iTunes Parental Settings and Your MacBook - dummies

iTunes Parental Settings and Your MacBook

By Mark L. Chambers

Do young children use your MacBook? A large amount of content within the iTunes Store, including audio, movies and even apps, is not suitable for kids. Luckily, you can use the Parental settings within iTunes to build a secure fence around content that’s for “grown-ups only” — heck, you can even banish items from the Source list entirely.

The good folks at Apple recognize that you may not want to inadvertently allow your kids to have access to explicit content. Following is the Parental pane within the iTunes Preferences dialog.


You must log in with an Administrator account to change these settings, just as you do for the Parental Controls within Lion’s System Preferences dialog. If the settings are locked — the padlock icon at the bottom of the dialog is closed — click it and supply your administrator password to unlock them.

To enable parental control, follow these steps:

  1. Choose iTunes→Preferences.

  2. Click the Parental tab.

  3. Click any of the Disable check boxes to prevent access to those features.

    It’s important to note that disabling features inside iTunes applies to all user accounts — no matter who is logged in! You’ll notice that any features you disable disappear completely from the Source list at the left side of the iTunes window after you click OK at the end of these steps.

  4. Click the Ratings For pop-up menu and choose your country.

    Because Apple maintains separate iTunes Stores for different nations, you can choose which country’s iTunes Store to monitor. If you like, you can disable the display of content ratings within your iTunes library by deselecting the Show Content Ratings in Library check box.

  5. To restrict specific content within the iTunes Store, click the check box next to the source; then click the corresponding pop-up menu to choose the restriction level.

    Note that these restrictions apply only to content on the iTunes Store and media shared with your Mac. Content within your iTunes library is never restricted.

  6. Click the padlock icon at the bottom of the dialog to close it and prevent any changes.

  7. Click OK.