There are many great solutions available to parents from 3rd parties to set restrictions and limits on Apple iOS devices. 

In a recent update, Apple added some features to help parents with devices which we wanted to make you aware of. This update is called iOS 12. To check to see if your device has, or can be updated to iOS 12, please go to:

Settings>General>Software Update

Note: iOS 12 is compatible with these devices: 

iPhone models supporting iOS 12

  • iPhone X
  • iPhone 8
  • iPhone 8 Plus
  • iPhone 7
  • iPhone 7 Plus
  • iPhone 6s
  • iPhone 6s Plus
  • iPhone 6
  • iPhone 6 Plus
  • iPhone SE
  • iPhone 5s

iPad models supporting iOS 12

  • 12.9-inch iPad Pro 2nd generation
  • 12.9-inch iPad Pro 1st generation
  • 10.5-inch iPad Pro
  • 9.7-inch iPad Pro
  • 9.7-inch iPad 6th generation (2018)
  • iPad 5th generation (2017)
  • iPad Air 2
  • iPad Air
  • iPad mini 4
  • iPad mini 3
  • iPad mini 2

iPod Touch models supporting iOS 12

  • iPod touch 6th generation

Get the most out of this update!

Overview of Setup:

  1. Getting started with Apple Family Sharing
  2. Setting up Screen Time content and privacy controls
  3. Taking advantage of the new controls suite

Step 1 - Set up your children in Family Sharing

In order to utilize Apple's iOS 12 update to parental controls, you'll need to have a child set up. If your child is already set up, please skip this step.

To do this, you'll need to enable Family Sharing.
You are able to add more than one parent, and each would serve as the privilege holder and have control of these settings from their respective devices -- as long as the parent Apple IDs are linked.

***If you need to change / update your child's birthday, you can find instructions on that here:***

Creating your Family Sharing Account:

Start by accessing Settings on the primary parent device (iPhone or iPad). From here, you'll want to tap 'Set up Family Sharing'.

You're able to add up to 6 children with Family Sharing.

There will be two options that appear: Add Child and Create a Child Account:

NOTE: Parents won't be able to add a child that is 18 years or older.

Once the child is added, you'll move to the next step, which will guide you into Setting up Screen Time

Step 2 - Setting up Screen Time Content & Privacy Controls

When you progress to 'Screen Time' you'll be able to see the control suite that the new iOS upgrade offers.

You'll want to focus on the two middle items here: Downtime & App Limits and Content & Privacy Restrictions.

Start by selecting Downtime & App Limits.


This feature allows a parent to decide how long a child can use a phone as determined by the set timeframe by the parent.

App Limits

This feature allows a parent to set up time limits on application usage that will make the apps inaccessible outside of the timeframe the parent sets. The child can request permission for more time.

Important note: A parent will only be able to restrict apps based on categories (not specific applications) that are designated by Apple.

The available categories include: 

-All apps & categories
-Social Networking
-Reading & Reference
-Health & Fitness
-Health & Fitness

A parent is also able to restrict groups of categories (i.e. Social Networking & Games at the same time) or every app on the device.

A parent will be able to set custom time limits once a child starts using apps. The parent will be able to see the apps populate here once the child begins to use the apps:

Here is a sample of what that field will look like once apps fill in. The parent will click the hourglass on the right hand side to customize.

Next, you can set Content & Privacy.

Content & Privacy

This feature will allow parents to both restrict the child from viewing mature or explicit content within native Apple apps such as iTunes, the App Store, Websites, and Music.
The parent will also be able to set permissions to restrict the child from changing privacy settings on the iOS device.

***After selecting "Continue," the Parent will be required to set a passcode to disable Screen Time -- this is for the Parents use only!***

If you have already set a passcode, you'll see an option to change or remove it at the bottom of the main Screen Time page (Settings > Screen Time)

Exploring the Content & Privacy Restrictions Page

You will find the following options:

A. Restricting what can be purchased from iTunes and the App store
B. Restricting which Apple Apps (i.e. Mail, Safari, Facetime, Camera, ect.) can be used.
C. Content Restrictions for the entire device (Web Content, Books, Music, Apps, TV Shows, Game Center).

A)  iTunes & App Store Purchases:

A parent can restrict the ability of the child to install, delete or make in-app purchases here, or require a password to perform installs / deletes / purchases:

B) Allowed Apps:

Restrict which Apple Apps (i.e. Mail, Safari, Facetime, Camera, etc.) can be used by the child.

C)  Content Restrictions

This will give the parent the ability to make changes on the content that can be accessed on the device. Generally speaking, this feature will make sure your child won't be able to access explicit content such as movies / TV shows over a certain rating (i.e PG, PG-13, R, etc.), explicit Music, books, or age-appropriate apps by grouping (4+, 9+, 12+, etc.), explicit web content via Safari, or explicit language.
A parent can also restrict Siri and select Game Center features here:

Need additional assistance?

The Bark support team is always available to help you navigate through these iOS 12 features or any technical issue you may run into while keeping your kids safe online with Bark.

We can be contacted at, or scheduled for a phone call at

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