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Set Up Parental Controls on Your Mac

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Parental Controls - Getting Started
Parental Controls - Set Up Parental Controls on Your Mac

Parental Controls is part of the Systems group

The Mac's Parental Controls feature is a method of controlling the applications and content a specific user may use or view. The Parental Controls feature also allows you to control incoming and outgoing email, as well as which iChat pals are allowed contact.

You can also use Parental Controls to set time limits on computer use, both in terms of the number of hours of use and which hours of the day the computer may be used. Finally, Parental Controls can maintain a log that will keep you informed about how your Mac is being used by any managed account user.

What You Need

  • OS X 10.5 - 10.6.x Parental Controls are available on older versions of OS X, but the setup procedure is a bit different. These instructions are specific to OS X 10.5 and 10.6. For OS X Lion and later, you will find "Setting Up Parental Controls With OS X Managed Users (OS X Lion and Later)" the guide to use.

  • One or more managed user accounts. If you need to create a managed account, please see the "Add Managed Accounts with Parental Controls to Your Mac" guide.

  • An administrator account. You will either need to log on as an administrator or provide an administrator password to set up and manage an account that uses Parental Controls.

  • About ten minutes of your time. Setting up Parental Controls is very straightforward.

Launch Parental Controls

  1. Open System Preferences by clicking its icon in the Dock, or by selecting 'System Preferences' from the Apple menu.

  2. In the 'System' section of System Preferences, click the 'Parental Controls' icon.

  3. The Parental Controls preferences window will open.

  4. Click the lock icon in the bottom left-hand corner. You will need to provide an administrator user name and password before you can continue.

  5. Enter the administrator name and password in the appropriate fields.

  6. Click the ‘OK’ button.
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