Troubleshooting iOS Device Monitoring

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Paola
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This article discusses troubleshooting solutions for issues encountered with monitoring the content of iOS devices via the Bark Desktop App. For example, you may have seen content monitoring with a❗️symbol when reviewing your child's device:

ios_content_monitoring_not_working.png

For troubleshooting on-the-go web filtering or in-home web filtering on iOS, click here.
(What is the difference between web filtering and content monitoring?)

Overview

You can find solutions to the following issues in this article. Click on one to jump right to it:

  1. My child's iOS device is not being recognized when plugged into the computer.
  2. My child's iOS device is not being recognized over Wi-Fi.
  3. My Bark Desktop App is failing during the "backing up" phase.
  4. My Bark Desktop App is failing during the "uploading" phase.
  5. My Bark Desktop App is not responding.
  6. My Bark Desktop App is not opening.
  7. My Bark Desktop App is asking me to download iTunes.
  8. My Bark Desktop App is not displaying my child's name.
  9. My Bark Desktop App shows my child's iOS device is encrypted.
  10. iTunes is not displaying my child's iOS device when plugged into the computer.
  11. iTunes is not displaying my child's iOS device over Wi-Fi.
  12. Un-hide a "hidden device" on the Bark Desktop App.
  13. How do I address issues with on-the-go controls (Screen Time) on my child's iOS device?
  14. How do I know monitoring is working?
  15. How do I keep iOS content monitoring up to date?
  16. What does Bark monitor on iOS devices?
  17. Is this related to iCloud backups?
  18. Is my child's iOS device compatible with Bark?
  19. Will I have to plug in my child's device to my home computer every time?
  20. 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?
  21. What if I have a Chromebook or Linux computer, will that support the Bark Desktop App?
  22. How do I set up Screen Time management for my child's iOS device?

 

Potential Issues & Solutions

1. My child's iOS device is not being recognized when plugged into the computer.

The most common form(s) of this issue:

  • You plug in your child's iOS device into your computer, click on Check for Devices, it scans for devices, and after it stops scanning for devices, that particular iOS device does not display. If it did, it would look like this for each iOS device:
 

The troubleshooting solutions for USB recognition issues can be found here: iOS Device Not Recognized over USB

 

2. My child's iOS device is not being recognized over Wi-Fi.

The most common form(s) of this issue:

  • Your child's iOS device is connected to the same Wi-Fi network as your computer, yet when you click on Check for Devices, it scans for devices, and after it stops scanning for devices, that particular iOS device does not display a Wi-Fi symbol to the left of the device. If it did, it would look like this for each iOS device:
 

The troubleshooting solutions for Wi-Fi recognition issues can be found here: iOS Device Not Recognized over Wi-Fi

 

3. My 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, web 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 files, 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 Uh Oh error.

The troubleshooting solutions for backup issues can be found here: Bark Desktop App Failing During "Backing Up" Phase

 

4. My Bark Desktop App is failing during the "uploading" phase.

The easiest way to tell if the Bark Desktop App is in the uploading phase is by the symbol to the right of the device: it's a cloud.

During this phase, the Bark Desktop App is sending the backup file it has just created for that iOS device to Bark's servers for analysis. When the upload phase completes, a green checkmark is displayed in the place of the cloud icon.

This is what a normal upload phase should look like when it completes successfully:

 

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

  • Your child's iOS device is showing "Backed up [#] minutes ago" but at the beginning, middle, or end of the upload it generates an Uh Oh error. An additional symptom is that on the Bark parent dashboard, the Last Analyzed Date for that iOS device does not match the "Backed up [#] minutes ago" time on the Bark Desktop App. This indicates that though the device was backed up, something happened in trying to upload the backup file to Bark's servers.

The troubleshooting solutions for uploading issues can be found here: Bark Desktop App Failing During "Uploading" Phase

 

5. My Bark Desktop App is not responding.

If the application seems frozen in some way or not responding to your clicks, let's give it a refresh by quitting out of it and re-opening it. 

NOTE: Simply clicking X may not completely close or quit the application, so follow the steps below!

Mac Instructions:

  1. Click the Bark dog at the top by your clock, and select Quit Bark.
  2. Click on Finder, select Applications, and click on Bark to re-open it.

quit_bda_mac.gif

Windows Instructions:

  1. Click the ^ symbol at the bottom by your clock, right-click the Bark dog, and select Exit.
  2. Click on Bark on your desktop or applications list to re-open it.

exit_bda_windows.gif

6. My Bark Desktop App is not opening 

The Bark Desktop App not opening can happen for a number of reasons but the solutions vary based on your computer's operating system.

Mac Instructions:

The Bark Desktop App not opening on Mac can take the following forms:

  • App doesn't open, or opens for a second and immediately disappears.
  • A pop-up saying, "Bark can't be opened because it was not downloaded from the App Store."
  • A pop-up saying, "Bark can't be opened because Apple cannot check it for malicious software."
The troubleshooting solutions for opening Bark on Mac can be found here: Open Bark Desktop App on Mac
 

Windows Instructions:

The Bark Desktop App not opening on Windows can take the following forms:

  • App doesn't open, or opens for a second and immediately disappears.
  • App opens as a blank screen.
  • A pop-up saying, "Your PC's settings only let it install verified apps from the Store."

The solution for opening Bark on Windows requires updating iTunes and updating your Windows software.

 

7. My Bark Desktop App is asking me to download or update iTunes.

When you see the message below, click Download Now to update iTunes to the latest version. Then, restart your computer.

 

If you are still seeing the "Update Required" message on Bark, select the appropriate guide below:

 

8. My Bark Desktop App is not displaying my child's name.

The Bark Desktop App may be displaying Not Monitored rather than your child's name in the Choose child section. 

Click on Not Monitored to select the child's name associated with that particular device, as seen below:

 

If you click on Not Monitored and your child(ren)'s names are not present in the menu that appears, we need to restart the Bark Desktop App.

NOTE: Simply clicking X may not completely close or quit the application, so follow the steps below!

 

Mac Instructions

  1. Click the Bark dog at the top by your clock, and select Quit Bark.
  2. Click on Finder, select Applications, and click on Bark to re-open it.
  3. Click on Not Monitored and select the child's name. The Bark Desktop App will then search for the iOS device via USB or via Wi-Fi and attempt a backup when it finds the device via USB or Wi-Fi.

Windows Instructions

  1. Click the ^ symbol at the bottom by your clock, right-click the Bark dog, and select Exit.
  2. Click on Bark on your desktop or applications list to re-open it.
  3. Click on Not Monitored and select the child's name. The Bark Desktop App will then search for the iOS device via USB or via Wi-Fi and attempt a backup when it finds the device via USB or Wi-Fi.

 

9. My Bark Desktop App shows my child's iOS device is encrypted.

No worries — it's an easy fix on iTunes or your child's device settings! Click here to take care of it: Disable Encryption

 

10. iTunes is not displaying my child's iOS device when plugged into the computer.

When the Bark Desktop App cannot find your child's device over USB, we may need to see if iTunes cannot find the device either. 

If your iTunes doesn't recognize your child's iOS device over USB, follow these steps and try to see if your child's device is found over USB in iTunes after each step.

  1. Make sure that your iOS or iPadOS device is unlocked and on the Home screen.
  2. Check that you have the latest software on your Mac or Windows PC. When using iTunes, make sure you have the latest version.
  3. Make sure that your child's device is turned on.
  4. If you see a Trust this Computer alert, unlock your child's device and tap Trust.
  5. Unplug all USB accessories from your computer except for your child's device. Try each USB port to see if one works. Then try a different Apple USB cable.*
  6. Restart your computer and iPhone, iPad, or iPod.
  7. Try connecting your child's device to another computer. If you have the same issue on another computer, contact Apple Support.

 

11. iTunes is not displaying my child's iOS device over Wi-Fi.

When the Bark Desktop App cannot find your child's device over Wi-Fi, we may need to see if iTunes cannot find the device either. 

If your iTunes doesn't recognize your child's iOS device over Wi-Fi, follow these steps and try to see if your child's device is found over Wi-Fi in iTunes after each step.

  1. Check that you have the latest software on your Mac or Windows PC. When using iTunes, make sure you have the latest version.
  2. Make sure that your child's device is turned on.
  3. Try connecting the device to the computer via USB cable. If you see a Trust this Computer alert, unlock your device and tap Trust. Then, select the phone icon on the top left of iTunes seen below:
  • Scroll down to Options.
  • Select Sync with this iPhone over Wi-Fi, as seen below:
  • Click Apply.
  • Then, click Sync.
  • After it completes, unplug your child's iOS device.
  • Are you still seeing your child's device displayed on the top left of iTunes? If you are, then Bark too should now be able to find your child's iOS device over Wi-Fi! First, quit out of iTunes.
    NOTE: On Mac, you may have to right-click on the iTunes icon in the dock to make sure it's completely quit out.
  • Then, retry a Wi-Fi backup with the Bark Desktop App

 

12. Un-hide a "hidden device" on the Bark Desktop App.

The most common form(s) of this issue:

  • You selected Hide Device on the wrong device and want to undo the mistake.

To fix this, you will Reset Data on the Bark Desktop App by following the applicable guide for your computer below:

 

13. How do I address issues with on-the-go controls (Screen Time) on my child's iOS device?

We've put together this guide to help.

Unsure of the difference between content monitoring and on-the-go controls? See here for more information.

 

14. How do I know monitoring is working?

  • Log in to your Bark dashboard.
  • Select Settings under your child.
  • Tap on Devices and Apps.
  • Find the iOS device and look at the symbols next to Content monitoring:
Screen_Shot_2020-10-27_at_1.05.59_PM.png
  • ✅ means all is well, 🟡 means there's some additional coverage you could set up, and
    ❗️means something is not working / action is required.
    • NOTE: If you see an 🟡 or ❗️ next to content monitoring, verify that Bark did not detect a "duplicate" that you may have to merge into this device.

15. How do I keep iOS content 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 at 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 on how to do this, click here for Mac and click here for Windows.
  • Click "Update" whenever you are prompted by the Bark Desktop program that a new update is available. Restart your computer to properly apply the update. See here for more information.
  • Force a backup to occur whenever you want!
    To do so, click here for more information.
  • Unsure if your backups have been received by Bark?
    Check your dashboard! Find your child's iOS device, click into it, and look at the "Last Analyzed" date under content monitoring:
Screen_Shot_2020-12-16_at_12.00.56_PM.png

 

16. What does Bark monitor on iOS devices?

On iOS devices (ie. iPhone, iPad, and iPod Touch), Bark can monitor texts, iMessages, photos, videos, web browsing, voice memos, Whatsapp messages, Kik messages, and detect the apps installed. If you'd like to see a detailed list of everything Bark can monitor, click here.

 

17. 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.

 

18. 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.

 

19. 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.

If the wireless analyses are not happening as expected, see here for solutions.

 

20. 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. If the wireless analyses are not happening, see here for solutions.

 

21. What if I have a Chromebook or Linux computer, will that support the Bark Desktop App?

Because Chromebook and Linux are different operating systems from Windows and Mac, the Bark Desktop App is unable to be installed on those computers at this time. You can still take advantage of monitoring email, social media, and screen time management!

 

22. How do I set up Screen Time management for my child's iOS device?

You will download the Bark Kids app onto your child's iPhone, iPad, or iPod Touch for screen time & web filtering. For instructions, click here: Set up Screen Time on iOS
NOTE: The Bark Kids app only does web filtering & screen time -- it does not monitor text messages. The Bark Desktop App is what allows you to monitor text messages and more on iOS devices.

 

Tried a troubleshooting solution and still no luck?

Send us diagnostics by following the instructions below, and reach out to Bark Support! Screenshots and additional information always help.