disabling logs in mac parental controls

Mac OS X’s Parental Controls are fabulous, but by default they store logs for all application and website access. If you’d like to set Parental Controls to just impose time limits without all of the application and website logging, you can do so with an admin account using the following steps:

  1. log out of all users but the admin account
  2. open Terminal & type in the following, but replace {username} with the actual username of the account you’re modifying. Type in your admin account password when prompted.
    cd /Library/Application Support/Apple/ParentalControls/Users/{username}
    sudo rm event.data*
    sudo ln -s /dev/null event.data

Close Terminal and you’re done.

Basically, you’re sending all log writing to a black hole, but preserving the usage data in the date folders needed for the time limits to function (yyyy/mm/dd).

Just FYI, the following things don’t work:

  • Modifying /Library/Managed Preferences/{username}/com.apple.familycontrols.logging.plist – this file looks like it is rewritten every time the user logs in
  • Just pointing all of “/Library/Application Support/Apple/ParentalControls/Users/{username}” to /dev/null – this doesn’t preserve the usage data