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How to remove the Private Browsing and Clear History functions from Safari?

923 Views 6 Replies Latest reply: May 31, 2006 7:14 AM by J D Knight III RSS
J D Knight III Level 4 Level 4 (3,415 points)
Currently Being Moderated
May 1, 2006 1:50 PM
I have the same situation as another old post that got little help and dead links... we need to REMOVE Private Browsing and Clear History for classrooms. If someone can tell me how, I will cut it out with a butter knife (our tech support budget is laughable considering our college size).

Students have no expectation of privacy in a classroom when they should only be looking at things for class. This is also a problem for parents with older children where parental controls are not a practical solution... thus Apple is forcing users to buy expensive 3rd party parent spying software, which we cannot do for 200 machines. Just knowing that these options are not available will keep the smarter users from doing things that they shouldn't... but not like the kid who was watching adult videos last week (yes, while class was in session).

Burn Baby!

Message was edited by: J D Knight III, because p 0 r n is not allowed... ridiculous!
450 G4 AGP (2), 1GB, 5x HDs, 110D, too many apps., Mac OS X (10.4.2), +Ti Book in need of a screen to use as a LCD picture frame.
  • Yang Level 6 Level 6 (9,125 points)
    Hi JDKnight,

    If you have the developer tools installed, or more specifically, Interface Builder, you can easily remove the 'Private Browsing' and 'Reset Safari' menu-items. Create a copy of Safari and browse to '/Safari.app/Contents/Resources/English.lproj/'. Open MainMenu.nib in Interface Builder. In the template of the menu bar which appears, browse to and highlight each menu-item and hit backspace to delete. Save and quit. That Safari application package will now be missing the menu-items.

    You can replace the original Safari package with the modified one, and maybe have the unmodified version in the 'Applications' folder of an administrator's home folder.

    Unfortunately, the 'Clear History' menu item seems to be generated dynamically. I can't seem to find the reference to it in Safari's resources. However, that said, I believe there are more elegant solutions to tracking a user's browsing history. In fact, it might be advisable to look at third-party solutions - ones which write history to a separate file. For instance, even if the menu-items are missing, it is possible to simply trash the relevant .plist after each browsing session to remove all traces of its history.

    Yang
    PB15" 1.67GHz, Mac OS X (10.4.6), 1GB DDR2
  • Tom Graves Level 7 Level 7 (20,615 points)
    You could install Gurl Watcher which will create logs of pages visited regardless of browser used. Although it is an inexpensive shareware program, the cost could mount if you have a lot of computers. You could always contact the publisher about a site license.
    1 Ghz 15 inch PowerBook G4, Mac OS X (10.4.6), 1984 Macintosh
  • Yang Level 6 Level 6 (9,125 points)
    Hi JDKnight,

    Developer tools is available on the Tiger DVD as well.

    Yang
    PB15" 1.67GHz, Mac OS X (10.4.6), 1GB DDR2

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