Permissions needed to use Microsoft Family Safety

For every feature in the Family Safety app to work, certain device permissions need to be accepted or allowed. Even if Family Safety app settings are set the way you want, device-level permissions can still block the features from working if they aren’t turned on properly. These permissions vary by device and are listed based on which Family Safety features you want for each family member.

Select the platform where you are using the Microsoft Family Safety app below for more info:

Note: The names and steps for permissions may differ slightly, depending on the make, model, and Android version of each device used.

Family Safety feature

Permission

Content filters

Screen time: app and game limits

Accessibility service
This allows Family Safety to enforce app limits and content filters, and gives an added layer of accuracy to screen time data.

How to set it for Family Safety:
Settings > Accessibility > turn on Use service > Allow

Battery optimization
This allows the app to send screen time data regularly and gives the family group the most accurate and up-to-date information possible.

How to set it for Family Safety:
Settings > Battery > Menu (three vertical dots) > Battery optimization > Not optimized > Family Safety > Don’t optimize

Usage access
This allows the app to access screen usage data.

How to set it for Family Safety:
Settings > General > Security > Apps with usage access option > Family Safety > Allow access

Device admin
This stops the app by being uninstalled without approval from an organizer in the family group. This fosters communication around when members want more screen time than what their limits are.

How to set it for Family Safety:
Settings > Biometrics and security > Other security settings > Device admin apps > Family Safety > Activate

Drive Safety 

This lets you see where you drove and details about each drive. You can choose to share drives with your family. 
 
*Drive Safety is a premium feature available with a Microsoft 365 Family subscription, currently available to subscribers with Microsoft accounts (MSA) based in the US, UK, Canada, and Australia. 

Location access 
This allows the app to access your current location. 
 
How to set it for Family Safety: 
Settings > Location > App permission > Family Safety > Allow all the time 

Battery optimization 
This allows the app to send screen time data regularly and gives the family group the most accurate and up-to-date information possible. 
 
How to set it for Family Safety: 
Settings > Battery > Menu (three vertical dots) > Battery optimization > Not optimized > Family Safety > Don’t optimize 

Google Location Accuracy 

This allows the app to get your most accurate location. 

How to set it for Family Safety: 
Settings > Location > Advanced > Google Location Accuracy > Turn on Improve Location Accuracy 

Location sharing
This lets your family know where you are. They can see you on the map and the address of your current location.

 

 

Location alerts** 

This lets you know when a family member arrives at or departs from a saved place. 

**Location alerts are a premium feature available with a Microsoft 365 Family subscription

Location access
This allows the app to access your current location.

How to set it for Family Safety:
Settings > Location > App permission > Family Safety > Allow all the time

Notifications
Notifications will let you know about things like screen time, content filters, family location, and more.

Notifications
This allows the app to send you notifications for certain events, such as when someone joins the family, or when a member asks for more screen time.

How to set it for Family Safety:
This is usually on by default on Android devices. To check: Settings > Notifications > Family Safety > make sure Allow Notifications is on

Note: These steps may differ slightly, depending on the version of iPhone or iPad being used.

Family Safety feature

Permission

Notifications
Notifications will let you know about things like screen time, content filters, family location, and more.

Notifications
This allows the app to send you notifications for certain events, such as when someone joins the family, or when a member asks for more screen time.

How to set it for Family Safety:
Settings > Notifications > Family Safety > turn on Allow Notifications

Location sharing
This lets your family know where you are. They can see you on the map and the address of your current location.

 

Coming soon: location alerts** 

This lets you know when a family member arrives or departs a saved place. 

 

**Location alerts are a premium feature available with a Microsoft 365 Family subscription

Allow location access
This allows the app to access your current location.

How to set it for Family Safety:
Settings > Family Safety > Location > Always

 
For iOS 14+: after allowing location access, turn on Precise Location

Coming soon: drive safety* 


This lets you see where you drove and details about each drive. You can choose to share drives with your family. 
 
*Drive safety is a premium feature available with a Microsoft 365 Family subscription, currently available to subscribers with Microsoft accounts (MSA) based in the US, UK, Canada, and Australia. 

 

Allow location access 

These are the same settings you’d use for location sharing; they allow the app to access your current location. 
 

How to set it for Family Safety 

Settings > Family Safety > Location > Always 

For iOS 14+: after allowing location access, turn on Precise Location 

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