How to use parental controls and why you should in macOS

Make use of the parental controls provided by macOS in order to keep an eye on and restrict your child’s online activity.

The parental controls in macOS are there to ensure that children are kept safe. This will walk you through how to utilize them as well as why you should.

Using a Mac for schoolwork is a fantastic idea, but if you aren’t careful, it can get you into a lot of trouble.

At the very least, it might cause children to put off doing their homework or to go to bed later than usual. The worst case scenario is that children will be exposed to pornography, sexting, or cyberbullying.

It’s a relief to know that macOS comes equipped with parental controls. This is how you should make use of them.

Parental controls in macOS

 Screen Time

To activate Screen Time, launch System Settings, navigate to the Screen Time menu item, and turn the Switch on. When it is turned on, the toggle will change from red to green.

This keeps track of every second that your child spends using electronic media like websites and applications.

You should also scroll all the way down to the bottom of the screen and then toggle on the Use Screen Time Passcode option. If this option is activated, the child will need your permission in order to bypass any limits that you have imposed on them.

App Usage gives you the ability to track the amount of time spent in each website or application on the device. From this screen, you will be able to determine whether or not your child’s usage of specific apps, such as gaming apps, should be restricted in any way.

Because once downtime begins, the child is unable to access the apps or phone calls that have been restricted, it is an effective tool for enforcing bedtime. To enable Downtime and customize its timing—for example, to make it start later on weekends and earlier during the week—you need only to turn on the toggle that says “Downtime.”


Setting daily limits for individual apps is possible with the help of App Limits. Because the child can only use certain apps for school and not apps like games or social media, this is a helpful tool for enforcing the amount of time that must be spent on homework.

If you are worried about the people your child is texting or calling, Communication Limits gives you the ability to restrict who they are able to communicate with. Your iPhone or Apple Watch cellular carrier will be able to provide you with a list of known emergency numbers for your child to call in the event of an emergency.

It is important to note that in order to use this feature, your contacts in iCloud will need to be turned on.

You can place restrictions on what they can watch or listen to within the Content & Privacy section. You are able to block, for instance, songs that contain explicit language, movies that have been given an R rating, and websites that contain adult content.

If the process of setting this up sounds like a lot of work, that’s because it is. However, if you are serious about shielding your child from potentially harmful content and assisting them in developing healthy habits with regard to the use of electronic devices, the Parental Controls feature that is available in macOS can assist you in accomplishing both of these goals.

Parental controls in macOS

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