Parental Controls for MacBooks


While mobile devices have become much more mainstream over the past five years, some users still prefer the feel and capability a laptop. While the iOS mobile restrictions are easily accessible (get step by step directions here), the Apple laptop parental controls require a little more legwork. Once the setup is done, though, parents have a lot of great options for securing a MacBook even when it leaves your Clean Router safety bubble.


Here’s how:


*Start by opening System Preferences at the bottom of the page. It’s a grey box with a gear inside.


*Find the yellow icon labeled Parental Controls.


*A window will pop up. Click “Create a new user account with parental controls” and continue. You may need to enter your admin password.


*Choose the desired age range, name the account, and create a password. Click “Create User” when done.


*Now set the account’s limits. The first tab is Apps. You can turn off the camera (highly recommended! Click here to read about why webcams and kids don’t mix!) You can also disable any app that comes preloaded onto Macbooks like FaceTime, various games, the App store, and more.


*The Web tab gives you three options: restricted web access, “try to limit access to adult websites” (their words), and access to a specific list of websites. For the third option, Apple put together a few educational websites, but you can delete any of the sites on their list and add any sites you want.


*The Stores tab restricts access to the iTunes and iBooks stores. You can also block music, books, and videos according to their rating and content.


*The Time tab offers limited scheduling options. You can allow a certain number of hours on weekdays and weekends, and give the computer weekday and weekend “bedtimes.” Unlike Clean Router, though, you can’t create a daytime schedule for internet use.


*The Privacy tab can keep various apps from accessing the laptop’s data. Keep in mind that the restrictions can’t retroactively keep apps from accessing the data– once an app is allowed access, there is no going back.


*The Other tab controls access to dictation, printing options, the CD and DVD burner, explicit language in Dictionary, Dock options, and Simple Finder (a simpler desktop format for younger users). It’s a random collection, but parents may want to restrict some of these options based on their kids’ needs.


*And click the padlock icon at the bottom to save the settings!


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