Help your child set up a Mac

Set up a Mac so your child can use it securely, and with their own user account and Apple ID, but with usage limits you've specified.

Set up a standard macOS user account

Set up a standard user account for your child. Using an administrator account would allow them to make changes that affect all accounts on this Mac, and get around usage limits you may have set.

  1. Choose Apple menu  > System Preferences, then click Users & Groups.
  2. Click the lock , then enter your administrator password.
  3. Click the add button  below the list of users.
  4. Choose Standard from the New Account pop-up menu.
  5. Complete the name and password fields, then click Create User.
  6. Either restart your Mac or choose Apple menu  > Log Out.
  7. At the login window, choose the new account you've created, then log in using its name and password.
  8. A setup assistant will guide you through the remaining steps to set up the account. When it asks you to sign in with your Apple ID, enter your child's Apple ID, not your own Apple ID.

If both you and your child will be using the same Mac, remember to log out of your account when you've finished. Your Mac offers several ways to switch between users quickly.

Set usage limits

With Screen Time, you can monitor usage, schedule downtime and set usage limits. Set up Screen Time.

Set up Apple ID and Family Sharing

Everyone, including your child, should use their own Apple ID. And with Family Sharing, your family can share subscriptions, such as Apple Music, iCloud storage and more, without sharing personal information, such as emails, text messages or passwords. Family members can also share purchases from the App Store, iTunes Store, Apple TV app and Apple Books. Find out more about Family Sharing and Apple ID for your child.

Turn on Find My

Find My helps find and protect your child's device if it’s ever lost or stolen. Any member of your Family Sharing group can help to find another member’s device. Turn on Find My.

Turn on Ask to Buy

If you want your child to get permission before buying items, downloading free apps or signing up for a subscription, set up Ask to Buy. It's turned on automatically for children under the age of 13. Turn on Ask to Buy.

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