Enable Jabber accounts in iChat with Parental Controlled accounts

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If you enable parental controls on a Mac OS X account, even if you don't place any restrictions, iChat disables the creation of and connection to Jabber (& Google Talk) accounts. It appears that at least part of the problem is due to the fact that Jabber connections need to be encrypted, and there are issues with HTTPS connections on controlled accounts. Most likely, Apple didn't want to deal with customer complaints about Jabber accounts not working correctly, so they just decided to disable them outright.

Please note: before you do this, make sure you have a recent backup of all your data in case something goes wrong. You must also be OK with using the Terminal. I assume no responsibility for things getting messed up because of you following these directions.

Anyway, if you don't care about having Parental Controls on the iChat app and don't want to entirely disable Parental Controls on the account, do the following:

  • Log into an admin account
  • Open Terminal in Applications/Utilities
  • Run the following command:
sudo dscl . -mcxset /users/username com.apple.iChatAgent Setting.parentalControls always -bool false
Be sure to replace "username" with the short name of the user for whom you want to make the change. To find out the short name of a user, it is the same as the name of their home directory inside the /Users folder. When prompted for a password, enter the password of the admin account under which you are currently logged on.

Log out and log back in the controlled user. Now try adding and connecting to a Jabber account. Violà!

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