Email Facebook Twitter Reddit
AppleInsider may earn affiliate commissions for purchases made through links on our site.
macOS parental controls are designed to keep children safe. Here's how to use them, and why you should.
Using a Mac for school is great, but if you're not careful, it can lead to problems.
At the very least, this can lead to the fact that children will not do their homework or go to bed on time. At worst, children can become victims of cyberbullying, sexting or pornography.
Fortunately, macOS has built-in parental controls. Here's how to use them.
Screen Time Explained
To get started, open System Preferences, click Screen Time and turn on Screen Time. You'll know it's on when the switch turns green.
This tracks every second your child spends on things like websites and apps.
You should also scroll down the screen and enable “Use Screen Time Passcode”. If this setting is enabled, your approval will be required if the child wishes to bypass any restrictions you have set.
Using Apps allows you to track the time you spend on each website or app on your device. From here, you can see if adjustments are needed to limit the amount of time your child spends on certain apps, like games.
Downtime is useful for forced bedtime, as once the downtime has begun, the child cannot access the apps or phone calls you restrict. Simply turn on downtime to enable and configure downtime schedules, such as later downtime on weekends and earlier downtime on weekdays.
App limits can be used to set daily limits for various apps. This is useful for ensuring that there is time to spend on homework, as the child can only use certain applications for study, but not applications such as games or social networks.
If you're concerned about who your child is texting or calling, Communication Restrictions is a way to limit who they can talk to. In an emergency, your child can always call known emergency numbers provided by your iPhone or Apple Watch's carrier.
Please note that you need to enable iCloud Contacts to use this feature.
Content & Privacy is when you set limits on what they can watch or listen to. For example, you can block profanity songs, R-rated movies, and websites with adult content.
If you think it takes a lot of work to get set up, it is. But if you're serious about protecting your child from harmful content and building healthy habits electronically, Parental Controls in macOS can help.