Articles on: MacBook, iMac, and Mac mini

How to block porn on an iMac

It’s easy with Safe Surfer to block harmful online content on a Mac device. On your first protection installation, it will take around 20 minutes for the full installation, or 30 minutes for the entire guide.

We don't support Mac devices managed remotely by an organisation (that is, when the device isn't owned by you and is used for work, in combination with what's called an MDM solution).

Step 1: Install protection



On the device to be protected, click the Safari app on the dock.



Visit the Safe Surfer dashboard and log in to your account. Click the Devices menu on the left-hand sidebar. Click the “+ New Device” button.



Click “This device”.



Click “Apply filter settings”.



Enter a name for this Mac, then click the Accept button.



Under “Step 1: Download profile”, click the “Download” button.



Click the Allow button.



Click the Blocking menu on the left-hand sidebar. Click the blue bubble list, then click the device listing for this Mac.



Click the switches to either block or unblock categories—grey means not blocked, and red means blocked. Once you’re done, click the Save button at the upper-right corner. You might need to scroll to the top of the list for the Save button to appear.



At the upper-right corner of the dashboard’s title bar, click the three dot icon. Click the Log Out button. You can now close out of Safari.



Click the Downloads section on the dock.



Inside the Downloads section, click the “Safe Surfer.mobileconfig” file.



The Mac will inform you that the filter profile is available for installation in the System Settings app.



Click the System Settings app on the dock. If you can’t find it on the dock, click the Spotlight (magnifying glass) icon at the upper-right corner of the screen, type “system settings”, then click the result for the System Settings app.



Click the Privacy & Security menu on the left-hand sidebar. Scroll down to the Others section, then click the Profiles menu.



Double-click the Safe Surfer profile listing, which is currently pending installation.



Click the Install button at the lower-left corner. The warning that this profile is “Unsigned” can be safely ignored, as the profile has been downloaded from the official Safe Surfer dashboard website.



Click the Install button.



Enter the password of the user account currently logged in to this Mac.



This device is now protected, but there’s still a little more we need to do for the best experience.



Step 2: Change important user account settings



Next we will ensure that the Mac user account your child uses will have only standard-level permissions on this device. This means that they will not be able to remove the filter profile installation without the password of a device administrator (being you). We will now go through the steps to make a new administrator account, then we will set the account your child uses to have standard-level permissions.

Click the System Settings app on the dock.



Click the Users & Groups menu on the left-hand sidebar, then click the Add Account button.



Enter the password of the user currently logged in to this Mac.



Fill in the details as follows:

New Account: Administrator
Full Name: Admin
Account name: admin

Use a password that only you know. Click the Create User button.



There should now be an account called “Admin” alongside the other user accounts. We now need to remove administrator permissions for other applicable user accounts on this Mac.



Click the Apple logo icon at the upper-left corner of the screen, then click Log Out.



Click the Log Out button.



Log in to the Admin account.



Click the System Settings app on the dock.



Click the Users & Groups menu on the left-hand sidebar, then click the “i” icon found next to your child’s user account.



Click the switch found next to “Allow this user to administer this computer” (to turn it off).



Enter the password of the Admin account, the click the Unlock button.



Click the OK button.



Click the Done button. Repeat the account type change for any other applicable user accounts.



Click the Apple logo icon at the upper-left corner. Click the Restart button.



Click the Restart button.



Step 3: Change allowed content settings



You will need to repeat this step for each user account a child uses on this device. For example, if you have three user accounts, two of which are used by two children respectively, you will be repeating this step for those two accounts.

Log in to your child’s user account.



Click the System Settings app on the dock.



Click the Screen Time menu on the left-hand sidebar, then click the Communication Safety menu.



If the switch found next to Communication Safety is off, click it to turn it on. Once you've done this, go back to the Screen Time menu.



Click the Content & Privacy menu.



Click the Content Restrictions menu.



Content restrictions



We suggest using the following options:

Access to Web Content: Limit Adult Websites (This is highly recommended, because this will disable a device feature that could be used to bypass Safe Surfer in certain cases.)
Allow Explicit Language in Siri and Dictionary: Off
Allow Web Search Content in Siri: Off
Allow Music Profiles: Off
Allow Music & TV Shared Libraries: Off

Once you've made the changes, click the Done button.



Click the Store Restrictions menu.



Store restrictions



We suggest using the following options:

Movies: M (that is, PG-13 or the equivalent for your region) or Don't Allow
TV Shows: M (that is, PG-13 or the equivalent for your region) or Don't Allow
Apps: 12+ (This is highly recommended, because this can help prevent filter workarounds.)
Allow Explicit Books: Off
Allow Explicit Music, Podcasts and News: Off
Allow Music Videos: Off

Once you’ve made the changes, click the Done button and go back to the Screen Time menu.



Click the switch found next to Lock Screen Time Settings so that we can set a Screen Time passcode.



Set a Screen Time passcode.



Unless you would like to use an Apple ID for Screen Time Passcode Recovery, click the Skip button.



If you skipped, click the second Skip button.



Step 4: Verify protection



Visit the Safe Surfer website and check the protection bubble at the top of the page to verify that this device is protected.



To see blocking in action, try visiting ExampleAdultSite.com. This is a safe website for testing to see if pornographic websites are being blocked. If it's not blocked, review the previous steps.

Protection complete



Great work! This device is now fully protected. To start monitoring protected devices, visit our easy-to-use online dashboard.

If you ever need to uninstall protection, simply delete the Safe Surfer profile in System Settings > Profiles > highlight the “Safe Surfer” profile listing > click the “–” button to uninstall the profile. These changes can only be made by user accounts that hold administrator permissions.

If you have any other Apple Mac devices you would like to protect, simply start again from the top of the guide. If you would like to protect a different kind of device, visit our Guides page.

Updated on: 19/02/2024

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