In order for Bark to monitor your child's phone itself (as opposed to social media activity like Facebook or Instagram) for things like texts, web browsing, notes, voice memos, and the saved photos/videos, you will need our Bark computer application for Windows and Mac.
This is because of Apple's stringent security on their devices, which prevents third-party mobile apps (not just Bark) from monitoring device activities.
Once set up, the Bark Desktop App will analyze your child's device activity for potential issues like cyberbullying, sexual content, suicidal ideation, and more.
The Bark Desktop App does this by creating a backup, which is a copy of the device activities at the time. These backups take snapshots of everything on the device (those previously mentioned texts and photos, for example) so that they can be analyzed by Bark.
After the first-time setup, activities will be backed up wirelessly and automatically over Wi-Fi whenever your child and their devices are home.
Average time to set up: 15 minutes per device.
Let's get started!
What kind of computer will you be using?
What about social media?
On your Bark dashboard, under Add Account, you can connect your child's email and social media accounts for monitoring with your child's login credentials. These will be monitored at the account-level and in real-time. This means that if your child engages in worrisome activity on those platforms on an unmonitored device — like their friend's phone — Bark will still alert you!
What if my child doesn't have email or social media?
Your child's Apple ID email is a perfect email to connect for monitoring, since Bark can alert you if a child creates new accounts using that email address, as well as alert on worrisome content in emails sent and received to that email address.
Often, this is an iCloud email address, which has unique connecting steps:
Read our connection instructions for iCloud email here!
If it's a different type of email address, like Gmail or Yahoo, check out the connection instructions below:
Read our connection instructions for other emails here!
Is this related to iCloud backups?
Because of Apple's security over their iCloud system, we do not monitor your child's iOS device from iCloud backups. Instead, we monitor iPhones, iPads, and iPods with the help of the Bark Desktop App that you will be installing on a Windows or Mac computer. See the buttons above for instructions on installing the Bark Desktop App on your home computer!
Is my child's iOS device compatible with Bark?
Bark is able to monitor iOS devices with Apple's iOS 11 or later.
Unsure which version your child's device is on?
- Tap on their Settings app > General > Software Update.
- If the version is 11 or later, then Bark can monitor your child's device!
- If it's older than version 11, then we may still be able to monitor the device, but we won't know for sure until you give it a try by following the steps above.
NOTE: At this time, Bark is not compatible with Beta versions of iOS.
Will I have to plug in my child's device to my home computer every time?
No, but you can always do that if it's easier or if you have a slow Wi-Fi day! After the first-time setup, if your child's device is connected to the same Wi-Fi network as the computer, and it's been longer than 6 hours since the last analysis, your child's device will be analyzed wirelessly and automatically. You can also force a backup to occur at any time.
What if my computer is connected via ethernet / CAT5 cable to the router, will it still be able to do wireless analyses of my child's device?
Yes, as long as they are sharing the same internet network (e.g. both connected to a network named SmithFamily), the wireless analyses of your child's device can still take place.
- iPhone or iPad Troubleshooting
- Managing multiple devices in the Bark Desktop App
- What Bark monitors on iPhones, iPads, and iPods
- Set up Screen Time & Web Filtering on iOS
Running into an unexpected error and need some help?
Bark Support is committed to helping every step of the way. Please reach out to us!