Bark Desktop App Failing During "Backing Up" Phase


This article discusses solutions for when your Bark Desktop App is failing during the backing up phase. The easiest way to tell if the Bark Desktop App is in the backing up phase is by the symbol to the right of the device: it's a spinning wheel

During this phase, Bark is making copies of the texts, Chrome browsing, notes, photos, videos, and list of installed apps of your child's iOS device at that time and saving the file to your computer. Subsequent backups will automatically delete the old backup file(s), saving you storage space.

This is what a normal backup phase should look like before it proceeds to the upload phase:

The most common form(s) of an issue during the backup phase:

  • Your child's iOS device is found in the Bark Desktop App either via Wi-Fi or via USB, but at the beginning, middle, or end of a backup it generates an error.

Troubleshooting Backup Issues

The solutions for backup issues can be found below!

Running into an error with the initial backup?

Try putting your child's iOS device on Airplane Mode

Did your computer turn off or go to sleep?

The backups cannot complete automatically if your computer is off or asleep. Below you will find instructions on adjusting your computer's sleep settings to ensure you're giving the Bark Desktop App ample opportunity to back up and upload your child's iOS device(s) for analysis!

If backing up over Wi-Fi, did your child's device leave the Wi-Fi network or the home?

The backups cannot complete automatically if your child's device is no longer connected to the same Wi-Fi network as your computer.

If your child's device is still on the same Wi-Fi network, let's make sure the Bark Desktop App is recognizing your child's device over Wi-Fi. Then, click Retry on the Bark Desktop App or force a backup!

The Bark Desktop App is set to perform automatic wireless backups whenever your child's device is home and it's been longer than 6 hours since the last backup of your child's iOS device. If you miss a day or a few due to a busy time, don't worry, Bark can catch up on the next backup by going up to 60 days back in analysis!

Have the devices and operating systems been updated recently?

How to check for software updates on an iPhone, iPad, or iPod:

  • Go to Settings > General > Software Update > Download and Install.
  • Restart the device if the update doesn't initiate it automatically.
  • While you’re checking for updates, does the software version listed say it is a “Beta” version? At this time, Bark is not compatible with Beta versions of iOS. Here is information on removing Beta software versions from your child’s iOS device, if applicable: Remove Beta software from iPhone or iPad

How to check for updates on a Windows computer: Update Windows

  • Before you update, we recommend that you back up your PC. Learn how to back up your PC.
  • After updating the Windows software, click Retry on the Bark Desktop App or force a backup!
    NOTE: Windows may say that you're "All set", yet if you manually check for updates there are indeed some available. Even after they install, if you go back and manually check, there may be more available. It's a vicious, strange cycle - but these updates often contain necessary components for the iOS devices to speak wirelessly with Windows. Be certain to restart your PC after the updates.

How to check for updates on a Mac: Update Mac

How to check for updates to iTunes: Update iTunes

  • After updating iTunes, click Retry on the Bark Desktop App or force a backup!
    NOTE: iTunes is not available for newer versions of Mac. Updating the MacOS to the latest version is the best way to update Apple Mobile Device Drivers.

Is there enough storage on your computer or child's iOS device?

This stage of the process could be affected by a lack of storage on your computer or on your child's device. 

Checking available storage on the computer:

If your child's device has a lot of messages and pictures, it may have a large backup file. 

To check to see how large your child's backup file may be, you may try plugging it into your computer, and checking how big their backup files are via iTunes:

You can then compare this backup file size to the available space on your computer. You will want to make sure you have more space on your computer than the size of the backup file for each of your child's iOS devices.


To check how much available space is on your Windows computer:

  • Click the Start button on the bottom left of the screen > Settings > System > Storage.


To check how much available space is on your Mac:

  • Click on the Apple logo on the top left of your screen > About this Mac > Storage tab. 

The good news is, Bark only ever keeps one backup file per device on your hard drive after it creates a new backup.

NOTE: There is a short moment when the old backup and new backup files for that device and both are on the hard drive before the old backup is deleted automatically.

Checking available storage on your child's iOS device:

If your child's device has little free space left (less than 5%), it will take much longer to back it up. Free some space on your child's device, then try again.

There's a couple of options to freeing up space on your child's device: you can ask your kids to take some of the photos and videos on their device into an online storage system like iCloud, Google Drive, Dropbox, or another location, like your computer, a USB thumb-drive, or an external hard drive. (Bark is able to monitor pictures and videos saved to Dropbox and Google Drive by connecting them to Bark!)

In addition, text messages can include photos, videos (and GIFs, so many GIFs) -- all of which take up storage. You can set old (meaning untouched) messages to "auto-delete" after 1 year and remove all that data. Obviously, monitoring continues on new messages as normal. To do this on the child's iOS device:

  1. In the Settings app, scroll down to Messages and tap it.
  2. Under Message History, tap where it says Keep Messages.
  3. There are three options: 30 Days, 1 Year, and Forever. Choose the first or second option.
  4. Confirm that you want to delete the old messages and attachments by tapping the Delete button.

You can also use iTunes to see what size their backups are as you're managing your storage on the phones and your computer:

Do you have iTunes open at the same time as the Bark Desktop App?

iTunes may be trying to independently perform a backup and is thus conflicting with the Bark Desktop App's ability to perform a backup. 

While you may have needed to update iTunes in order for Bark to properly communicate with the iOS device, you may now close out of iTunes to ensure the two programs don't conflict!

Do you have iMazing open at the same time as the Bark Desktop App?

You can now safely uninstall iMazing without any impact on your child's iOS device monitoring, since we've updated our Bark Desktop App to be able to do the work that iMazing used to do! 

Please follow our upgrading instructions on your Windows or Mac computer to get set up with the new version. 

Still no luck?

Send us diagnostics by following the instructions below, and reach out to Bark Support!