Monitor a Managed with Mac Parental Controls Account

By Joe Hutsko, Barbara Boyd

After you create a Managed with Parental Controls account on your Mac, you can view what that user has been doing on your Mac by reviewing log files, which keep track of all the websites the user visited and tried to visit (blocked by the Mac Parental Controls), the programs the user ran, and the people the user contacted through iMessages or e-mail.

To view these log files, follow these steps:

  1. Choose Command→System Preferences and then click the Parental Controls icon to open the Parental Controls preferences pane.

    If the lock icon in the lower-left corner of the preferences window is locked, click to unlock it, and then type your password in the dialog that appears. Press Return to unlock your Mac’s user account details.

  2. Click the account icon in the list on the left whose log files you want to examine.

  3. Click the Logs button at the bottom right of the window.

  4. Choose a period from the Show Activity For pop-up menu, such as viewing everything the user did in the past week or month.

  5. Choose Website/Application/Contact (depending on which log you want to view) or Date from the Group By pop-up menu.

  6. Click Websites Visited, Websites Blocked, Applications, or Messages in the Log Collections list box to review the selected log, as shown in this figure.

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    Click the disclosure triangle to see more detail about the web pages within that website.

    Not all blocked websites are necessarily pornographic. Sometimes a blocked website could just be a blocked pop-up ad from an acceptable site, or an educational or reference site with keywords that trigger the block.

  7. Click the Close button to quit System Preferences.