There’s very little doubt that the internet is among man’s greatest innovations; however, it can also be a dangerous place to be, especially for little children. They are exposed to a constant barrage of cyberbullying, explicit content and are prone to unhealthy addictions. It doesn’t help that many children are more tech-savvy than their parents and can easily evade minor restrictions like screen time limits. Undoubtedly, a more reliable parental control software is necessary, and the Mac parental control software comes in handy in this situation. Keep reading this article to see how this software can save your children from the many dangers of the internet.

How To Choose The Right Parental Control Software For Mac

Based on our experience, there are a few factors to consider before choosing the right mac parental controls software. First, you must decide what you want the software to do for you. Next, you have to consider what device version you want the software on. Lastly, consider your budget and whether the MacBook parental control app works in stealth mode. Let’s discuss each factor further in the next few paragraphs.

Monitoring Options: Most mac parental control software offer the same basic features (web content monitoring, screen time limits, chat monitoring, etc.) but have certain peculiarities e.g., Hoverwatch can capture your child’s screen regularly to see what they’re doing and log every keystroke. They also do real-time monitoring of the chat apps. QuStudio will give you advanced report analytics that summarizes the mac’s activity, so you can know what your child does most or least. Bark sends parental control alerts, among other things. Hence, deciding the features you want before choosing any decent parental control app is important.

Device Version Compatibility: Paying for parental control mac os that doesn’t work for your child’s device is useless. That’s why it’s important to confirm the compatibility of the app you want to choose. You can rest assured that this article mentions the device version compatibility of every app discussed.

Price: The best things in life don’t come free, and the best parental control software doesn’t either. Most apps charge a monthly, quarterly, or yearly fee for their service. The goal is to ensure you pay for those offering the best value for money. It should interest you that there is free parental control Macbook air software, but you can only expect a few basic features with limited customer support, so it’s rarely worth it. Several paid parental control imac software offer a free trial version you should try before paying.

Stealth mode: The best parental control mac software are those your child has absolutely no idea of. That way, you can be sure they’ve not found a way around the  monitoring app. Apps that work in ‘stealth mode’ can do this, and you should consider them before others.

Parental Control Apps for macOS – Overview

App Functionality Prices Freebies Compatibility
Bark Text message and email monitoring, parental control alerts, Screen time and Web Filtering, Social Media tracking From $5/month per device 7 days Free Trial Compatible with Mac 10.11 onwards, iOS
Hoverwatch Screen Capture, Facebook Tracking, Keylogger, Chat Recording From $6/month per device None Supports Mac OS X
Qustodio Time Controls, Social Media Monitoring, Advanced Report Analytics, App and Game Blocking From $4.58/month per device Free trial for 3 days/No refunds Compatible with Mac 10.9 onwards

Best Parental Control Software: Our Top Picks

Any random google search for the best parental control app for mac will have you bombarded by a myriad of options to choose from. How to know the right one? Check out our list of the best options, and you can make an easier choice.

Bark: The Smart Way to Keep Kids Safer Online

Bark app on devices

If Bark cannot access and monitor a social media app, it probably doesn’t exist. That’s because the software keeps tabs on more than 30 apps, including Gmail, Dropbox, and Comcast, that your kid may be active on and alerts you to anything out of the ordinary. You can block any of these apps if you consider them dangerous to your child. The software also allows you to set screen time limits and track your child’s location (set alerts and get notified when your child arrives and leaves a location).

As a result of using this product, we found that, the best part about this Mac parental control software is that you get expert advice from child psychologists, and they offer a free trial, too.


– Text Message and Email Monitoring: Bark records all interactions done by your kids through email and SMS and stores them on its cloud storage.

– Parental Control Software Alerts: With advanced detection capabilities crafted by psychology experts, the parenting control app sends you instant alerts for any instances of potentially damaging content or interactions.

– Screen Time and Web Filtering: With the parental control software feature, you can check what your child sees online.

– Social Media Monitoring: The software lets you view and record all conversations happening on social media channels.   


  • It is very secure thanks to the top encryption capability.
  • Good for detecting critical issues like  suicidal thoughts, cyberbullying, and predation.
  • Bark integrates with many third-party browsers, chat messengers, email apps, and social media platforms. Whether you use Mac, Apple, or Android, the experience is just as good.
  • You can locate your kid’s location whenever you need to know their whereabouts.


  • Too many alerts on Android, which is annoying.
  • There is a limitation on the parental control software filtering functionality.

Supported Operating System: Bark works with Amazon, Apple, Android, and desktop computers. It works on all Android versions.


Price of Bark app

The Bark Package for $14 per month lets you track more features, unlike the $5 package, which only enables you to access fewer features. The former allows you to save 41% as compared to the latter.

To use Bark software on Mac, follow these simple steps:

  1. Register for a free online account using your email. Create a strong password (Note that best passwords are made of paraphrases).
  2. Download the tracker software using the created online account.
  3. Upon successful download, you can access the remote tracking dashboard to see all the activity on the target phone.

Try Bark

Hoverwatch: Advanced PC Keylogger

Hoverwatch app home screen

Hoverwatch offers outstanding features for monitoring your child’s mac, like the dedicated keyboard logger that tracks every action taken by a virtual or physical keyboard. However, that’s not all. It also doubles as a text message and chat app spy because it saves text messages, emails, search requests, contacts, Skype, and Facebook messages.

Our findings show that Hoverwatch also takes and saves regular screenshots of the mac’s screen, keeping you constantly abreast of activities as they’re happening in real-time. We also love that it tracks all internet history and saves every password used on the Mac. The best part is that it does all this while hiding, so your child has no idea it’s there.


– Screenshot Capturing: The software lets you capture screenshots to get a real-time update on what your child is up to on their mobile phone. The beauty is that you can set the frequency of screenshots to intervals that serve you best. Screenshots taken by OS X optimize images so that they occupy less space.

– Facebook Tracking: Hoverwatch intercepts all activities on Facebook by recording messages, videos, and photos for later review.

– Web history keylogger: This spyware saves web links taken on web browsers like Chrome and Safari. It also reveals web activity accessed in incognito modes.

– Real-Time Chat Recording: Messaging is the surest way to gather evidence of suspicious behavior of your kids. Hoverwatch can save conversations from mac messenger apps like iMessage, Adium, and Skype.


  • It records messages in block format to easily follow up on an ongoing conversation.
  • The dashboard features an advanced filtering feature to pull data within a specified period.
  • Tracking  incognito browsing  reveals what the device user is hiding and works without hacking the Mac.
  • The spyware runs anonymously, but you can choose stealth or visible mode.


  • The software is a little pricey.
  • It works better on Android and Mac but is clumsy on Windows.

Supported Operating System: It works on most Android, Windows, and Mac devices.


Price of Hoverwatch app

As parents, you can pay as little as $6 to track more than 25 devices in a month. Alternatively, if you have fewer devices to track, you can pay the $9.99 monthly offer for each device.

Try Hoverwatch

Qustodio: The Best Parental Control Statistics

Qustodio app home screen

Qustodio remains a top choice for iMac parental controls and for the right reasons. One thing we love about Qustudio is how it presents the monitored information- via a dashboard that gets constant real-time updates. You can access the dashboard anytime using any device and adjust the settings as you deem fit. 

Due to our practical knowledge, this app allows you to block unwanted apps, websites, and games, and you get alerts anytime your kid tries to access them. You can also set screen time limits and track their location anytime. This app is compatible with Mac, Windows, Android, iOS/iPad, and Kindle.


– Time Parental Controls: Parents can use the software to set when their child can access a mobile phone or laptop. It is a way of curbing addiction and allowing kids to concentrate on more productive activities like studying.

– Monitoring Social Media: Qustodio is a preferred Facebook tracking tool that lets you read messages and multimedia content shared through the platform.

– Advanced Report Analytics: A clean-cut dashboard lets you check all insights on the target phone from a central location.

– Tracks multiple devices: Parents can track more devices if their child has more than one, compared to other peer software.

– App and Game Blocking: Qustodio has a Game and App blocking feature to filter what a child accesses.


  • They offer excellent customer support service.
  • It supports cross-platforms, including Android.
  • It features an  advanced time management tool.
  • A keyword-searchable database makes it super helpful in detecting harmful content.


  • Social media tracking is only available for Facebook.
  • It doesn’t keep logs for more than 30 days.

Supported Operating System: The app works on most platforms like Kindle, Mac, Windows, and Android. For Mac, it runs on the latest versions, including OS 10.9 upwards.


Price of Qustodio app

From $8.08 per month, you can protect up to 10 devices on the medium plan, but if you want to protect a small family, the next better option is the $4.58 option that covers up to 5 devices.

Try Qustodio

Aura: Powerful Protection For Kids

Aura home screen

Aura happens to be another superb parental control software for Mac. It has resources to monitor and restrict what games, apps, and websites your children use. If you don’t want them using the internet at all, Aura has the solution in the Internet switch option that allows you to turn off the internet for the device anytime you want. If you consider turning off the internet extreme, you can set the screen limits as you want.

Aura offers a 14-day free trial to try the service out before paying for it. They also offer a 60-day money-back guarantee if you’re unsatisfied with the service. The best part about paying for an Aura subscription is getting an antivirus, VPN, and password manager with it.


— Content Blocking and Filtering: You can choose what websites, games, and apps you want your children to access. You can limit their access or restrict it altogether.

— Limit Screen Time: Set time limits for each app and website on all devices so your children don’t spend all day staring at their screen.

— Turn off the Internet: Here’s a one-size-fits-all option to ensure that your children can’t access the internet temporarily. 

— Track Internet Usage: You can use internet usage statistics across all websites, apps, and games to decide on limits to set for your children.


  • 14-day free trial
  • 60-day money-back guarantee
  • VPN, antivirus, and password manager included
  • Easy to install and use
  • Affordable


  • Some features not available on MacOS

Supported Operating System: 

Aura is compatible with Android OS 6.0 or newer, iOS 13 or newer, and MacOS.


Price of Aura app

SentryPC: Monitor Your Kids Anywhere In The World

Sentry PC home screen app

SentryPC allows unfettered access to your kid’s internet activities via a cloud-based monitor. They offer the most reliable monitoring feature- real-time recording of activities on your child’s device, so you know what they’re doing and when exactly they’re doing it. They don’t leave out content filtering and time limits either, you can regulate what your child does on the internet. You get activity alerts for every attempt to perform restricted activities on the device, and all these happen when the device user has no idea that the app is installed (stealth mode).


— Cloud-based account monitoring: You can easily monitor your child’s device and adjust all settings when you log into your cloud account on any device.

— Real-time viewing: Your child has no place to hide if you can see what they’re doing at any instant. On top of that, SentryPC takes screenshots and records their keystrokes.

— Activity alerts: Get instant alerts for attempts to access restricted games, websites, or apps.

— Location tracking: SentryPC can track your child’s exact location- IP address, longitude, latitude, city, state, country, postal code, and timestamp. You can also view their location on the map. Lastly, they offer geofencing (create a virtual fence so that you get alerts when your child leaves that perimeter).


  • Real-time monitoring
  • Cloud-based storage
  • Keylogger
  • Location tracking and geofencing
  • Easy to install
  • Constant free updates
  • Online demo


  • Pricey

Supported Operating system: Android 7+, Mac OS X 10.6+, Windows 7+


Price of Sentry PC

Net Nanny: Best Software for Youtube Surveillance

Net Nanny home screen app

Although an old timer, Net Nanny stays on top of current trends on the internet to offer top-notch parental control services. Their basic features include screen time limits, app/website/game blocking, location tracking, social media app monitoring, and periodic alerts about suspicious activity. One special feature you should know is the specialized Youtube surveillance, including the video name, length, view date, and preview. You can view all these on the Net Nanny Parent dashboard from any internet-used device.


— Screen time limits: Set restrictions to how much time your child spends on their computer screen with this feature.

— Pornography blocker- This feature is solely dedicated to blocking adult content in real time.

— Real-time location tracking- Get informed of your child’s whereabouts anytime.

— Alerts and Reports: Get detailed reports and alerts about your child’s online activity as it happens.


  • Youtube surveillance (video name, length, and preview)
  • Real-time location tracking
  • Pornography blocking
  • Social media app monitoring


  • Limited Geofencing

Supported Operating System: macOS 10.13 to macOS 11, Android 6 and higher, iOS 12.1 and higher, Kindle Fire 8.0 and higher.


Price of Net Nanny app

Kaspersky Safe Kids: Safe Internet For All Kids

Kaspersky Safe Kids home screen app

Kaspersky is one household name in the antivirus software industry that has managed to channel some of that success into the parental control niche. The software allows you to block access to inappropriate content, set screen limits, and track their GPS location. You can also set up a perimeter you don’t want your kids stepping out of and get alerts when they do (Geofencing). 


— Youtube Safe Search: Monitor your kid’s Youtube searches and block topics you don’t want them to see.

— GPS location tracking: Locate your child’s exact location on a digital map and set a safe area for them to stay in.

— Website and App Filters: Choose the websites and apps safe for your child to visit and use.


  • GPS location tracking 
  • Geofencing
  • Youtube Safe Search
  • Screen time limits
  • You can track an unlimited number of devices


  • Some features not available on iOS versions lower than 15

Supported Operating System: MacOS 10.13-13, iOS 13 and higher, Android 8-13, Windows 7-11Pro


Price of Kaspersky Safe Kids

Norton Family Premier

Norton Family Premier home screen app

Norton Family is another antivirus software giant that has successfully hacked the parental control scene. They offer comprehensive subscription plans with parental control, anti-malware protection, secure VPN, cloud backup, and password manager. They offer a first-of-its-kind School Time feature allowing parents to curate a list of educational websites their kids can access during the day. You can also set screen time limits, block unwanted apps/websites, track GPS location, monitor their Youtube videos, and lock the device.


— School Time- Curate a list of educational websites your kids should access during the school day and block other websites.

— Instant Lock- Lock your kid’s device, but you can still contact them in lock mode.

— Monthly/Weekly Reports: Get detailed reports of your children’s online activities.

— Access Request: Your kids can ask for access to blocked websites or apps.


  • Lock device
  • Youtube surveillance
  • Location tracking
  • Geofencing
  • School Time access to educational websites
  • Detailed reports


  • Can’t monitor social media apps or text messages

Supported Operating System: Windows, Android, iOS, and MacOS.


Price of Norton Family Premier

Free Mac Parental Control Software

Mac Parental Control Software screen

Mac computers have  built-in parental controls, which you can set by following simple steps. However, a grown child can maneuver through the settings and can be able to disable them within a few minutes, and that is why third-party parental control software comes into play.

Here is a list of abilities that characterizes native parental control software on Mac:

1. Kid’s account and passcode protection

Adding a passcode to a kid’s Mac account is the surest bet to keeping them safe online. Fortunately, they won’t be able to change the settings relating to screen and downtime. To strengthen the passcode, the activated downtime setting will shut down the device once the use reaches the set time.

2. Screen time

  • Schedules downtime: With Mac parental controls, you can schedule downtimes, which deactivates major functions of a target Mac device. The app lets you customize the settings for each day and sends reminders 5 minutes before the immobilization of the device. Screen and downtime work in concurrence, meaning you can’t activate downtime if the screen is still off.
  • Sets app time limits: This cool feature enables parents to allocate time spent on certain apps for an entire day and resets midnight to show the time limits for the new day. The whole idea is to prevent addiction and allow kids to focus on what benefits their growth and development. As a parent, you have a leeway to allocate the maximum time spent on apps like Games and social media, while kids will get a notification 5 minutes before the set limit expires.
  • Limits screen view: Through the family sharing feature, you can remotely control screen viewing on iPad, iPhone, and Mac. When you exceed the viewing time, the feature activates a screen passcode for parental control. The functionality also has a place to monitor website data usage, thus letting you know what your child has been up to throughout the day.
  • Basic adult site filtering: Mac can block specific sites while allowing others to run normally. It works by adjusting settings from the Mac account. You can customize content blockers by changing the preferences on settings while activating autoplay for the best parental control.


Parental control software gives you extra control over a child’s Mac device. There is a lot that the software can do beyond what inbuilt apps do. The parental software in this review comes with special features like keyloggers, screen capture, parental control alerts, and more. Having any of these apps saves you a lot, especially if you are a busy parent, since you can detect questionable behavior based on data analytics. Further, if you notice any signs of cyberbullying, this software is the perfect way to determine if your child is safe online.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *