Thursday, June 29, 2023

How to deal with Microsoft Family Features asking for permissions, and find the parental email / Family Organizer account


Somebody, somewhere has gotten a message similar to:

"Microsoft Family Features: You'll need to ask an adult in your family if you can use __________"

It's usually a child under 18, but not always.  It's usually for a game or app, but can also be for something innocuous, like Google Chrome.  Often it worked perfectly before, and for forever, but not now.

You then get a button that says "Ask by email".  

You press it and --- nothing happens.   

NOTHING.  At all. No emails, nothing.


The solutions posted by Microsoft for this issue are incorrect, unintelligible, or both.  The "best" ones assume you already understand the system you're having problems with, making them frustrating at best and utter crap at worst.


If you already know who the "Family Organizer" is, skip to Step 4.

1.  Go to and log in to your child's account.

(As setting up the first account is painful, I assume she/he/them/you wrote down the login details.  If not, I can't help you.)

2.  Look for the name of the "Family organizer".  She/he/them will have a Microsoft account.

3.  Log out.

4.  Go to and log in as the family organizer using her/his/their Microsoft account.  (Again, I assume you have these details.)

5.  Look for a little popup in the right-hand upper corner that says "XXXX has asked for permission to use ____.  Allow?", or similar.

6.  Press OK or whatever it is.


As far as I know,  this system doesn't actually send emails.  Not to your Microsoft account email, not to your alternative email on file in your Microsoft account, not to your kids' Microsoft email, not to your kids' alternative email, nothing/zip/zero/null/nada.  I checked every email I have, including spam, didn't get.  So don't bother waiting.

 This is especially frustrating if you have multiple email accounts and don't know which one you used when signing up for your Microsoft account.  You then spend ages looking through all your accounts trying to find this stupid email, which doesn't exist, so of course you don't find it.  Which is why you're here! 

If you want / need to know that "Family organizer" / parental email, check your own Microsoft account at  It's listed right under your name at the top-left corner (in really small and gray text), and also in "Your info" in the menu bar.

For the record, I don't understand the Microsoft account system - at all.  I understand Google's system just fine, because it works.  Microsoft's system is clunky, lacks obvious features, and basically just sucks, so I don't try to understand it.  This post is a stellar example of why I hate it.


[Edit]:  OK, 1 of 2 emails has shown up, some significant time after the request was made.  The first one is lost forever.

It went to the email address of the "Family organizer", as described three paragraphs above (below the name at the top-left corner of your Microsoft account homepage). 

And THANK YOU MICROSOFT YOU DAMN TWITS for setting up YET ANOTHER stupid thing that I didn't want, making it UTTERLY IDIOTIC and making it IMPOSSIBLE TO FIGURE OUT.