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How to fix a problem with parentalcontrolsd process running with high CPU load in Mac OS X Mountain Lion

If you've noticed that your Mac is getting slower and there is a high processor usage by parentalcontrolsd process, you are in the right place. Sometimes the process is running constantly with high CPU load, even if the Parental Controls is not enabled. I think there is a bug in Mountain Lion (checked on versions 10.8.2, 10.8.3, 10.8.4) and there is only one way to sort it out- you have to delete Parental Control's directory.

To delete Parental Control's directory follow the steps below:

  1. Run System Preferences -> go to Users & Groups

  2. Disable Parental Controls on all users' accounts (including Guest account) - if enabled of course.

  3. Delete the "ParentalControls" directory located in /Library/Application Support/Apple/
    * You can do this by running the Terminal application and use the command below:
    sudo rm -rf /Library/Application\ Support/Apple/ParentalControls/

  4. Restart your Mac.
  5. Enable Parental Controls if needed.

Document version: 1.0

Last modified on:


05 Aug 2013, 18:45
There is no parentalcontrols file in /Library/Application Support/Apple/ParentalControls there is only the Airport folder
06 Aug 2013, 22:50
You should look for "ParentalControls" directory (folder)- not the file.
11 Aug 2013, 11:44
You have missed the first ‘/’ off that path probably and you get to the local user ParentalControls folder which only contains Airport folder as you have said.
The root path /Library/Application Support/Apple should contain the ParentalControls folder.
14 Sep 2013, 09:10
You are right Will.
This has resolved my problem!!!
I'm happy Mac user again :-D
02 May 2014, 16:51
Thank you!
02 May 2014, 16:57
Many thanks!
This solved to probem as described. (This had been driving me crazy!)
03 May 2014, 05:42
Works!!! Thank you sooooo much!!!
10 May 2014, 16:45
worked for me.
OS X 10.8.2
12 Oct 2014, 02:41
27 Oct 2014, 17:41
19 Dec 2014, 17:59
17 Jun 2015, 17:03
Fantastic! This worked for me on Yosemite. While using Insynch (a Google Drive sync tool) and other disk-intensive applications this parentalcontrolsd process was running at 100% CPU. I spent days troubleshooting and trying different things to no avail.

After doing this, the problem disappeared completely. My computer is running much quieter and more smoothly when Dropbox, Insynch and other tools are running!
02 Oct 2015, 09:04
I use OSx 10.7.5 and there is no "Apple" folder in /Library/Application\ Support. I can't get the parentalcontrol process to quit with sudo killall parentalcontrolsd - it just starts back up again. How can I delete this??? Help!
19 Oct 2015, 21:40
Try to disable parental control through: System Preferences - Parental Control - authenticate by clicking the little padlock icon - disable for each user.

Below video might be helpful:

Cheers ;)
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