hours and days using only the Microsoft account, which provides a system of parental control effective, safe and very difficult to overcome. Alternatively, we can always rely on the unsuspected command prompt to limit the time of use of the PC or one of the valid parental control services available on the market, all provided with a free trial to test its functionality.
On the same topic we can also read our guide on how block or limit browsing time on Facebook, YouTube or other time wasters sites.