Parental Controls Applied to Admin Account Error

jts_photographer

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Jun 6, 2015
7
0
New York, NY
Facing an incredibly stressful issue involving Parental Controls and would LOVE some help!!!

Last night, I was experimenting with Parental Controls and enabled it on my only admin account by "converting this account to a parental controls account."

However, now for whatever reason, I can no longer remove the setting off this admin account and it is locked as a "managed" account (shown as "Admin, Managed;" which shouldn't be possible!) Whenever I try using the Internet now, all https:// sites are blocked and I must add new websites every time I use Chrome.

As below, when I try removing the check from the "Enable parental controls" box, an error appears stating I cannot enable parental controls for an administrator account. Though it initially unchecks, when I go return once more, the check box is filled.



As an attempted solution, I created a new admin account and tried disabling Parental Controls from the main admin account, only to see the same error message. "Open Parental Controls" does nothing either.

In essence, it appears as though my Admin account is being handled as a standard account and thus, the "Enable parental controls" function is locked into place.

Any and all advice on this issue would be MOST appreciated!!! :)
 

DeltaMac

macrumors G3
Jul 30, 2003
9,535
2,303
Delaware
You should be able to fix that by enabling the root user on your Mac, then log in to that root user account.
https://support.apple.com/kb/PH14281?viewlocale=en_US&locale=en_US
And, from the root user, disable the parental controls on your admin account.
You MIGHT need to change the account temporarily to a standard account, then back to admin.

Once you have your admin account working again, log back out, then log back in to your usual account.
Finally, to make your Mac more secure, disable the root account.
 
  • Like
Reactions: jts_photographer

jts_photographer

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Jun 6, 2015
7
0
New York, NY
You should be able to fix that by enabling the root user on your Mac, then log in to that root user account.
https://support.apple.com/kb/PH14281?viewlocale=en_US&locale=en_US
And, from the root user, disable the parental controls on your admin account.
You MIGHT need to change the account temporarily to a standard account, then back to admin.

Once you have your admin account working again, log back out, then log back in to your usual account.
Finally, to make your Mac more secure, disable the root account.
Thank you DeltaMac for your prompt reply!
I just enabled the root user and am now in Directory Unit, but do not know where/how to "disable the parental controls on your admin account," as you told me.

I am currently in "Directory Editor" under my admin account name, and cannot find anything pointing towards disabling anything. Your help would be most appreciated!
 

DeltaMac

macrumors G3
Jul 30, 2003
9,535
2,303
Delaware
While you are in Directory Utility, Go to the Edit menu, where you will see Enable Root User (if the Root is currently disabled), or Disable Root User (if the root is currently enabled)

If you want to check the Parental Controls settings -
If you are logged in as root, then you go to System Preferences, then Users & Groups.
Select your normal user from the list on the left.
Click the padlock to unlock the settings, and then uncheck the box "Enable Parental Controls"
(While logged in as the root user, you may not see ANY padlocks, which is why you want to disable the root user, after you get back to normal. It leaves everything unlocked, and you can do lots of things that can completely bork your system (because the root user has permission to do just about anything without asking

You MAY need to uncheck "Allow user to administer this computer" first.
Toggle the setting, if it doesn't want to work. (Turn it on, close System Preferences, re-open the pane, and Turn off the setting.)

If you still don't get a good fix - boot to your Recovery partition (Restart, holding Command-R), and reinstall OS X. If you have the Mavericks installer on a bootable USB flash drive, reinstall is even easier (and faster), as you don't need an internet connection, waiting for the OS files to download.
 

jts_photographer

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Jun 6, 2015
7
0
New York, NY
While you are in Directory Utility, Go to the Edit menu, where you will see Enable Root User (if the Root is currently disabled), or Disable Root User (if the root is currently enabled)

If you want to check the Parental Controls settings -
If you are logged in as root, then you go to System Preferences, then Users & Groups.
Select your normal user from the list on the left.
Click the padlock to unlock the settings, and then uncheck the box "Enable Parental Controls"
(While logged in as the root user, you may not see ANY padlocks, which is why you want to disable the root user, after you get back to normal. It leaves everything unlocked, and you can do lots of things that can completely bork your system (because the root user has permission to do just about anything without asking

You MAY need to uncheck "Allow user to administer this computer" first.
Toggle the setting, if it doesn't want to work. (Turn it on, close System Preferences, re-open the pane, and Turn off the setting.)

If you still don't get a good fix - boot to your Recovery partition (Restart, holding Command-R), and reinstall OS X. If you have the Mavericks installer on a bootable USB flash drive, reinstall is even easier (and faster), as you don't need an internet connection, waiting for the OS files to download.
I see, thank you once again DeltaMac.

I was able to Enable Root User and upon resetting, saw a "New User" but there was no username and password. How exactly do I "login as root" in order to redo the Parental Controls settings?
 

DeltaMac

macrumors G3
Jul 30, 2003
9,535
2,303
Delaware
If this is the first time you have enabled root, it forces you to give a password.
So, the username is root - and the password is whatever you supplied when you enabled the root user.
Or, return to the Directory Utility, and change your root password. That choice is also in the Edit menu from Directory Utility.
 
  • Like
Reactions: jts_photographer

jts_photographer

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Jun 6, 2015
7
0
New York, NY
If this is the first time you have enabled root, it forces you to give a password.
So, the username is root - and the password is whatever you supplied when you enabled the root user.
Or, return to the Directory Utility, and change your root password. That choice is also in the Edit menu from Directory Utility.
Perfect, "root" was all I needed to know!

Will try it now and see how it goes. Thank you once again so very much, DeltaMac :)
 

jts_photographer

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Jun 6, 2015
7
0
New York, NY
If this is the first time you have enabled root, it forces you to give a password.
So, the username is root - and the password is whatever you supplied when you enabled the root user.
Or, return to the Directory Utility, and change your root password. That choice is also in the Edit menu from Directory Utility.
Just tried unchecking "Enable Parental Controls" from the root user account and no luck...the same error message appears (stating "You cannot enable parental controls for an administrator account. Create a new user account, and then enable parental controls for the new account") and after toggling, the check reappears.

I then tested what would happen on the root System Preferences account when I checked the box, and a message appeared saying that once I check this, the account will loose administrative capabilities. After clicking yes, it too became "managed" and I could not remove that check either!

Any further ideas?! The "Allow user to administer this computer" section is grayed out, and I don't think demoting the account from an administrator to standard would do anything, since the Parental Controls page does not lead to anything because the computer thinks there are no accounts being managed.
 

jts_photographer

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Jun 6, 2015
7
0
New York, NY
If this is the first time you have enabled root, it forces you to give a password.
So, the username is root - and the password is whatever you supplied when you enabled the root user.
Or, return to the Directory Utility, and change your root password. That choice is also in the Edit menu from Directory Utility.
Apologizes for the third reply, but an important finding:

As I mentioned, I enabled parental controls on the System Administrator root user and thereafter was stuck in the same "managed" status, unable to then uncheck the "Enable parental controls" box.

HOWEVER, upon unchecking "Allow user to administer this computer" and thus demoting the account to standard, I was able to successfully remove "Enable parental controls!"

Only issue is, as mentioned in my earlier comment my main user account has the "Allow user to administer this computer" grayed out and uncheckable...any solution to that?
 

DeltaMac

macrumors G3
Jul 30, 2003
9,535
2,303
Delaware
The root user is a superuser. As a superuser, by definition, doesn't get demoted to a standard user, or even an admin. It's above that level of authority.
So, you may be seeing errors of some kind, but the root user doesn't demote itself.
It's like the old question "If God can do anything, can He make a rock so big that he can't move it?"
Or, put it another way - Can the root user demote itself? It's an oxymoron!

Anyway, your system permissions are messed up.
Boot to your recovery system (Restart, holding Command-R)
Open Disk Utility. Run a Repair Disk Permissions. Then, run Repair Disk.
Quit Disk Utility, then open the Terminal. It's in one of the menus at the top of the screen.
At the prompt - type resetpassword (all one word, no spaces), and press enter. The Reset Password app will open. Select your hard drive, then the account. Click the Reset button at the bottom of that window.
Then, select the System Administrator account, and again click the Reset button.
Both of these tasks will only take a few seconds.
Quit the reset password app, then quit the recovery system, which will give you the choice to shutdown or restart.

If that doesn't fix your issue, then boot back up to your recovery system, and reinstall OS X.
 
  • Like
Reactions: jts_photographer

jts_photographer

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Jun 6, 2015
7
0
New York, NY
The root user is a superuser. As a superuser, by definition, doesn't get demoted to a standard user, or even an admin. It's above that level of authority.
So, you may be seeing errors of some kind, but the root user doesn't demote itself.
It's like the old question "If God can do anything, can He make a rock so big that he can't move it?"
Or, put it another way - Can the root user demote itself? It's an oxymoron!

Anyway, your system permissions are messed up.
Boot to your recovery system (Restart, holding Command-R)
Open Disk Utility. Run a Repair Disk Permissions. Then, run Repair Disk.
Quit Disk Utility, then open the Terminal. It's in one of the menus at the top of the screen.
At the prompt - type resetpassword (all one word, no spaces), and press enter. The Reset Password app will open. Select your hard drive, then the account. Click the Reset button at the bottom of that window.
Then, select the System Administrator account, and again click the Reset button.
Both of these tasks will only take a few seconds.
Quit the reset password app, then quit the recovery system, which will give you the choice to shutdown or restart.

If that doesn't fix your issue, then boot back up to your recovery system, and reinstall OS X.
thank you once again DeltaMac for your kind assistance.

I tried the above Repair Disk reset options, then logged in as both System Administrator and my main admin account with the issues still occurring. Looks like even with the repair, my system permissions are still out of whack.

Your final option - reinstalling OS X - would in essence erase my entire hard drive and settings, correct? I should do a thorough backup before that, shouldn't I...
 

DeltaMac

macrumors G3
Jul 30, 2003
9,535
2,303
Delaware
Yes, you should always have a current backup when reinstalling.
No, reinstalling the system does NOT erase your hard drive.
The reinstall is simply reinstalling the system software, and the various apps that are part of Apple's system install. I think of that reinstall as the equivalent of running a repair install in Windows. Part of what it does is check that the system files permissions are all reset to whatever defaults should be correct. When it completes, your apps, and your files, songs, etc, will not be affected. It can fix the kind of system issues that you are having.
The process does take some time, but you should be back up and running in about an hour. Always run Software Update (which for Mavericks, would be the App Store/Updates tab) after reinstalling OS X. There are always updates available after an OS X reinstall to get your system fully up to date.
 

virtualruffy

macrumors newbie
Feb 25, 2013
20
4
I've encountered this where administrative AD users (mac is bound to active directory) being added are simultaneously added as mobile managed and admin. Which makes no sense. Whatsmore the same problem encountered above occurs. After deleting prefs that could be deleted and still not getting anywhere I logged in as root to uncheck the parental controls and it did without issuing the conflicting warning when closing the panel. When reopened the user showed the correct settings (admin, mobile) and the managed setting did not return. Restarted to verify. Still good. For the next user I logged in as the user, went to parental controls first and turned it off there. Again, it showed as an admin in users and groups but as actively parental management in parental controls. Turned off, Then went to users and groups and unchecked the parental controls box which was simultaneously checked with admin user control. Worked. None of this should be happening or even possible but Apple and microsoft together are making this mess (AD integration).
To see about deleting prefs see this article last 2 items are helpful. It'ss for older OSX but still applies to 10.12.6 as above.
https://www.cnet.com/news/fixing-parental-controls-problem-in-os-x-10-8-2/