Restrict Content and Set Limits for Kids With Screen Time on Mac

MakeUseOf | 10/25/2019 | Sandy Writtenhouse
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What was once known as Parental Controls on Mac is now part of the new Screen Time feature. With the macOS Catalina update, Apple brought its mobile Screen Time tools to your desktop, making it easy to manage app limits, restrict content, and monitor screen time.

So if you’ve recently updated to macOS Catalina and need some help setting up Screen Time for your child, we’re here to walk you through with a how-to and explanation of its functionality.

Time - Time - Mac - Child - Account

When you open Screen Time for the first time on your Mac, you’ll need to enable it for your child’s account.

If you use Apple’s Family Sharing, you can turn on Screen Time with our own Mac credentials. Those who don’t utilize Family Sharing will need to log into the child’s account instead. Then, just follow these steps to enable the feature:

System - Preferences - Icon - Dock - Apple

Open System Preferences with the icon your Dock or by visiting Apple menu > System Preferences on the menu bar.

If you use Family Sharing, just choose your child’s username from the dropdown box at the top-left.

Click - Turn

Click Turn On.

There are two settings on the main Options screen labeled Include Website Data and Use Screen Time Passcode. For a young child, you’ll likely want to enable both. If you choose to include the website data, the utility will report details about specific websites visited, rather than just overall Safari usage.

Time - Passcode - Anyone - Changes - Screen

Using a Screen Time passcode restricts anyone from making changes to the Screen Time settings unless they have the passcode. When you mark the checkbox, you’ll be asked to enter and then confirm a four-digit Screen Time passcode.

Note that if you use a Screen Time passcode for your child on iOS, the passcode will be the same here. So if you change it on your Mac, the change will apply to iOS and vice versa.

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