The Complete Guide to MacBook Parental Controls
MacBooks have a nice suite of parental controls built directly into the Mac operating system, rather than relying on something web-based (like with PCs). The functionality allows you to control websites and also who they interact with in case there are relationship concerns (cyberbullying).
Step 1: Set up Clean DNS on your home’s network.
Remember, you are responsible for every digital click on your home’s network, and so for every device that uses your home’s WiFi network, have something in place to monitor who’s connected to your WiFi and control where they’re going. Two popular options for parents are:
- OpenDNS – we’ve provided set-up details (FREE).
- Circle with Disney – by far the most popular parental control device on the market ($$ to purchase).
- CleanBrowser – similar to OpenDNS, you can set Clean Browsing’s clean DNS and block most known porn domains (FREE). Read all about it in our extremely popular DNS blog post.
We’ve recently found OpenDNS to be glitchy with our internet service, which is why we’ve moved to Clean Browsing’s clean DNS for every device in our home, including the router.
Step 2: Configure the MacBook Parental Controls.
Apple menu -> System Preferences -> Parental Controls.
Enter your Admin credentials, and for an existing user, click “Enable Parental Controls”, and then set up the controls. Add new users by clicking “Add” at the bottom of the user list and entering a name and password for the new account.
For each account, you can create a custom profile to control App Store downloads, web browser restrictions, general time limits, among others.
Step 3: Use filtering and accountability software.
There are a few options shown on our Resources page. Covenant Eyes works great for lap and desktops, which you can read more about here.
Are you interested in receiving our free, bi-weekly parent newsletter?
*There are affiliate links throughout this post because we’ve tested and trust a small list of parental control solutions. Our work saves you time! If you decide that you agree with us, then we may earn a small commission, which does nothing to your price. Enjoy!