Our Complete Guide to Mac’s Parental Controls 

Mac’s Parental Controls

Apple offers several features to help parents manage their child’s computer usage.  A few points to note:

  • Parents can only manage controls from the computer itself; there is no way to alter settings from the convenience of your phone
  • The functionality is fairly rudimentary and operates independently of Screen Time parental controls for mobile devices
  • You will need your computer’s Administrator password to apply parental controls

For both individual* and shared computers, you will need to set up a separate User Profile for your child.  The advantages include:

  • Creating a contained space for your child and preventing the intermingling of files
  • Setting individualized parental controls for each user

*Parental controls cannot be applied to the Administrator account.

1. Set up a new User Profile,

  • Begin by choosing the Apple Icon (top left of screen) > System Preferences, then click Parental Controls

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  • Next click the    lock icon to add your child. Enter your administrator name and password. Then select Unlock
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  • Click the Add  button to create a new user profile for your child
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  • When the pop-up menu appears, choose an age, fill in the name and password information, then click Create User
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  • Your child’s user profile is then created.
  • If you have multiple children using this computer, then repeat the above steps beginning with clicking the button.  

2. Determine which App permissions you want grant

Consider whether you want to:

  • Disable the Camera
  • Disallow the joining of Game Center multiplayer games (this may only partially block communications, so parents should be familiar with the social connection options for the games their child plays).
  • Limit who your child can email with (you create an approved list)
  • Which Apps and Utilities to allow (you can block Messages and FaceTime)
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3.Set up Safari Restrictions to limit web access

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4. Set up Content Restrictions

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5. Familiarize yourself with the Time Controls

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6. Change Privacy Settings

  • Make sure Location Services is turned to make sure you can track the computer through Find My iPhone
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7. Review options in Other

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Parents who want to grant and block access from the convenience of their phone, as well as the ability to manage time limits and schedules may want to consider a solution such as Circle by Disney.  

You can copy a user’s parental controls settings and apply them to another user.

  1. Choose Apple icon > System Preferences, then click Parental Controls. Mac parental controls
  2. Click the lock icon    to begin adding your child. Enter your administrator name and password
  3. Select the child whose settings you want to copy.
  4. Click the Action Pop-Up Menu , then choose Copy Settings for Child 2
  5. Select the child to whom you want to paste these copied settings.
  6. Click the Action Pop-Up Menu , then choose Paste Settings for Child.p

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