Parental Control: Ultimate Guide Mac Setup for Your Child Safety

Child Shock looking at a computer

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We will provide you with tips and guides to ensure a secure and protected environment while using a Mac computer, covering parental controls and implementing safety measures for your child’s safety with the best Mac setup for your child.

Important Tip 💡

From Apple macOS Catalina 10.15 onwards, the System Preferences have replaced the Parental Controls option with Screen Time.

Screen Time option in System Preferences for Mac Setup for Your Child

Step 1: Mac Setup for Your Child Account

Opening System Preferences to add User to do Mac Setup for Your Child
Opening System Preferences to add User to do Mac Setup for Your Child

1️⃣ Click on the Apple logo located at the top left corner of your screen.
2️⃣ From the dropdown menu, select System Preferences.
3️⃣ In the System Preferences window, click on Users & Groups.
4️⃣ A pop-up window will appear, where you should click on the Lock logo positioned at the bottom left.
5️⃣ You will be prompted to enter your Admin (Login) password.
6️⃣ Once entered, select Standard as the account type. Proceed by entering your child’s name and password then select Create User.

Step 2: Turn on Screen Time

Opening System Preferences and select Screen Time
Screen Time Settings, Mac Setup for Your Child

Once you have created an account for your child, go to System Preferences again and to Screen Time. Then, select the option to turn it on and be sure to check the box Share across devices.

Now, log out of your Admin account and proceed to log into your child’s account using the details you set up earlier in order to continue with Mac setup for your child.

Log Out Admin account and Log In Kid Account

Step 3: Putting in the Settings

Firstly, let’s set a passcode for the Screen Time feature to prevent your child from changing the settings or disabling parental controls.

Screen Time Preferences
Screen Time Passcode & Recovery using Apple ID, Mac Setup for Your Child

To set a passcode, enter a four-digit code and confirm it by entering the same passcode again and if you wish to set up passcode recovery you can provide your Apple ID and password and click Next or you can choose to skip this step.

Once the passcode is successfully set, if your child attempts to modify it or disable Screen Time, they will be prompted to enter the current passcode.

Other Screen Time Settings

Downtime Setup for Your Child

Here, you have the option to set the Downtime schedule while it can be the same every day or you can customize the time according to your preference. During Downtime, you may have certain apps that you want to allow access to related to homework or messaging apps.

If you prefer to restrict the amount of time your child spends on a specific app, you can set daily limits and have the ability to automatically block access to adult websites on macOS and it allows you to specify certain websites to block or allow.

Pro Tip

Parents and guardians can restrict explicit books, music and other content. Moreover, you can implement iOS (iPhone) parental controls, such as controlling app installations and in-app purchases.

Under the Content & Privacy > Apps section of Screen Time, you can disable access to specific macOS features and apps, such as the Books Store and Siri.

For iPhone, you can block access to Safari, FaceTime and other apps. In the Other tab, you will find additional iOS features to lock down, including Passcode Changes and Account Changes.

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