Why are we doing this?

In this article, we'll be walking you through setting up an Apple device for monitoring, which due to Apple's stringent security measures, requires us to generate regular backups as blueprints of the device for the analysis of texts, saved photo/video, and web browsing.

To read more about why we need to perform backups to a computer to analyze your child's texts (including most deleted ones!), camera roll, and web browsing on the Apple device, check out this article.

What about my child's email and social media?

Backups do not analyze email and social media. Email and social media are monitored at the account-level.

To set up your child's email and social media for monitoring, check out this article.

Once connected via the Bark parent dashboard, email and social media accounts are scanned constantly regardless of the device the accounts were accessed on (phone, tablet, or computer). 

What do I need to get started?

You will need the following:

  1. Your child's Apple device(s), like an iPhone, iPad, or iPod
  2. A Mac or Windows computer (preferably your home computer)
    We'll be outlining the steps for a Windows computer in this article. Click here to see the steps for Mac.
  3. A USB cable (also known as your charge cable) to plug your child's Apple device into the computer (only for the first time -- we'll be performing backups over WiFi afterwards, but more on this later)
  4. Internet

I'm ready. Let's do this!

Step 1: Download iMazing and the Bark Desktop program

  • iMazing is the program we'll be using to decrypt the Apple device(s) in order to monitor the device activity detailed earlier in this article. Rest assured, you do not have to adjust or turn off your iCloud backups to use iMazing. Bark cannot analyze backups generated through iCloud, so we utilize iMazing. Though we do not recommend using iTunes, if you'd prefer to use iTunes backups for Bark's monitoring, click here.
  • The Bark Desktop program will be uploading the information from the backups to our servers for analysis. 

Step 2: Open iMazing

You will recognize it on your desktop or program list by the following logo:

  • Click "Later" on the first pop-up screen.
    You will never need the full license of iMazing to use Bark!

Step 3: Plug the Apple device into the computer with your charging cord

Step 4: Select the device on the left panel, and then select "Back Up"

Step 5: "Trust" the Computer on Apple device

  • Unlock the Apple device by inputting any PIN/Passcode you may have set for its lock screen. If you don't have a lock screen set, slide to unlock. 
  • Then select "Trust this computer" on the Apple device.
  • Select "Backup Now" in iMazing

Step 6: Set Backup options

Note the how to set iMazing Options for the device in the image below. Kindly make sure NOT to enable encryption (indicated by the red dot). Bark can't monitor your child's Apple device if the backup is encrypted. If you've done so, check out this article for how to disable it.

Step 7: Click "Next" 

Step 8: Wait for the Backup to Complete

This one may take the longest out of all the backups you perform.
Subsequent backups are automatically archived and compressed when they are 1 month or older, saving you storage space.

Step 9: Once Complete, Open the Bark Desktop program

You will recognize it on your desktop or program list by the following logo:

If the Bark desktop app is already open, you'll see the Bark dog icon near the time/date on your computer screen on the ^ menu. See below:

Step 10: Add your child's device

The Bark Desktop program should automatically detect the new backup file. If your child's device doesn't appear in the list, please click "+ Add Device"

Step 11: Associate each Apple device to the appropriate child

The backup will begin uploading to Bark after selecting your child's name on the drop-down menu. The upload progress is indicated by a cloud icon appearing next to the child's name. After some time, you'll see a percentage indicator in small text below.

Please make sure your computer stays ON and connected to the internet until you see the cloud turn into a green checkmark next to your child's device, as seen below.

Step 12: All done! (Please see below for how to keep monitoring up to date)

When you see the green check mark, your child's device has been analyzed by Bark. You will begin receiving notifications about potential issues from the Apple device's texts (including most deleted ones!), saved photo/video, and web browsing. 

Now that you've completed first-time setup, you can now begin performing backups over WiFi at your convenience. Whenever their Apple device is home and connected to the same WiFi as your home computer, simply open iMazing, click on the device, and click "Back Up." See below:

As long as the Bark Desktop program is open when the backup completes, it will automatically pick it up and upload it to our servers for analysis.

Note: We're working hard on adding a feature to schedule automatic backups for Windows users, though no ETA just yet!

Can I backup multiple iOS devices at once?

You can run WiFi backups for multiple devices at once by clicking on the device in the left column, then clicking Back Up, then selecting Close Window and doing the same for each subsequent device. You can then see the progress bar for each backup in the operations menu on the top left as seen here:

How do I keep Apple device monitoring up-to-date?

  • Make sure both iMazing and the Bark Desktop program remain open so that backups and uploads can occur automatically. 
  • We recommend performing backups daily, but understand life gets in the way sometimes, so if you miss a day or a few due to a vacation or another busy time, rest assured we'll catch that old activity in the analysis (up to weeks back!)
  • Click "Update" whenever prompted by iMazing and the Bark Desktop program that a new update is available. Restart your computer to properly apply the update. See here for more information.

Not tech-savvy or run into a weird error and need help?

No worries! Bark Support is committed to helping every step of the way. 

Please email help@bark.us or schedule a call with us at calendly.com/bark-us/barksupport !


Note If you are having trouble with iMazing not recognizing the devices over WiFi, try the troubleshooting options in this article.

If you enabled encryption on your backups, or are receiving an error that you did, disable encryption here.

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