How to Block Unwanted Purchases on Xbox

If you're worried about your kid inadvertently spending money while playing Xbox, here's how to go about blocking purchases on the console

It's making a lot of discussion the news, coming from Bolton in Massachusetts, of the $13,000 bill that the Schoepke family will have to pay following a long string of in-game purchases made by their son without their knowledge while playing on Microsoft's Xbox. The Schoepkes claim that they blocked in-game purchases on their son's Xbox, and that the boy inadvertently spent the money by repeatedly pressing buttons on the console's controller only to "skip" boring parts of the game, such as dialogue.

This story is prompting many parents around the world to wonder how to block unwanted purchases on the Xbox. There is a method and it's quite simple, but before explaining it to you, it's good to highlight a mistake made by Schoepke: for every in-game purchase made on Xbox, Microsoft sends a receipt to the email address with which we registered the account. Another receipt is sent by the company that manages the credit card linked to the account. As a result, if the Schoepke's didn't notice for thirteen months that their son was making a barrage of in-game purchases, it's also a little bit their fault. To avoid unwanted purchases on Xbox, therefore, the first step is to monitor them by frequently checking the email address used for registration. If there are unwanted purchases, you'll see them right away.

How to block purchases on Xbox

To block all in-game purchases on Xbox there is a very simple method: request a "Passkey" to make purchases on the console. To activate this option, simply press the Xbox button to open the Panel. Then you have to select "System > Settings > Account". Immediately afterwards select "Access, security and passkey" and then "Change preferences for access and security". On the screen that opens, scroll to the right and select "Customize", then scroll to the right again and select "Ask me for my passkey to make purchases".

Once you've done these steps, it's impossible to make unwanted purchases: even if you, your child or whoever else is using the Xbox has inadvertently pressed a few too many buttons on the controller, the box for entering the Passkey will open. If the Schoepkes had followed this simple procedure, they wouldn't find themselves with $13,000 less in their bank account today.