We gave our son a parental controlled account on the iMac (Snow Leopard) and while we were able to limit the apps, we don't even want him to see the restricted apps. Plus, he is using the "Simple Finder".

For example, Aperture is restricted but he sees the Aperture icon in his "Applications" folder. When he opens it, it tells him that the program is denied. But I prefer out of sight, out of mind.

Any tips appreciated.

Thank you.

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  • You might have to toy around with permissions, so your son's user doesn't have permissions to access the /Application folder and put the apps he has access to in another folder. I'm in a hurry right now and can't write you a proper answer (maybe someone else will?) in any case, if you're familiar with Terminal, check the commands: chmod and chown (type 'man chmod' in the terminal to get help). If tomorrow you didn't get a proper answer, I'll help you. Good luck. – Martin Marconcini May 8 '11 at 23:57
  • Thanks. I'm a developer and am familiar with chmod/chown. However, this doesn't seem to be a coding problem. Or at least I hope not. Seems strange that with all of the polish Apple does to ignore something that simple. Thanks – cbmeeks May 9 '11 at 3:17

As you've confessed your developing skills, I'll just limit myself to tell you that, as far as I know, it's not possible to hide applications from a user that has Parental Controlled accounts, even with simple Finder. I believe Apple considered that it was too much trouble.

What I'd do is move your son's applications to his /User/son/Applications and restrict access to /Applications for him.

You may be wondering: "but wouldn't that mean I'd have to duplicate apps I also want to use?". And you'd be right.


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  • Ugh. Yeah, I guess I might do that. Seems kludgey. But in Apple's defense, I think most software doesn't consider parental controls. For example, Mozy complains unless I give the Mozy Status permission to my son. He can't restore anything but it's not the way I wished it were. Hey, would about simply making the apps hidden? Is there a command to do that? – cbmeeks May 9 '11 at 13:12

Parental controls are basically a control-permission layer...and don't modify the underlying OS, which is what you're asking for in hiding/relocating Applications for your son. Seeing an app is benign. If you insist on making it work, you have to remove the applications in question from the main Applications folder and install them in a user-specific location (ie. ~/Applications/ -> Home folder vs /Applications/ -> Macintosh HD).

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Ah, there is a very simple answer to this question: System Preferences > Users & Groups > "Enable Parental Controls". In the Parental Controls section, check only the applications you want to allow your child to use. (They need to be logged out of their account to do this.)

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