Control Email Use with Mac OS X Parental Controls

Easy Step-by-Step Instructions

Young girl using iPad
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How Mac OS X Mail Parental Controls Work

Using Parental Controls preferences, you can manage, monitor, and control the time your kids spend on the Mac, the websites they visit, and the people they chat with.

For instance, when somebody not on the save list tries to mail the user, you will see the message first and can choose to allow the sender or continue to restrict them. When the controlled user (your child) tries to mail somebody new, you first have to give your approval as well.

Turn on parental controls

  1. Choose Apple menu > System Preferences, then click Parental Controls.

    Note:   When you open Parental Controls preferences, if you see the message “There are no user accounts to manage,” see Add a managed user.

  2. Click the lock icon  to unlock it, then enter an administrator name and password.

  3. Select a user, then click Enable Parental Controls.

    If the user isn’t in the list, click the Add button , then fill in the name, account, and password information to create a new user.

Set restrictions

  1. Choose Apple menu > System Preferences, then click Parental Controls.

    Note: When you open Parental Controls preferences, if you see the message “There are no user accounts to manage,” see Add a managed user.

  2. Click the lock icon  to unlock it, then enter an administrator name and password.

  3. Select a user, then click a button at the top.

    • Apps: Prevent the child from using the built-in camera. Restrict a child’s contact with other people through Game Center and Mail. Specify which apps the child can access.

    • Web: Limit access to websites, or allow unrestricted access.

    • Stores: Disable access to the iTunes Store and the iBooks Store. Limit a child’s access to music, movies, TV shows, apps, and books to only those with age-appropriate ratings.

    • Time: Set time limits for weekdays, weekends, and bedtime.

    • Privacy: Allow the child to make changes related to privacy.

    • Other: Block using Dictation, access to printer settings, and burning CDs and DVDs. Hide profanity in the dictionary and other sources. Prevent the Dock from being modified. Provide a simplified view of the Mac desktop.

    Manage parental controls from another Mac

    After you set restrictions for a child using a Mac, you can manage parental controls from a different Mac. Both computers must be on the same network.

    1. On the Mac the child uses, choose Apple menu > System Preferences, then click Parental Controls.

      Note: When you open Parental Controls preferences, if you see the message “There are no user accounts to manage,” see Add a managed user.

    1. Click the lock icon  to unlock it, then enter an administrator name and password.

      Don’t select the child’s account at this time.

    2. Select “Manage parental controls from another computer.”

    3. On the Mac that will manage the child’s computer, choose Apple menu > System Preferences, then click Parental Controls.

    4. Click the lock icon  to unlock it, then enter an administrator name and password.

    5. Select the user to be managed.

    6. You can now change the child’s parental controls settings and monitor the activity logs.

    Reuse parental controls settings

    You can copy a user’s parental controls settings and apply them to another user.

    1. Choose Apple menu > System Preferences, then click Parental Controls.

      Note:   When you open Parental Controls preferences, if you see the message “There are no user accounts to manage,” see Add a managed user.

    2. Click the lock icon  to unlock it, then enter an administrator name and password.

    3. Select the user whose settings you want to copy.

    4. Click the Action pop-up menu , then choose Copy Settings.

    5. Select the user to whom you want to apply the copied settings.

    6. Click the Action pop-up menu , then choose Paste Settings.

    Turn off parental controls

    1. Choose Apple menu > System Preferences, then click Parental Controls.

      Note:   When you open Parental Controls preferences, if you see the message “There are no user accounts to manage,” see Add a managed user.

    1. Click the lock icon  to unlock it, then enter an administrator name and password.

    2. Select the user, click the Action pop-up menu , then choose Turn off Parental Controls.