How To Set Up And Manage Parental Control On Mac

It was almost noon and the sun shines a little bit too bright that day. I was waiting for the red light to turn to green in that busy intersection when a tired-looking newspaper boy offers me the half-priced morning edition. The headline struck me: Facebook Murder in Australia.

The green light and loud inpatient honks came before I had the chance to even open my car window to buy the paper. So, the first thing I did after arriving back at my office was searching for that headline and found several news telling the horrid story.

The story reminds me again that we are living in the world where we should always be careful in everything that we do, even in the virtual part of the world where people don’t physically meet each other.

Parents, start controlling your kids online activities!

One thing that I understand about the net is that you can find (almost) anything as long as you know how to search for it. This “anything” includes both the good and the bad things, and it goes both way.

The best thing that you can do to prevent strangers from getting your (or your children’s) personal information is by putting as little information as you can on the virtual world.

On the other hand, parents should also make sure that their children can only access good information. If you use Mac, one of the ways to do it is to activate “Parental Contol“. Here’s how:

Open System Preferences from the Apple menu.

Apple - Open SysPRef.jpg

Then choose “Parental Control” from “System” group.

System Preferences

Click the lock on the bottom left of the window to allow changes.

Parental Controls

And similar to the other items in the System Preferences, you’ll have to authenticate the changes as an admin.


My computer has only one user: me. If I want to apply the Parental Control to this account, I can. But I prefer to create a brand new user account as the parental controlled account.

To do this, click on the plus sign under the account list.

Add Accounts

Then choose “Managed with Parental Controls” under the “New Account” field. Fill in other fields with appropriate answers then click “Create Account” button.

New Acc w Parental

After that, choose whether you want to turn the “Automatic Login” on or off. If you want maximum security, keep the automatic login on. But this is also means that you would have to go through several extra steps every time you want to change user.

Automatic Login question-1.jpg

Under this new user account, open the “Parental Controls” once more.

New Accounts Active

Now you can see many options available for the account. In the “System” tab, you can modify Finder to look more simple to cater young and inexperienced users.

Parental Controls - System

It’s also possible to allow only few selected applications to be opened by this users. To enable this feature, be sure to give checkmark to the option and choose the applications from the list below.

Parental Controls - System - Apps to Allow-1

The next tab – “Content” – dealing with the content of the computer and the web and how to make them safer for your kids. This is the place to control how much web that you let your children consume.

Parental Controls - Content

Mail & iChat” tab is a kind of white list address book with the names of “trusted” friends on the list.

Parental Controls - Mail & Chat.jpg

Another restrictions that you can use is “Time Limits“. Define how long you let your children use the computer, both in the weekdays and weekends. You can also set the bedtime during school nights and weekend.

Parental Controls - Time Limit

The last item on the Parental Control is the “Logs“. This is the place where you can access the complete reports on your children’s computing activities. The results can be filtered by the time and the types of activities.

Parental Controls - Logs

The Best Parental Control

Let me close today’s discussion by saying that even though all of the features of Parental Control are nice and useful, nothing can be compared to parent’s presence. The best parental control that you can apply to your children’s computing life is your own guidance.

Do you use some kind of Parental Control to your children’s computer? Do you think it’s necessary? How’s your children’s computing experience with(out) it? Share your experiences, thoughts and opinions regarding the topic using the comment below.

Jeffry Thurana
Jeffry Thurana

Jeffry Thurana is a creative writer living in Indonesia. He helps other writers and freelancers to earn more from their crafts. He's on a quest of learning the art of storytelling, believing that how you tell a story is as important as the story itself. He is also an architect and a designer, and loves traveling and playing classical guitar.

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