I'm going to be repurposing my laptop as a media center in the near future and I was planning on using a non-admin account for day-to-day usage. I was thinking of enabling parental controls so I can lockdown what applications are allowed to run but parental controls can be a PITA so I would like to know how it works under-the-hood.

Is it using seatbelt to implement some form of MAC or does it just make it difficult to launch applications through the UI?

  • This page on parental Controls in El Capitan may help. Another way to manage a Mac is through the MCX system using the computer as a local directory node to give more fine-grained control over users.
    – IconDaemon
    Dec 17, 2015 at 0:24

1 Answer 1


The restrictions are a multitude of features and MDM/MCX controls that apple has for a long time delivered for corporate users and managers to control the OS. Since so many different restrictions can be configured, there is no one implementation. The code that enforces bed times and limits is implemented differently than changing finder to work in a restricted manner.

  • I'm trying to figure out why time limits stop working, and the simplest way to re-enable them. Could you expand on how time limits are implemented? Are you aware of configuration files that may relate to the settings for each account?
    – dunxd
    Feb 10, 2016 at 17:13

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