Question from Tina: I’m a single mom and I’ve started dating again after being divorced for two years.
I have some dating-related documents on my MacBook that I would prefer my 12 year old son not see while he’s using the computer.
There’s nothing of an “adult” nature on there but I would still prefer to keep those dating-related documents private for now.
I noticed that some of those documents are showing up on the ‘Recent Items” list. How do I clear the items from that list?
Rick’s answer: Tina, there are actually several ways to clear the list of recent items on your MacBook, but I don’t believe that’s the best solution for your situation since your son can still easily find those files without seeing them listed as Recent Items.
I believe you and your son would both be better off if you each had your own individual user account.
In a nutshell, you can follow the instructions on this Apple Support page to create a brand new “Standard” user account for your son to sign into every time he needs to use your MacBook.
Once signed into his account your son will have access to his own apps, documents, messages and other items, but not yours. Since his new “Standard” account will lack Admin privileges he won’t be able to sign into your account or access any of your files (after you change the password of course).
Another huge advantage of your son having his own “Standard” user account is he won’t be able to make any system-wide settings changes that could potentially cause issues with system performance or stability.
Now the above being said, since your account does have Admin privileges you’ll have access to his account, including the option of locking him out of it at any time by changing the password should you ever feel the need to do so.
In regards to your son’s privacy, you can simply let him know that you reserve the right to view his account at any time as a condition of his permission to use your computer. Whether you wish to tell him that is strictly up to you. Just keep in mind that you do have that option available to you.