Troubleshooting Screen Time & Web Filtering

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Paola
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This article discusses troubleshooting solutions for issues encountered with screen time, on-the-go web filtering, or in-home web filtering. For example, you may have seen on-the-go controls with a❗️symbol when reviewing your child's device:

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

Overview

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

  1. Background on Screen Time & Web Filtering (on-the-go and in-home controls)
  2. Difference between "content monitoring" and "Screen Time & Web Filtering"
  3. Setting up Screen Time & Web Filtering
  4. Schedule screen time, block sites & apps, filter web browsing, and adjust rules
  5. How do I know Screen Time & Web Filtering is working?
  6. How do I test Screen Time & Web Filtering rules?
  7. Why is Bark blocking this app or site?
  8. Why is Bark allowing this app or site?
  9. Notification that on-the-go controls are not working
  10. Notification that in-home controls are not working
  11. Continue to receive a notification that on-the-go controls are manually disabled and re-enabled
  12. Set up uninstall protection
  13. Everything is blocked
  14. The schedule being enforced early or late
  15. Can I use more than one VPN at a time?
  16. Invalid password logging into the child app
  17. Filtering rules not working on Amazon Fire
  18. On iOS, does the Bark Kids app use a lot of cellular data?
  19. On iOS, does the Bark Kids app use a lot of battery life?
  20. Why is Bark blocking Youtube videos?

FAQs

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:

Bark also offers web filtering for any device connected to your home Wi-Fi (like computers, Amazon Fire tablets, gaming consoles, etc.) if you purchase and activate Bark Home. If you have Bark Home activated, then you can set up devices with web filtering by finding them in your Unmanaged Devices list and assigning them to a profile.

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

Here is a guide for managing your limits and rules for your children's devices: Managing Screen Time Rules

How do I know Screen Time & Web Filtering is working?

To verify that web filtering is working on your family's devices, click “Settings” under a profile. Then, select “Devices and Apps” to review the status of the "on-the-go controls" or "in-home controls" for a particular device.

❗️  means action is required / something is not working properly. Click on it to learn more.

🟡  means you could set up some additional coverage if you wanted to.

✅  means that part is working.

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If you see a 🟡 or a ❗️next to content monitoring or parental controls, verify that Bark did not detect a "duplicate" that you may have to merge into this device. If you've verified this is the only device, then click here for steps on how to set up Screen Time & Web Filtering on your child's device.

Why is it blocking this app / site?

Let's figure it out! You can find out this information by scrolling down to a child > click on Settings: 

Then, select Parental Controls > Screen Time Schedule > select Rules > click on Exceptions > scroll down to Recently Blocked Activity. You can quickly allow that site by clicking Allow, if applicable:

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You can also click on More info next to an entry to review why it was blocked.

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If it was blocked because it was miscategorized or uncategorized, then go ahead and click "where you think it belongs" to provide us feedback:

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What do I do if I have received a notification that Screen Time (on-the-go controls) are not working?

The good news, it's an easy fix. Have the child open the Bark Kids app on their device. The Bark VPN will automatically reconnect (if it was disconnected) when you do this. The Bark VPN is what allows us to enforce screen time and web filtering on-the-go.

Alternatively, you can check that the Bark VPN is enabled by going to your child's device Settings > Network > VPN > verify that the Bark VPN is connected or turned on. You may also want to verify that the Bark VPN is set as "Connect on Demand" for iOS, and "Always on" for Android.

In this location of Settings, you can also check to see if there is a third-party VPN installed. We recommend only using Bark's VPN or you may run into issues with screen time & web filtering.

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

If you want changes to take place more quickly, you may wish to restart the device.

You can then follow these steps to verify on-the-go controls have been reinstated.

What do I do if I have received a notification that Bark Home (in-home controls) are not working?

  • Verify that the Bark Home power cord is plugged into a working source of electricity.
  • Verify that the Bark Home ethernet cord is plugged into the LAN1 port of your home router.
  • Check with your Internet Service Provider to see if there is an internet outage in your area.
  • Look at the LED lights on the Bark Home for further insight into the issue.

What do I do if I continue to receive a notification that Screen Time (on-the-go controls) have been manually disabled and re-enabled?

*NOTE: If your child's iOS device can only update to iOS 12.5, then you may have noticed that the alert about Screen Time being manually disabled may be happening even if the device is locked and not in use. If this applies to your child's iOS device, follow these steps: 

  • On your child's iOS device, go to Settings > scroll down to Bark Kids > tap on Background App Refresh > turn off.
  • On your child's iOS device, go to Settings > scroll down to Bark Kids > tap on Notifications > tap on Lockscreen to disable lockscreen notifications for Bark Kids.

How do I set up the child 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.

The Bark Kids app is blocking everything! Why?

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

If you just set up the Bark Kids 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 strict rules. Pausing the internet for a device will block access to all internet activity on the device. You can re-enable internet access easily by clicking Resume under the child:

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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.

Please also check for updates to your child's device software:

Lastly, if you're still experiencing the issue, you may need to check that it's not some other web filter or third-party VPN 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.

The Bark Kids app is 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 Bark Kids 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 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.

Lastly, if your child's device is an Android or Chromebook, ensure that Secure DNS is turned off in the Chrome app of your child's device

  • On your child's device, open the Chrome app.
  • Tap the 3-line menu > Settings > Privacy > Use secure DNS > set the slider to Off.
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My schedule / 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.

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

Because the Bark Kids 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.

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

On older iOS devices, you may want to make the following changes to help with battery life...

  • Check for updates to your child's device software.
  • On your child's iOS device, go to Settings > scroll down to Bark Kids > tap on Background App Refresh > turn off. Also in those settings, tap on Notifications > tap on Lockscreen to disable lockscreen notifications for Bark Kids.

Can I use more than one VPN at a time on my child's device?

Android and iOS devices only allow one VPN to be connected at a time.

To see if your child's device is using the Bark VPN, go to Settings > Network > VPN > verify that the Bark VPN is connected or turned on. You may also want to verify that the Bark VPN is set as "Connect on Demand" for iOS, and "Always on" for Android.

In this location of Settings, you can also check to see if there is a third-party VPN installed. We recommend only using Bark's VPN or you may run into issues with screen time & web filtering.

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:

  • Ensure the child's device is connected to the internet.
  • 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 to log in again on your child's device.
  • If still no luck, check to see that your account is currently subscribed to Bark Jr or Bark Premium in your Account Settings.

My filtering rules are not applying correctly to an Amazon Fire tablet filtered by Bark Home.

When using Bark Home to filter your family's Amazon Fire tablet(s), you will want to make these changes to the Amazon Fire tablet's network settings so that you experience consistent enforcement of your filtering rules on that device.

Please note that while Bark can monitor the content of Amazon Fire tablets with the Bark for Kids app, on-the-go web filtering is not supported. If you'd like to set up in-home web filtering on an Amazon Fire tablet, you will need Bark Home.

Why is Bark blocking Youtube videos?

Verify that you have set the correct rules and limits for Youtube in your Bark Screen Time Settings. If Youtube is reflecting as blocked for the current rules in the screen time schedule for that child, you can click on the toggle to allow it.

NOTE: Please allow some minutes for it to catch up after re-enabling Youtube access. You can also try restarting the child's device to speed that along.

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If you've verified Youtube is not blocked, you may need to verify an additional setting: Youtube Restricted Mode. Youtube Restricted Mode is a feature that filters out explicit content from Youtube. If a particular video meets the criteria for adult content, it will not allow the child to view it and the child may see a message like this one:

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If you'd like to disable Youtube Restricted Mode or learn more about it, click here for more information: About SafeSearch & Youtube Restricted Mode

 

Need additional assistance?

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