11 Replies Latest reply: Mar 4, 2010 3:53 PM by carlos2323
m.olliff Level 1 (0 points)
I have set up an account for my son and have limit his use using Parental Controls. It has no effect and he can use the computer completely unrestricted on his account. Why would that be and is it possible that he has somehow overridden the restrictions?

Imac 2.66 GHz Intel Core 2 Duo, Mac OS X (10.6.2)
  • Kevincog Level 1 (5 points)
    I am having the same issue with the new Mac Mini for our son. The time limit or the hours don't work. He is running Snow Leopard combo update. I have an iMac with the same version of the operating system and the time limits work great. I found another thread that talks about restarting with the command, option, P, and R Keys after your turned off the controls, then turn them back on. This worked for the next logon the stopped working again. Another user on that post said to take the Parental controls from the OS 10.5 disk and delete the 10.6 one and replace it with the 10.5. I have one MacBook Pro still on 10.5 and I am going to try this. I am also going to call Apple support to see if we can get some help. This is crazy. If they have it as a feature of the OS then it needs to work correctly.
  • WVG Level 1 (5 points)
    Like many others, I'm dissatisfied with the Parental Controls feature of my iMac. It works inconsistently at best and at times not at all.

    Before I switched to Apple, I used a German parental controls application on my Windows PC. This worked great and was very rich in features. Even if the iMac Parental Controls were to work as advertised, they still represent only a very basic set of features.

    I noticed the faulty Parental Controls feature has been discussed in Apple Discussions for years now, which suggests that Apple isn't really interested in fixing and perhaps even enriching this feature. How every disappointing.

    Is anyone aware of an independent Parental Controls application for OS X?
  • Justin Knecht Level 1 (75 points)
    I am running 10.5.8 and experiencing the same problems with time limits working, so I'm not sure 10.6 is the issue.
  • Justin Knecht Level 1 (75 points)
    An independent product to try is Content Barrier. I haven't used it, but am considering it in order to get something that works consistently.

  • Jim Rabb Level 1 (0 points)
    Similar problem.
    Running 10.6.2 on a recent iMac (3.06 GHz, 4GB RAM 21") with one Admin user, and four Managed accounts. All Managed accounts have same restrictions, including "Weekday - Limit computer use to 5 hours per day", "Weekend - Limit computer use to 5 hours per day", and "Bedtime School nights - Prevents access... between 11:00 PM and 8:00 AM". Three of the four Managed accounts seem to be restricted appropriately, but the fourth (I think it was the first one created after the Admin account) which happens to show up last in the account list in the Fast User Switch list, is not affected by Time Limit restrictions at all. Logs of websites visited are being collected for all four accounts.

    Hypothesis: Maybe the first account created after Admin is seen as "special." Action: Delete the unaffected Managed account and recreate it? Thoughts from the gallery?
  • dechamp Level 4 (3,490 points)
    I've installed K9 Web Protection on both Macs and PC's. I think it works very well and it's free for home use.
  • Jim Rabb Level 1 (0 points)
    PS. Restarting has restored restrictions to "the fourth user." I strongly suspect that this will re-occur...
  • BillyEzell Level 1 (0 points)
    I have discovered a bug. Enabling *Fast User Switching* in the login options on the Accounts control panel will transfer permissions from the admin account. So yes, initially Parental Controls works perfectly. But you'll notice logging back n forth with *fast user switching* eventually bypasses Parental Controls. The only real workaround is to disable Fast User Switching and have each user really login from scratch. This seems to keep the two realms independent and clean.

    I know. Annoying when sharing one computer with kids.
  • christian heretic Level 1 (10 points)
    I used parental controls for the first time last month. It took my 15 year old sone 24 hours to figure out how to reset the root password, make himself an administrator and override my settings for him!
    I only twigged because he left some coding instructions written near the computer which led me to an article about how to do it. It seems that once a user has physical access to the computer they can always override parental supervision.
  • mdopp Level 1 (45 points)
    My 9 year old son found another trick to circumvent the time limit of parental controls:
    He would instruct the machine to turn off (using the apple menu) just a few seconds before the end of his time limit. Now parental controls can't log him off because the computer is in the middle of a shut-down when the time comes. For some reason or another this resets the time limit.
    He can now immediately turn the computer back on again and start his time from scratch as if he never used the machine that day. This works several times in a row...
  • carlos2323 Level 1 (0 points)
    Search for a router with parental controls. I found some review3ed in pc magazine