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OS X Mavericks: Set up parental controls

Set up parental controls

As a parent, you want your kids to have a safe and happy experience on the Mac. Using Parental Controls preferences, you can manage, monitor, and control the time your kids spend on the Mac, the websites they visit, and the people they chat with.

Parental Controls preferences pane

Note: When you open Parental Controls preferences, if you see the message “There are no user accounts to manage,” see:

When there are no users to manage

Turn on parental controls

Open Parental Controls preferences, click the lock icon to unlock it, then enter an administrator name and password. Select the child’s user name, then click Enable Parental Controls.

If the user name isn’t in the list, click Add (+), then fill in the name, account, and password information to create a new user.

Set restrictions

Open Parental Controls preferences, click the lock icon to unlock it, then enter an administrator name and password. Select a user, then click the tabs along the top.

  • Apps: Specify which apps the child can access. If you allow the child to access the App Store, you can specify a permitted app rating so the child only sees age-appropriate apps.
  • Web: Limit access to websites or allow unrestricted access.
  • People: Restrict a child’s contacts with other people through Game Center, email, and Messages.
  • Time Limits: Set time limits for weekdays, weekends, and bedtime.
  • Other: Hide profanity in the dictionary and other sources, and block using the built-in camera, Dictation, burning CDs and DVDs, or changing the password or printer settings.

Manage parental controls from another Mac

After you set restrictions for a child using a Mac, you can manage parental controls from a different Mac. Both computers must be on the same network.

  • On the Mac the child uses, open Parental Controls preferences, click the lock icon to unlock it, then enter an administrator name and password. Do not select the child’s account at this time.

    Select “Manage parental controls from another computer.”

  • On the other Mac, open Parental Controls preferences, click the lock icon to unlock it, then enter an administrator name and password.

    In the list at the left, select the Mac (under Other Computers) that the child you want to manage remotely is using, then enter an administrator name and password for that Mac.

    In the list of users, select the child’s account.

    You can now change the child’s parental controls settings and monitor the activity logs.

Reuse parental control settings

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

  1. Open Parental Controls preferences, click the lock icon to unlock it, then enter an administrator name and password.
  2. Select the user whose settings you want to copy.
  3. Choose Copy Settings from the Action pop-up menu (looks like a gear) below the list of users.
  4. Select the user to which you want to apply the copied settings.
  5. Choose Paste Settings from the Action pop-up menu (looks like a gear).

Turn off parental controls

Open Parental Controls preferences, click the lock icon to unlock it, then enter an administrator name and password. Select the user, then choose “Turn off Parental Controls” from the Action pop-up menu (looks like a gear).

Last Modified: May 8, 2014
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  • Last Modified: May 8, 2014
  • Article: PH14414
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