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HOW TO: Use Parental Controls on OS X Mountain Lion Effectively ?

If you are a Mac user and you have kids at home, then it is must to know about using parental controls on your Mac. The parental controls are not designed to restrict your child, it helps you to organize the kid’s usage of the computer. The application is designed in a way to manage your kids usage time and contents on the computer. Before you start making changes on your kid’s user account you should know the options and its functions on the parental controls of your Mac. You have different set of options available based on various functions of the computer.

You can take control over the kid’s computer usage time, the apps he can use, the content he should browse on the internet and much more. Instead of completely restricting  your kid from using computer give him a safe environment where he can enjoy and learn new things.


Through parental controls you can Restrict other users from installing unwanted applications on your Mac. This will protect your privacy as well as the system security. Mac is a secured operating system by default but installing malicious third party apps may affect the security of your system. For users who need more security and advanced parental controls can go for best security applications like MacKeeper to protect their system. But for normal users the inbuilt parental control system is sufficient. So today we are going to see about using parental control system on Mac OS X effectively.

HOW TO: Use Parental Controls on Mac ?

For making changes on the parental control you should on the administrator account of your Mac. By default you have a guest account on the computer. Either you can use that account or you can create a separate account for your kid. To access parental controls, go to system preferences there you will find Parental controls under System Preferences. Click that and you will get a window as shown in the screenshot below. In order to choose the account you need to modify first you have click on the lock symbol at the left bottom corner of the window.

Once you click that you will be asked to enter the password of your account. Enter the password and now you can start editing the options on parental controls for that particular account.


The first option you can take control over is the apps installed on your Mac. You can choose what apps can be used by your kids and which one need to be restricted. Not only the apps, you can limit widgets and utilities for that particular account on your Mac. If your kid finds difficult in using the default Finder on your Mac, you can use the first option to create a desktop for your kid. Also you can edit the permission to modify contents on the dock in your kid’s account.


The next option in parental controls is restricting the usage on web. Either you can give a complete permission to access web or you can customize the options manually. You can select the second option to automatically limit the adult websites or illegal websites from your kid’s browser. Third option on the panel will limit even more web browsing to some limited websites. You can manually add the website names on the box below to limit the usage to that particular websites alone.


 Third option on Parental Controls is People. It means the options available on Mac to communicate with people. There are many multi player online games available for Mac. You can restrict or allow the access towards Game center for  your kid’s account on the computer. Also  you can limit mails and chat messages from your kid’s account using this option.


The next parental control option is limiting the computer’s usage time. You can set the usage timing on daily and weekly basis. Set the usage timing from 30 minutes to 8 hours a day. Also you can have different set of time limitations for weekdays and weekends. Prevent your kid from computer on nights by using the last option called bedtime. In that you can select when your kid shouldn’t use the computer on weekdays and weekends.


The last option is disabling unwanted services from your kid’s account. You can disable dictation app and inappropriate contents on the dictionary. Also you can limit the printer access and CD and DVD burning to your kid’s account. If your kid’s account have a password you can restrict the access to change password from the one you create.


After making changes on parental controls, click the lock symbol on the left corner of the page. These parental controls option will give a secured environment to your kid as well as  your computer. So use these Parental Control on OS X and share your experience with us in the comment box. Thanks for reading, have a safe and happy day.

About the Author: Robin C

Security Consultant, Engineer, Technology Enthusiast and Blogger.

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1 Comment

  1. Paental Controls applied, web site white listed, but how do you allow flash player content tp play? Keeps telling me to download flash player, but its already installed…


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