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I'm a lifelong Windows user but I've never signed in with a Microsoft Account or made any Store purchases, so please bear with me.

My child has got into playing the copy of Minecraft that magically appeared on my Windows 10 laptop, and I am considering paying for the full version.

I'm pretty confused about the relationship between the purchased game and Microsoft Accounts / Microsoft Store / Minecraft User profiles.

If I register a Microsoft account for myself and log into the Store app with that then buy Minecraft, will my child then need to be logged in as me in order to play it? Would it be possible for me to set up some parental restrictions in that scenario? Or is it expected that the child has a Microsoft account of their own, and would the original purchase then have to be through that account?

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    If you're new to Minecraft, I recommend checking out the original Minecraft also (or instead), now called "Java edition". It has lots more features and a more stable code base, less serious issues, no chat filter and so on. But I would recommend playing the 1.12.2 version of it, because all later versions have their own issues, which will hopefully be fixed soon. May 19, 2019 at 16:43
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    @stovroz I agree with Mkalafut and Fabian Röling, the java version is the one you should get him. the microsoft version with the free trial is a trick by microsoft.
    – tatsu
    Jun 18, 2019 at 19:28

4 Answers 4

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You may have an easier time buying the Java Edition and creating an account there. Your question wasn't too clear on whether or not you two share a laptop or necessarily want to share an account, but in either case it's pretty simple to make an account for both of you here.

In this case you create a Mojang account and it's completely independent of a Microsoft account (as your comments mentioned you'd like to avoid).

This takes Microsoft out of the equation entirely but it doesn't allow for you to create a "child" account necessarily or create parental controls. But in this case you just set up an account and you're ready to roll.

Plus the Java edition has the added bonus of much more customization compared to the Windows edition (which charges for things you can get and do for free in the Java edition).

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You can buy games as gifts. During your purchase, you can enter the email address or 'gamertag' of the recipient, and after the payment, they will receive a link to accept the game and add it to their account.

In your case, it's easier to initially set up your child's account on Windows 10 through your own account, after which you can set parental control on theirs, and more easily buy them products. If they already have an account, you're going to need access to it to set the parental control.
Here's a guide to do so - I copied the instructions verbatim:

  • Open Windows settings and select 'Accounts'.
  • Select 'Family & Other People' from the left-hand menu.
  • Click on 'Add a Family Member'.
  • Select 'Add a Child'.
  • Enter the email address of their Microsoft Account below if you have it.
  • If your child already has a Microsoft account, click through the remainder of this dialogue. If not, click 'The person I want to add doesn’t have an email address', and set up a new Microsoft account.
  • After this, you can start adjusting the child's account limitations to your liking.
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  • Am I supposed to do all this before buying the game? And then buy the game as a gift for the child account? And then the child must use their account to login to the Windows machine before playing?
    – stovroz
    May 19, 2019 at 17:17
  • You can also buy the game through your kids account. And taking those steps will take ten minutes if you have to set up a new account, five if not.
    – Joachim
    May 19, 2019 at 17:19
  • I don't really want my child having an account with Microsoft at all if it can be avoided, I just want to buy the game and let them have their own profile in it.
    – stovroz
    May 19, 2019 at 17:39
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    On the screen where the "Add a family member" button is, you can instead choose "Add someone else to this PC" then click "I don't have this person's sign-in information" followed by "Add a user without a Microsoft Account"
    – Powerlord
    May 19, 2019 at 17:55
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    Worth mentioning that the main benefit of the Microsoft parental features in Minecraft is probably the ability to prevent them from playing online with strangers. That said, I don't think you can play online without an account so the point is probably moot. If they have friends with realms they want to play with you should be able to set it up so that your child can play on those realms but not in the public servers with strangers. Jun 19, 2019 at 12:54
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If you buy the full game from the store, your child should also be able to play it when logged in to the laptop with his profile.

I'd recommend you register a Windows account for yourself and your child, and then setup a family profile. With this you will have easy control over how long he can play etc. You'll also need to setup an XBox Gamer profile with the same account. It's all fairly straighforward.

The Windows version is very nicely integrated with the whole XBox ecosystem. I believe the Windows 10 Minecraft license will also cover the XBox console, if you ever get one of those.

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  • could you back that up with a source of some sort? While I heard this now and then, I haven't seen a roadmap from Microsoft itself on this. There is still a very large playerbase that adheres to the Java-version for reasons like modding.
    – creulcat
    May 27, 2020 at 14:58
  • I can't find a source for this, so I've removed this statement. There doesn't seem to have been any official word from Microsoft about when it will happen. Supporting two completely different code-bases just doesn't make sense long term. May 27, 2020 at 15:03
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I set up something like this for my nephew.

First, create an account for yourself.

Then, create an account with parental controls for your kid with yourself as the guardian.

Your kid can use this account to log in to Minecraft Bedrock regardless of device (so they can use the pc, but for example, my nephew uses tablet, I use mobile and XBox One and they're all compatible with eachother) but will not be able to join multiplayer servers or realms unless you give them permission to do so.

Not sure of you would need to buy the game for your kid, or in their name, or just buy it on the computer you'll be using it on.

Edit: I was going to expand these instructions, but you can just follow Joachim's answer for fuller instructions.

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