This article discusses troubleshooting solutions for issues encountered while using Bark's Screen Time and Web Filtering on your child's Android or iOS device.

Examples of issues covered in this article are:
Why is it blocking this site? How do I know web filtering is working? What do I do if I receive a notice that Screen Time isn't working?

For troubleshooting solutions for content monitoring, check out these articles instead:

FAQs

1. How do I set up my child's device with Screen Time and Web Filtering?

Below are guides for setting up Bark's Screen Time and Web Filtering on your child's iOS or Android device:

2. How do I set Bedtime, block sites & apps, filter web browsing, and adjust rules?

Below is a guide for managing your limits and rules for your children's devices:

3. Why is it blocking this site?

Let's figure it out! You can find out this information by navigating to your Screen Time page on your dashboard. Then, click on the child's name that is experiencing the block. Lastly, click on Recently blocked activity.

This page will display the latest few hours worth of blocked web browsing during non-Bedtime hours. Click on the gear icon of the site that was blocked and review why it was blocked.

After clicking the gear icon next to a website, a pop-up appears. You can quickly allow that site by clicking Allow:

If it was blocked because it was miscategorized or uncategorized, then go ahead and also provide us feedback on what you think it should be categorized:

4. What do I do if I have received a notification that Screen Time or Device Protection is not working?

The good news, it's an easy fix. You can ensure that the Bark VPN is running on your child's device. Universally, you can check this by going to your child's device Settings > Network > VPN > verify that the Bark VPN is connected or turned on. You will also want to verify that the Bark VPN is set as "Connect on Demand" for iOS, and "Always on" for Android.

If for whatever reason it's not connected, you can tap into the Bark Kids app on your child's device and it will attempt to reinstate the VPN connection.

Once the VPN has been reinstated, you should start to see it filter web browsing according to your Screen Time Rules within minutes.

5. How do I set up the child companion app so that it is not uninstalled or deleted?

If your child has an Android device, make sure that the Bark for Kids app is version 3.0.9 or newer. Click here for instructions on how to update your child's Bark Kids app, if applicable.

If your child has an iOS device, you will need to use Apple's Screen Time to do the following:

  • Settings > Screen Time > Content & Privacy Restrictions > iTunes and App Store Purchases > Deleting Apps > Don’t Allow

    NOTE: If you haven’t set up iOS Screen Time, see here for instructions.

6. What do I do if I get invalid password every time I go to log into the child app?

There's several strategies you can employ:

  • Make sure you still use that password for your Bark account by logging in to bark.us on a parental device.
  • Verify you’re using the proper capitalization.
  • Type your password into a note or somewhere where you can actually see what you're typing on your child's device. Then, copy and paste it into the password field.
  • Reset your password for your Bark account and try again.

7. It's blocking everything! Why?

We're sorry to hear that! We'll get you all fixed up.

If you just set up the child companion app on your child's device, it may be settling in and resolving all of the background web activity on the device. Give it a little bit of time.

Otherwise, if after 15 minutes you're still experiencing that issue, it could be that you have Paused the child's device or it may be under Bedtime Rules. Pausing it or putting it on Bedtime will block access to all internet activity on the device. You can re-enable internet access in your Screen Time Settings.

NOTE: Please allow some minutes for it to catch up after re-enabling internet access.

If still no luck, try restarting your child's device. It can help in clearing out the temporary cache of web activity that builds up over time.

You may also wish to uninstall and reinstall the child app to ensure you have the latest version installed.

Lastly, if you're still experiencing the issue, you may need to check that it's not some other web filter you have in place. We recommend only using one web filter on a child's device at a time so that it's easier to manage rules and limits.

8. Bedtime Rules are being enforced early or late! How do I fix this?

This is usually indicative of the wrong time zone being set in your Bark Account Settings. It's an easy fix! Click here for steps on how to take care of it.

9. It's not blocking anything it should be blocking! What do I do?

Verify that you have set the correct rules and limits for your children in your Bark Screen Time Settings.

Also, check for updates to the child companion app on your child's device.

Then, look to see that the Bark VPN is installed and running on your child's device. Universally, you can check this by going to your child's device Settings > Network > VPN > verify that the Bark VPN is connected or turned on.

If for whatever reason it's not connected, you can tap into the child app on your child's device and it will attempt to reinstate the VPN connection.

Once the VPN has been reinstated, you should start to see it filter web browsing according to your Screen Time Rules within minutes.

If it's still not doing what it needs to and your child's device is an Android, ensure that Private DNS is turned off in your child's network settings.

  • Settings > Network > Advanced > tap Private DNS > Turn Off:

If it's only filtering over Wi-Fi and your child's device is a cellular iOS device, ensure that Cellular Data is enabled for Bark Kids:

NOTE: If you'd like to prevent your child from turning off Cellular Data for the Bark Kids app on their iOS device, you can use Apple Screen Time to do so! Go to Settings > Screen Time > Content and Privacy Restrictions > Cellular Data > Don't Allow.

10. My child's iOS device is reporting that the Bark Kids app is using a lot of cellular data. Is this normal?

Because the child companion app is a filter or a gatekeeper to your child's web activity, in some reporting apps like Apple Screen Time, they may report all cellular data traffic used on the device as being used by the Bark Kids app. This is not quite accurate, since your child was using their favorite apps and games but the Bark Kids app was filtering their web activity, so the reporting app thinks the cellular data use all came from Bark Kids.

11. I have a limited cellular data plan. Is there a way I can prevent Bark from using cellular data to monitor?

If your child's device is an Android, and your family is on a limited cellular data plan, you can elect to turn on a setting that prevents Bark Kids from using any cellular data.

Keep in mind that this means it will be longer before you receive alerts on your child's Android activities, since the device will wait until it's connected to Wi-Fi to update Bark's servers on your child's activities.

To enable this setting, open the Bark Kids app on your child's Android > tap on the bottom right gear icon > toggle on Upload over Wi-Fi Only.

Need additional assistance?

Bark Support is here to help! Reach out to us and we'll be happy to assist.

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