How to Set Up Screen Time on Android


To learn more about Bark's Screen Time & Web Filtering see here.

Watch this video to learn set up screen time & web filtering on an Android device. If you'd like some additional tips — or if the video doesn't play — follow the step-by-step instructions written below.

STEP 1: Grab hold of your child's Android device.

STEP 2: Open the web browser app, which is most commonly the Chrome app, and type in the following:

STEP 3: Tap on Download on that page, as indicated below in red.


NOTE: If prompted, tap allow on this prompt in order to save the Bark app to your child's Android device, as seen below:

STEP 4: Wait for the download of the app to complete, and then tap Open, as seen below:

NOTE: if you don't see an option to open the bark-for-kids.apk file after the download completes, you can find it in the web browser's Downloads page or a My Files app. An example of Samsung's My Files app is seen below:

STEP 5: Tap Settings to Enable Install Unknown Apps or Sources

After opening or attempting to install the file, a security prompt will likely appear, warning you about installing apps from "unknown sources." Bark is not an unknown source, so don't worry. (What are apps from unknown sources?)

  • Tap Settings on the prompt below:
  • Toggle on Downloads from Unknown Sources (or something similar that contains "Unknown Sources"), as indicated below:

A Quick Note About Family Link:

  • Are you using Family Link presently? If so, see here for additional instructions on enabling "Apps from Unknown Sources" from your parent Family Link app. 
  • Don't have Family Link and want to learn more? Click here for information on this free tool.

NOTE: The following is an example of the Unknown Sources option under Android Settings. If you're having trouble finding the setting on your child's device, we recommend just searching for "unknown" in your child's Android Settings app and look for "Install unknown apps," as seen below:

  • After enabling Apps from Unknown Sources on your child's device (and if applicable, on your Family Link parent app), select the back navigation button to continue with the installation of the Bark for Kids app.
  • Open the bark-for-Kids.apk file again, and now you should be able to tap Install.

You have now installed the Bark for Kids app! For future updates, you will have to follow this process for getting the Bark for Kids app updated.

STEP 6: Open the Bark for Kids app.

Look for the Bark for Kids app on the device's home screen or App Drawer with this icon:

STEP 7: Enter your parent credentials and tap Get Started.

STEP 8: Follow the on-screen instructions to allow permissions.

You will see several screens that will ask for permission to monitor your child's device.

  • Select the child's name that uses this Android device or select Add Another Child to add a new child to your Bark account.

    NOTE: If it's a shared device, consider adding a child named "Family Tablet" for example.
  • If your Bark subscription plan includes content monitoring, you will see some additional permissions prompts about SMS, Browsing History, and more. Make sure to Allow those prompts. See here for more information.
  • If your child's device is on Android version 10, you will be prompted to turn off Private DNS in Settings. When prompted, tap Open Settings:
  • Then, tap Advanced > tap Private DNS > Turn Off:
  • Tap the Home button to return to the Home screen and apps. 
  • Open the Bark for Kids app. You will see this prompt about installing a VPN > tap OK.
  • NOTE: You will know that the web filtering is set up when you see a persistent key icon on the top right of the child's device:

STEP 9: Select Open Settings when prompted.

STEP 10: Tap Bark under the Services or Installed Services section in Accessibility.

STEP 11: Within the Bark menu that appears, toggle the switch for Bark to On.

STEP 12: Press OK on the following prompt.

STEP 13: Tap the Check-In button.
This will help you request Check-Ins from your child. For more information on the Check-Ins feature, see here.

  • When asked about enabling Location Services, tap Allow.
  • Then, tap the Check-In button again, and this time, it will actually be able to send you your child's location via email, text, and/or app notification.

STEP 14: If you're on a subscription plan that includes content monitoring, go ahead and tap the Settings gear icon > then tap Test Monitoring.

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.

STEP 15: Open the Chrome app.

Ensure that Secure DNS is turned off in the Chrome app of your child's device

  • On Chrome, tap the 3-line menu > Settings > Privacy > Use secure DNS > set the slider to Off.
secure_dns_2.jpg secure_dns_3.jpg secure_dns_1.jpg

Now you can tap the Home button on your child's device and give it back to them. 

Last step: Set your time zone in your parent/guardian dashboard.

Navigate to your dashboard, select Account Settings from the dropdown menu on the top right, and set/verify your time zone:

Now you're done!

From your Bark dashboard, you will now see the device has been associated with your child.

NOTE: Please allow some time for the web filter to sync up with your child's device web browsing for the first time. Web activity gets cached or queued and this is why it can take some time for the web filtering to get settled on your child's device.

Best Practices

Consider talking to your child about Bark and why the Bark Kids app needs to remain installed. We also have added uninstall protection to the Bark for Kids app. The child app can be uninstalled with your Bark parent password.

Don't worry, if somehow the app stops working or is deleted, we'll notify you via email, text, and/or the parent app.

Managing Screen Time & Web Filtering Rules

Manage web filters, block apps, and more from your Bark dashboard. Click here for more information: Set Rules & Limits


Need additional assistance?

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