I'm looking for parental control software that offers all of the following features:

  • ability to completely disable the internet activity monitoring feature (most parental control software has the monitoring feature but not the ability to disable it)
  • ability to block webpages containing specific URL strings (but not the entire domain[s] that said webpages belong to)
  • ability to use wildcard characters in the blacklist (for example, subdomain.example.com could be blocked/allowed by including *.example.com in the blacklist)
  • ability to block webpages based on URL and within-page keyword filters (this is similar to the second one, with the aim being to block specific webpages rather than entire domains)

In my searching for parental control software, I have yet to come across anything that includes all of these features (though the last one is not an absolute necessity).

My operating system is macOS (in case it matters, I'm running 10.13.3). I don't have a strict budget, but I'd like to stay at around $50 or less if possible (of course, cheaper is better, but if a clearly better program costs more, that's fine).


1 Answer 1


I think FocusMe should fulfill all of these requirements, unless you'll want to be able to toggle activity monitoring on/off. If that's the case, as a workaround you could turn on Mac OS Parental Controls only during the times you want monitoring.

This author gives some steps to take (site is a little dated but that doesn't detract from the value of the advice steps 1-3). Don't know what your situation is, but my sense is that his advice during the pre-install timeframe is highly advisable to decrease whining or oppositionalism down the road. (I'm not suggesting the hosts file solution he goes on to explain since that's not what you're looking for.) Hope this helps.

  • Thanks for the suggestion of FocusMe! I'll be trying it out soon. If it suits my needs, I'll go ahead and accept your answer as correct. Commented Feb 12, 2018 at 14:55
  • I realized that I forgot to mark your answer as correct! I just went ahead and did so. FocusMe is working quite well for me. (There are a couple of small issues, but that’s really only because my needs are pretty specific. It’s still probably the best application out in terms of how well it meets those requirements.) Thank you again for the suggestion! Commented Mar 19, 2018 at 1:18

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