This article discusses troubleshooting solutions for issues encountered while monitoring Android devices with the Bark for Kids app.

For troubleshooting solutions for other platforms, check out these articles instead:

Background

You may be seeing this notice on your dashboard:

Some Android devices can experience issues with the Accessibility feature turning itself off automatically or the malfunctioning of apps due to battery optimization.

There are a couple of adjustments you can make to your child's Android device settings to ensure this doesn't occur in the future:

STEP 1: Disable Battery Optimization for the Bark for Kids app (see instructions below).

STEP 2: Enable Accessibility Services for Bark (see instructions here).

Disabling Battery Optimization

Watch this video to learn how to adjust Battery Optimization on Android 9. If you'd like some additional tips — or if the video doesn't play — follow the step-by-step instructions written below.

Battery optimization settings exist on every device but where they are located on the device can vary based on the phone model and Android version. 

To find out what Android version your child's device is using, navigate to Settings > About Phone > Android version.

For Android 9.0 and later (General)

These are typically most Android phones and tablets made within the last year.

Locate your child's device and follow these steps:  

  • Settings > Apps > Bark > Battery > Optimize Battery Usage > tap on Apps not optimized to instead select All. Then, find Bark, and tap on the slider so that it disables battery optimization for the Bark for Kids app.
  • There may be another special option in Settings > Apps > Bark > Advanced > Battery > Background restrictions or Background limitations that you also want to disable to prevent malfunctioning of the Bark for Kids app.
  • You may also check if the default text-to-speech engine is set to Google in Settings > Accessibility > Text-to-speech > change to Google.

For Android 6.0 - 8.1 (General)

These are typically most Android phones and tablets (including Palm devices) made within the last 4 years.

Locate your child's device and follow these steps:  

  • Settings > Battery > select Optimized Apps > tap on All Apps from the drop-down list > select Bark > choose Don't Optimize.
    NOTE: You may see a message that says "May drain your battery more quickly." Bark will use a little more battery this way but, don't worry, it's very little and almost unnoticeable.
  • There may be another special option in Settings > Apps > Bark > Advanced > Battery > Background limitations that you also want to disable to prevent malfunctioning of the Bark for Kids app.
  • You may also check if the default text-to-speech engine is set to Google in Settings > Apps > Default Applications > Phone Assistance App > change to Google. The alternate location in may be Settings > Accessibility > Text-to-speech > change to Google.

For Specific Manufacturers

Should the above not work, please see instructions for specific devices below:

  • Settings adjustments on Huawei
  • Settings adjustments on Nokia
  • Settings adjustments on OnePlus
  • Settings adjustments on Samsung
  • Settings adjustments on Sony

Other related apps

Have Verizon? We have found that there is an app that may come built-in with Verizon devices called Verizon Security and Privacy that may affect Bark's monitoring frequency, so try uninstalling, removing, or disabling the Verizon Security and Privacy app.

Have a Task Manager installed? It is possible that you might have a task manager that automatically closes applications periodically. If you do, please add Bark to the whitelist (apps that are excluded from being automatically closed) of the application. If the app does not have a whitelist, consider uninstalling it.

For next steps to re-enable Accessibility, check out this article.

Other troubleshooting solutions & FAQs

1. How do I know that monitoring is working?

  • Log in to your Bark dashboard.
  • Scroll down to the green Android robot under your child.
  • The "Last Analyzed" date will indicate the last time we've detected activities on your child's Android:
  • If based on the analysis time, you find that you'd like to check that the app is working properly on your child's Android, open the Bark for Kids app on your child's device, and tap the settings icon:

Descriptions of settings:

  • Upload over Wi-Fi only: If your child's Android device needs to conserve cellular data use, then you may consider turning on the setting of "Upload over Wi-Fi only." Otherwise, leave disabled.
  • Test monitoring: If you want to make sure the Android device monitoring is set up properly, tap on "Test monitoring." A message will then pop up letting you know if it looks good!
  • Check for updates: Tap on this option to see if there's an update to the Bark for Kids app. Updates will ensure your child's device monitoring is not interrupted.
  • NOTE: Do NOT logout of the Bark for Kids app, or monitoring will be impacted.

2. I'm having issues installing the Bark for Kids app on my child's Android.

3. Error found when installing the Bark for Chrome extension on my child's Android.

  • When installed on your child's Android, the Bark for Kids app automatically monitors the Chrome, Firefox, and Samsung web browsers (including incognito browsing mode). Thus, you do NOT need to install the Chrome Extension on your child's Android — the Chrome Extension is only for monitoring Chrome on a Windows, Mac, or Chromebook computer.

4. Bark is "screencasting" or "screen recording" — is this normal?

  • This is normal! Monitored devices on Android version 10 may see a screencast symbol on the top right of their screen:
  • This is because Google has adjusted their security policies so that the monitoring technology that services like Bark use now display this symbol to indicate that the device has a monitoring app running. 
  • The symbol will not always be present, so don't worry — it will just show whenever it's monitoring social media apps on the list of platforms we monitor for Android.

Got stuck or just need help?

Bark Support is here for you! Please reach out to us.

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