How to put parental controls on Mac?

October 1, 2022
Mac parental control with PCN logo

Mac OS is one of the leading operating systems and one of the more advanced in allowing parents the parental control over what their kids are doing.  learning how to put parental control on Mac is very important. With kids being tech-savvy these days, there comes the worry about them watching something inappropriate. Obviously, it is impossible to keep track of all their activities or to sneak peek over their shoulders while they are using the Mac. With the parental controls of Apple, you can be assured of your kid’s safe browsing, gaming and other Mac activities. follow the guide below to set up some of the great features Mac enables you like time limits, web content access and app usage.

Step by step guide to set up parental control on mac


Step 1:

Create Your Kid’s Account

With your administrator account, you can create a new account for your kid’s separate logging in, which you can control.

  1. Click on Apple icon. The drop-down menu appears.
  2. Click on “System Preferences”
  3. Choose “Parental Controls”
  4. (4.1) Unlock the lock icon if you see the following – (4.2) Click on “Create a new user account with parental controls” if you see “There are no user accounts to manage”
  5. Click on “Continue”
  6. Enter administrator name, password
  7. Click on “Unlock”
  8. Choose age group from new pop-up menu and type the name of child
  9. Give user name, password and verify it. You can also add to “Password Hint”
  10. Select “Create User”

Step 2:

Manage App Usage

Apart from selecting the apps your kids can use, you can also customize their access to multiplayer games, mail and camera. Go to kid’s account where you enabled parental control and then follow –

  1. Choose “Apps” on top menu.
  2. Select or deselect (according to your preference) the options a. Allow use of camera, b. Allow joining Game Center multiplayer games, c. Limit Mail to allowed accounts
  3. Select “Limit Applications on the Mac” to select the games and apps to which you want to give access to your kids.
  4. Click on the Lock icon to save changes

Step 3:

Customize Website Access

To ensure safe browsing for your kids by putting restriction on specific websites, you can go to Parental Controls and follow the above mentioned steps to select the kid’s account. Now follow the steps –

  1. Click on “Web” at top bar
    1. Select “Try to limit access to adult website” and click on “Customize” Enter the sites that they can access and those they can’t
    2. Select “Allow access to only these websites” Add certain sites by ‘add (+)’ and remove certain sites by ‘remove (-)’
  2. Click on Lock icon

Step 4:

iTunes Access

To customize access and download from iTunes, go to your kids’ account like before and select “Stores”

  1. Select or deselect a. iTunes Store (iTunes U and iBook Store) according to your preferences
  2. Select “Music with explicit content”
  3. Select “Movies to” to choose from the film rating options like G, PG etc
  4. Select “TV Shows to” to choose from the TRP options like TV-Y, TV-PG etc
  5. Select “Apps to” to choose from the app rating options like 4+, 9+ etc
  6. Select “Books with explicit sexual content” and click on Lock icon

Step 5:

Time Limits

To bind the time slot during which the kids can access the Mac, you should go to “Time” from your kid’s account like discussed earlier.

  1. Select “Limit weekday use to” to choose between 30 minutes to 8 hours
  2. Select “Limit weekend use to” to choose between 30 minutes to 8 hours
  3. Select “School nights” and set time slot
  4. Select “Weekends” and set time slot and click on Lock icon

Apart from these, you can also make privacy changes, disable Siri and also restrict specific utilities. With proper configuration, you can also access the parental controls from any other Mac device.

If you followed the step by step guide above to set up parental control on mac, you should be one step closer to ensure your kids are safer when they are online. If you have android devices at home and need help setting up the parental control read our guide on how to put parental control on Android 



What was covered on this page?

Mark Harris

Mark Harris

A concerned 46 year old father of 3, ages 16, 12 & 9, Computer scientist "As part of my parenting quest to keep my children safe in the online world, I've researched and tested many parental control apps. I take great pride in contributing to other parents quests by sharing my reviews on Parental Control Now".

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