In this article, we'll be walking you through setting up an Apple device for monitoring.

Apple's stringent security measures require us to generate regular backups that act as snapshots of the device for the analysis of texts, saved photos/videos, notes, 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, notes, 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 — this means your child can access them on their phone, another person's phone, or on a computer.

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 that was used to access the accounts (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 — backups will occur over Wi-Fi afterwards, but more on this later).
  4. Internet access.

I'm ready. Let's do this!

Watch this video to learn how to set up an iOS device for monitoring on Windows. If you'd like some additional tips — or if the video doesn't play — follow the step-by-step instructions written below.

STEP 1: Download the Bark Desktop App

You can download it here!

STEP 2: Open the file to install the application

The file will be found in your Downloads or Desktop and will be named "Bark."

STEP 3: Open the Bark Desktop App 

Not opening? Download or update iTunes to update your PC's Apple drivers.

STEP 4: Log in with your parent credentials

STEP 5:  Plug your child's iOS device into the computer

You will see the following screen, and you will want to click Check for Devices.

STEP 6: Tap "Trust" on your child's iOS device when prompted

STEP 7: Associate the recognized device with the appropriate child

The backup will begin after you select your child's name in the drop-down menu. 

After some time, you'll see a percentage indicator in small text below.

STEP 8: Wait for Backup and Upload to complete

Please make sure your computer stays ON and connected to the internet until you see a message that says, "All set!" as seen below:

This one may take the longest out of all the backups you perform. Subsequent backups will automatically delete the old backup files, saving you storage space.

Run into an error here? This could have happened if your internet cut out during the upload. If the internet is not the issue, try changing your child's iOS device to airplane mode and trying the backup again. If it persists, check out this article or reach out to Bark Support!

STEP 9: Check your Sleep/Wake settings for your PC

We recommend having the computer on and connected to the internet during a 12-hour window during the day so that you get more frequent analyses of your children's iOS devices, but understand every family is different. The Bark Desktop Application will be able to catch up and analyze the iOS devices whenever it detects them over the Wi-Fi again and it's been longer than 6 hours since the latest backup.

To look over and adjust your sleep settings on your computer, go to your System Settings > Power Options, and set what works best for you and your family. For more information and suggestions on this, check out this article.

STEP 10: Check that the iOS device is recognized over Wi-Fi

After the backup completes, let's check to see if the phone is recognized by the Bark Desktop App wirelessly! 

To do so, unplug the device, ensure your child's device is connected to the same Wi-Fi as the computer, and click Check for Devices. 

It will then say "Scanning for devices" for some time as it checks for your child's device over the Wi-Fi network.

After it is done scanning, what we want to see is the Wi-Fi symbol on the top left indicating it is recognizing the device over Wi-Fi, as seen below:

Don't see the Wi-Fi symbol? Check out our frequent troubleshooting solutions here!

All done!

Your child's device is now connected to Bark and is being monitored whenever your child is home and connected to the same Wi-Fi network as the computer. You will begin receiving notifications about potential issues from the Apple device's texts (including most deleted ones!), saved photo/video, notes, and web browsing.

The program is set to run an automatic backup of the device when it detects it has been longer than 6 hours since the last analysis, as long as your child's iOS device is home and connected to the same network as the computer.

We understand that 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 whenever you run a backup again (up to weeks back!).

You can also "force a backup" to occur at your convenience! See below for more information.

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

  • Ensure your child is connected to the same Wi-Fi network as the computer whenever they are home. You will see the Wi-Fi logo on the top left indicating it is recognizing the device over Wi-Fi, as seen below:
  • If your computer is a laptop, make sure you open it and it's turned on at some point during the day while your child is home and connected to the same Wi-Fi network.
  • Have your computer powered on and awake for hours at a time, so that it has the opportunity to run the backups over Wi-Fi when your child is home and connected to the same network. For recommendations for doing this on your Windows computer, click here!
  • Click "Update" whenever prompted to do so by the Bark Desktop program. Restart your computer to properly apply the update. See here for more information.
  • Force a backup to occur whenever you want! To do this, click the ^ on your bottom taskbar, right-click the Bark logo, and select "Attempt Backup Now."
  • Unsure if your backups have been received by Bark? Check your parent dashboard! Scroll down to the child's connected accounts/devices and look at the "Last Analyzed" date next to the Apple logo:

Run into a weird error or just need help?

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

Please email or schedule a call with us at !


Note: If the Bark Desktop App opens as a blank white window, you may have to update your Apple Drivers. The easiest way to do so is by downloading iTunes.

Note: If you see the following message, you can uninstall iMazing and follow the steps here.

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