OS X: Restrict a User Account

Posted March 30, 2007 by handspring in Apple Mac

OS X makes it ridiculously easy to set restrictions on user accounts. Here’s how to do it!

First, you’ll need to go into System Preferences, and click on Accounts. This is located under the System category.

(Note: In order to restrict accounts, you must be an Administrator. Plus, make sure that the “lock” icon on the bottom of the Accounts window is “unlocked.” If not, click it and enter your password)

On the side of the Accounts window, there will be a list of all the users on your computer. Click on the account you want to put restrictions on. The account you’re restricting can’t be an Administrator account, so if the label under the account says Administrator, uncheck “Allow user to administer this computer.”

There are three tabs near the top of the window: Password, Picture, and Parental Controls. Click Parental Controls.

Let’s focus on Finder and System restrictions. Click the check-box next to the Finder icon. Then click “Configure” next to the Finder and System spot.

A dialog appears!

At the top it says:
“Kids” (the account I’m restricting) needs:

If you’d like to use Simple Finder, click the Simple Finder bubble.

Simple Finder(Easier to set up, more restricting)
I like to call Simple Finder the “blanket restrictor.” It pretty much denies access to everything (dock, finder menus, preferences) except the applications you select.

>Setup Simple Finder
Click the triangle next to “Applications.” The list will expand to show all the applications on your hard drive. Then, check or un-check applications according to what you want to allow.

Some Limits
(More detailed setup, more control over restrictions)

Under the “Kids can” select the options you like. These include modifying the dock, administering printers, etc. Then, if you want to restrict some applications, click This user can only use these applications

Click “OK” when you are done. When the user logs into their account, the restrictions you have placed will apply!

The Conversation

Follow the reactions below and share your own thoughts.