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OS X Mountain Lion: Set limits on App Store and other apps

Set limits on App Store and other apps

You can use parental controls to select the apps that a user can use. This is helpful if you are a parent and you want to ensure that your children use only apps that are simple or appropriate to their age.

To limit a user’s access to apps, you must first turn on parental controls for the user.

Manage a user with parental controls

Restrict the installed App Store apps a user can open

  1. Choose Apple menu > System Preferences, and then click Parental Controls.
  2. Click the lock if it’s not unlocked, and enter an administrator name and password.
  3. Select a user in the list of users, and then click Apps.
  4. Select Limit Applications, and then choose an option from the Allow App Store Apps pop-up menu.
    Option Description
    Don’t allow: Choose this option to prevent the user from opening any apps purchased from the App Store.
    Numerical ratings: Choose “up to 4+” or another numerical option to restrict app access based on App Store app ratings. For example, an app rated 4+ contains no objectionable material, but an app rated 9+ may not be suitable for children under the age of 9. If you choose “up to 9+,” the user can open apps rated 9+ and lower.
    All: Choose this option to allow use of all installed App Store apps.

Restrict other apps a user can open

  1. Choose Apple menu > System Preferences, and then click Parental Controls.
  2. Click the lock if it’s not unlocked, and enter an administrator name and password.
  3. Select a user in the list of users, and then click Apps.
  4. Select Limit Applications.
  5. In the Allowed Apps list, select any category whose apps you want to view, and then click the disclosure triangle to list the apps in the category.

    To search for an app, enter its name in the search field.

  6. Select the checkbox for each app you want to let the user open.

Choose apps a user can access in the simple Finder

  1. Choose Apple menu > System Preferences, and then click Parental Controls.
  2. Click the lock if it’s not unlocked, and enter an administrator name and password.
  3. Select Use Simple Finder.
  4. In the Allowed Apps list, select any category whose apps you want to view, and then click the disclosure triangle to list the apps in the category.

    To search for an app, enter its name in the search field.

  5. Select the checkbox for each app you want to let the user open.

For more information about the Use Simple Finder option, see this help topic:

Set up a simple desktop and Finder

Allow a user to modify the Dock

If Use Simple Finder isn’t selected, you can select “Allow User to Modify the Dock.”

Last Modified: Aug 8, 2013
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