Frequently Asked Questions

Have questions? You’ve come to the right place.

General

What does Bark do?

Bark is a parental controls company that helps parents protect their children online and in real life. We have a suite of products that families can choose from:

Content Monitoring

Bark monitors your child’s texts, email, YouTube, and 30+ apps and social media platforms for issues like cyberbullying, adult content, sexual predators, profanity, suicidal ideation, threats of violence, and more.

Parents receive text or email alerts only when something potentially problematic occurs online. You won’t have full access to everything on your child’s phone — just the things you might need to know about. This saves you countless hours of scrolling through every online interaction your child has while allowing you to build trust and maintain an open line of communication with your child.

Screen Time Management

Bark's screen time management features help families set time limits and create schedules for when their children’s devices can connect to the internet (through both cell service and Wi-Fi).

App and Website Blocking

Our website blocking feature lets you select which apps and websites are appropriate for your child to access on their devices. You can block specific sites or even whole categories like streaming services, online gaming, sexual content, and more.

Location Sharing

Bark's location sharing features include both location alerts and check-ins. Through location tracking alerts, you can get notified when your child arrives at or leaves a specific place. With check-ins, you can see exactly where your kid is at a given time.

How much does Bark cost?

Phone

The Bark Phone is free! No hefty deposit or long contract is required, and after 90 days, the phone is yours to keep. We’re confident your family will love the Bark Phone, but if you need to cancel your subscription, just return your non-damaged phone to us and you’re all set.

Our monthly subscription plans range from $39/month to $89/month.

Plans include the device, our built-in parental controls, unlimited talk & text, data (if you need it), and a Bark Premium subscription for the entire family.

Choose the plan that fits your family's needs. 

Starter plan:

  • $39/month for unlimited talk, text, and no internet, app store, or games

Advanced plans:

  • $49/month for unlimited talk, text, and Wi-Fi only (no data)
  • $59/month for unlimited talk, text, and 4GB data
  • $69/month for unlimited talk, text, and 8GB data
  • $89/month for unlimited talk, text, and data1

1 After exceeding 35GB/month of data use, data speeds will be reduced for the remainder of the monthly billing cycle. After exceeding 50GB/month of data usage, data speeds may be reduced further and/or data connection may be turned off for the remainder of the monthly billing cycle.

Apps

Bark Premium is our flagship app that costs $14/month or $99 annually and provides content monitoring, screen time management, app and website blocking, and location sharing.

Bark Jr provides screen time management, app and website blocking, and location sharing. It costs $5/month or $49 annually.

Hardware

Bark Home is $79 and requires no additional costs aside from the cost of the hardware itself. It can easily be added to an existing Bark account or work without having previously set up a Bark account.

How does Bark work?

Content Monitoring

Bark uses advanced machine learning and statistical analysis techniques to recognize potential problems. Simple keyword searches are not enough to detect the majority of issues, which is why our parental control app uses contextual analysis and natural language processing to determine when something serious might be happening.

For example, Bark knows the difference between a kid saying “This homework makes me wanna kill myself,” versus “Nobody cares about me!! I wanna kill myself.” Our algorithm also keeps up with the latest in teen slang.

Screen Time Management and Website Blocking

Families can manage not only when their kids can access the internet on their devices, but also which sites and apps they can visit.

You can create custom profiles for each child in your house, create screen time schedules, and manage access to a wide variety of websites — including video streaming, gaming, adult content, and more.

How do I get started with Bark?

To get started, simply visit our sign-up page or download our app for parents (iOSAndroid). From there, you’ll be able to select the product (Bark Premium or Bark Jr) that’s right for your family and get step-by-step instructions.

If you’re interested in the Bark Phone, learn more about it and choose the plan that’s right for your family and place your order. 

As for the Bark Home, you can order one here.

What makes Bark unique?

One of the biggest things that sets us apart from competitors is our world-class content monitoring. With sophisticated A.I., we're able to alert parents and guardians to issues (like cyberbullying, online predators, suicidal ideation, sexting, and more) that their kids may be encountering online. We notify parents when something may be wrong so they can give their children the support they need. But we don't just leave you to deal with issues on your own — we provide expert-recommended steps for handling the situation.

Is the Bark app hard to install?

Nope! You and/or your child simply connect your child’s accounts and devices to Bark, which takes only a few minutes. If you need any help, our customer support team is ready to jump in and answer any questions you have. When you’re ready, just email the customer support team!

Do I need a computer to set up Bark Premium or Bark Jr?
For Bark Premium

Apple is strict when it comes to security and doesn’t allow any third-party solutions (including Bark) direct access to monitor iOS devices. You’ll need a computer to set up Bark Premium if your child has an iPhone, iPad, or iPod (you can see step-by-step instructions for how to do setup on iOS devices here). If you don’t have a home computer, that’s also okay! You can order a Bark Home, which is a small device that plugs into your home Wi-Fi router, and Bark Home will analyze the texts, photos, and videos on your child’s iOS device and send you alerts for potential issues. For Androids, you won’t need a computer at all.

For Bark Jr

You won’t need a computer to set up Bark Jr on iOS or Android devices — all that’s required is to have our companion apps for iOS or Android downloaded to your child's phone.

Is my child's data secure?

Absolutely. At Bark, security is paramount. Our website uses SSL encryption and all analyzed data is stored within an encrypted database. You can rest easy knowing your children's data is secure.

I love Bark! Can I refer my friends?

We love referrals! We'll give you a $50 Amazon gift card for each friend who signs up and subscribes to Bark Premium using your unique referral code. You can manage your referrals from the dashboard of your Bark account by selecting “Refer a friend” from the drop-down menu in the top right corner. Visit our referrals page to get started!

I can't afford Bark. Can you help?

Please contact us if you’re in this situation.

Does Bark have an iOS app?

Yes, click here to download our iOS app for parents. This app allows you to review alerts, add children, connect accounts, update notification settings, and more.

The Bark Kids app will need to be installed on your child's iOS device to block apps and sites.

The Bark Desktop App will need to be installed on a Windows or Mac computer to monitor the iOS device texts, photos, videos, WhatsApp, and Kik for issues. (Don't have a computer? You can use the Bark Home in place of a computer for iOS monitoring).

Does Bark have an Android app?

Yes, click here to download our Android app. The app allows you to review alerts, add children, connect accounts, update your notification settings, and more.

The Bark for Kids app will need to be installed on your child's Android device to allow Bark to monitor content, manage screen time, and block websites on the device.

Do I need to jailbreak/root my child's phone?

No, you do not need to jailbreak your child's iOS device or root your child’s Android phone in order for Bark to work. As a third-party service, we strive to provide a program that keeps phones working properly and that does not void warranties or terms of service.

What languages do you support?

Our algorithms are currently trained in English, Spanish, and Afrikaans, and we’re looking to add more languages in the near future.

Is the Bark app available outside the U.S.?

The Bark app is currently available in the United States, South Africa, Guam, and Australia. We’re continually working to bring Bark to more families around the world.

Does Bark work with co-parents and/or dual households?

Absolutely! Whether your child has an Android or an iOS device, it’s possible for co-parents to share alerts and notifications. Read more about it sharing alerts and notifications here or contact us to learn more.

Where can I talk to other parents who are using Bark?

Check out our Facebook group, Parenting in a Tech World, where thousands of parents interact daily about all things digital parenting.

How does the 7-day free trial work?

When you sign up for Bark Premium or Bark Jr (our apps), you’ll have the full trial period to decide if you want to become a paid subscriber. Even though we require a credit card for COPPA verification, we won’t charge it until your 7-day trial is over.

Does Bark work with other parental control products?

Bark is proud to provide a comprehensive parental control solution for your family, so you no longer need a second tool or product. Our features (content monitoring, screen time management, app and website blocking, and location sharing) go beyond anything that's built into your kid's device. If you want to make sure your family is covered when it comes to online safety, please feel free to email us.

My computer is running in S mode and I can't download Bark. What should I do?

S mode is a security feature in Windows 10 that only allows users to download apps from the Microsoft Store. Unfortunately, the Bark Desktop App is not currently distributed on this platform.

There’s a solution, though! To install Bark, you’ll just need to switch out of S mode. Once you switch out of S mode, you won’t be able to turn it back on again. But Windows will still maintain all of its standard functionalities, and you’ll be able to download apps from marketplaces other than the Microsoft Store.

To switch out of S mode:

  1. On your PC running Windows 10 in S mode, open Settings > Update & Security > Activation.
  2. Find the Switch to Windows 10 Home or Switch to Windows 10 Pro section, then select the Go to the Store link. (Note: Don't select the link under Upgrade your edition of Windows. That's a different process that will keep you in S mode.)
  3. From here, select the Get button. You’ll then be switched out of S mode and will be able to download apps from anywhere.
What is COPPA?

In 2013, the FTC updated the Child Online Privacy and Protection Act (COPPA) to bring laws originally enacted in 1998 in line with the ever-changing internet. The original COPPA laws were created to help ensure that digital brands weren’t taking advantage of new marketing channels to target kids under 13.

In short, if you add a child under the age of 13, we're not legally allowed to provide our services unless we have verifiable parental consent in the form of a credit card added to your account, which occurs during the onboarding process.

Content Monitoring

What will my child think about Bark's content monitoring?

Kids are generally receptive to Bark once they learn that we protect them online while also giving them more privacy. Parents don’t get access to every single message they send — only to online activities that indicate that they might be in danger. Here’s how to talk to your child about Bark.

What platforms does Bark monitor?

Bark monitors 30+ of the most popular social media platforms and apps, as well as text messages and saved photos and videos on devices. You can check out an interactive list of everything Bark monitors here based on what type of device your child has. 

For apps that Bark doesn’t currently monitor, you can easily block them entirely or set limits on daily access.

Does content monitoring work well on iOS devices?

Generally speaking, Apple has more stringent security and privacy restrictions than other operating systems. For this reason, set-up is slightly different for iOS devices. Bark analyzes text messages, photos, videos, and more thorough scans of your child's iOS device.

To help ensure Bark is able to monitor your child's iOS device, please follow the iOS connection instructions in the onboarding process. After the initial set-up, the Bark Desktop App will automatically back up your child’s iOS device to your computer for analysis.

Is Bark's content monitoring 100% accurate?

No parental control tool will ever be perfect. It is possible that something could be missed, or that you'll get an occasional alert from us when no real issue exists. That being said, our A.I. is constantly improving! Plus, we are a tool to help families protect their children online, not a replacement for active, engaged parenting.

Does Bark analyze images and videos?

Yes, Bark analyzes images and videos associated with a message or that are stored on a device. They're analyzed for nudity, violence, and other inappropriate content, including text added to the images.

What if my child uninstalls Bark?

If your child changes the passwords to their email or social media accounts, causing Bark to stop monitoring them, you’ll get a notification.

You’ll also be alerted if your child uninstalls one of our child companion apps. You can prevent companion apps from being uninstalled from iOS and Android devices:

If your child has an iOS device, you’ll need to use Apple’s Screen Time to enforce Uninstall Protection. Navigate to:

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, click here for instructions.

Can Bark monitor deleted texts?

With the Bark app, we can monitor deleted texts on Androids. For iOS devices, Bark can monitor some deleted texts. Ensuring frequent backups increases the chances that our technology will analyze deleted texts in iOS devices, but it is not guaranteed.

If you’re worried about deleted texts, we recommend the Bark Phone — texts can’t be deleted on it without your permission!

Why can't I review all my child's activities?

At Bark, we believe kids deserve privacy, which is why our alerts only surface potential issues. Bark is designed to provide your family with a digital safety net — as well as give you back the time spent spot-checking your kid’s devices.

What if I have an iPhone and my child has an Android? Or vice versa?

Managing a Bark account as a parent is independent of the monitoring we do for the child's connected accounts, so using different types of devices has no effect on our ability to detect potential issues.

To monitor a child’s iOS device, parents can use the Bark Parent iOS app, Bark Parent Android app, or the Bark website to manage their account.

In order to monitor a child's Android device, the Bark for Kids app will need to be downloaded to their device.

Will my child know that Bark is installed?

Your kids will be aware of Bark's presence, and we encourage you to have a conversation with them about it beforehand. By discussing Bark proactively, you set up an environment where Bark alerts serve as an opportunity for meaningful conversations about important topics, rather than a surprise discovery. Once children understand that Bark is designed to help protect them online while also respecting their privacy, they tend to be more receptive. Remind them that parents and caregivers do not have access to every single message they send. Instead, Bark focuses on digital activities that may show potential dangers, aiming to keep them safe.

Here are some more tips on how to talk to your child about Bark.

What if my child has more than one Instagram account?

We're able to monitor more than one account on any given platform, just make sure you have all of the log-in info for each additional account for monitoring with Bark.

Does Bark monitor Mac or Windows computers?

As a Bark Premium customer, many of your children's connected email and social media accounts will be monitored regardless of the device they are on (e.g. phone, tablet, or computer).

Bark also monitors computer web browsing on Google Chrome and Microsoft Edge — including website visits, searches, and incognito browsing — when you install the Bark for Chrome extension or Bark for Microsoft Edge extension on your child's computer.

With the addition of a Bark Home device, you can also add screen time limits and filter computers' web activity — including online games, other browsers, and more.

Website Blocking & Screen Time

What devices are supported?

Our screen time management feature works on iOS, Android, and Chromebooks. If your child is using an older hand-me-down device, you can check to see if a device is compatible here.

If you’d like to be able to set screen time limits on internet-connected home devices like TVs and gaming consoles, we recommend Bark Home.

Do these features work outside of the home?

For phones and tablets

Yes! You can manage screen time and filter websites for phones and tablets with the Bark app for Android or iOS, whether your child’s device is connected to a Wi-Fi network or is using cellular data.

Note: Amazon Fire tablets support on-the-go content monitoring, but not on-the-go filtering.

For other internet-connected devices

No — You can only manage screen time and filter websites on home devices like smart TVs, gaming consoles, and more while they’re connected to your family’s Wi-Fi network with the Bark Home device.

Do I need any special hardware for screen time to work?

For phones and tablets

You won’t need any hardware for our screen time management feature to work on phones and tablets — your child will just need to download our companion apps for iOS or Android.

For other internet-connected devices

You’ll need to purchase Bark Home, a small device that connects to your home Wi-Fi router, to manage screen time on smart TVs, gaming consoles, and more.

Can I set different screen time hours for each of my children?

Absolutely! As parents ourselves, we know that raising an 11-year-old isn’t the same as raising a 16-year-old. Because of this, you can create a different schedule for each of your children.

Can I block categories of websites along with specific websites?

Yes, our web filtering feature lets you manage access to up to 18 different website categories. Within those categories, you can also create exceptions. For example, you can block all streaming sites but allow Netflix (and vice versa).

How is Bark's screen time feature different from Apple Screen Time or Google Family Link?

With Bark, you can manage your children’s screen time from your own phone via the Bark app or website, regardless of whether you have an iPhone and your kids have an Android (or vice versa).

In terms of web filtering, Apple's Screen Time and Google Family Link web filters only block general content. Bark, on the other hand, breaks down a wide range of categories and exceptions to enable a more customized and refined level of protection.

Can I prevent screen time settings from being changed without my approval?

Children aren’t able to adjust their own screen time limits from the Bark for Kids app. Deleting the app will allow them to get around the restrictions, but you’ll be notified if this happens.

#phone

Bark Phone

What type of phone is the Bark Phone?

The Bark Phone for kids is a Samsung A series. We purposely designed it so that it wouldn’t be recognizable as a “kiddie” phone. No one will know it’s a kid phone unless you tell them. Bark’s powerful parental controls are all internal — there’s no Bark branding, logos, or other tell-tales that would broadcast it as a kid’s cell phone. 

It comes with all the standard features of a Samsung phone.

Regardless of whether a parent has an iPhone or an Android, they will be able to manage the Bark Phone with no issues, so don’t worry about compatibility problems.

How much does the Bark Phone cost?

The Bark Phone is free! No hefty deposit or long contract is required, and after 90 days, the phone is yours to keep. We’re confident your family will love the Bark Phone, but if you need to cancel your subscription, just return your non-damaged phone to us and you’re all set.

Our monthly subscription plans range from $39/month to $89/month.

Plans include the device, our built-in parental controls, unlimited talk & text, data (if you need it), and a Bark Premium subscription for the entire family.

Choose the plan that fits your family's needs. 

Starter plan:

  • $39/month for unlimited talk, text, and no internet, app store, or games

Advanced plans:

  • $49/month for unlimited talk, text, and Wi-Fi only (no data)
  • $59/month for unlimited talk, text, and 4GB data
  • $69/month for unlimited talk, text, and 8GB data
  • $89/month for unlimited talk, text, and data1

1 After exceeding 35GB/month of data use, data speeds will be reduced for the remainder of the monthly billing cycle. After exceeding 50GB/month of data usage, data speeds may be reduced further and/or data connection may be turned off for the remainder of the monthly billing cycle.

How is a Bark Phone different from a phone with the Bark app?

Because Bark’s software is built directly into the phone, it automatically monitors texts, emails, social media, and apps. Bark also can't be deleted from the Bark Phone, which helps ensure the settings you put into this cell phone for kids will stay.

The Bark Phone also offers exclusive features that the app doesn’t, including:

  • Contact approvals
  • App install approvals
  • Remote alarms
  • Daily screen time limits
  • Completely tamper-proof settings
What does the Bark Phone come with?

Every Bark Phone comes with:

  • Unlimited talk and text
  • Bark Premium subscription for the entire family
  • USB-C charging cord
  • A data plan that fits your family’s needs (non-starter plans only)
  • Quick start guide for easy setup
What if I want to buy the Bark Phone but already have a Bark subscription?

If you already have a Bark Premium subscription, that’s okay! We will adjust your plan and prorate the remaining amount left and apply it to your Bark Phone subscription.

Is the Bark Phone available outside the U.S.?

Right now, the Bark Phone for kids is only available for families located in the U.S.

What apps are available for the Bark Phone?

We have two options when it comes to apps on our cell phone for kids.

The starter plan is our locked-down version perfect for younger kids or teens who need more supervision. It allows for texting and calling — that’s it. No internet, no apps, no games.

Our advanced plans, on the other hand, allow your child to request any apps in the Google Play store. You can choose which ones to allow or block.

How is the Bark Phone different from other kids’ phones?

The Bark Phone stands out from other kid phones because of our advanced content monitoring that comes built-in. Our software automatically scans texts, photos, videos, apps & social media for dangers and sends you an alert if something concerning is found. 

We also made it completely customizable, because every family — and kid — is different. For younger kids, you can make the Bark Phone work essentially like a non-smartphone with our starter plan, which is talk and text only with no internet access.  

As they get older and become ready for more responsibility, you can easily upgrade to our advanced plan and add in access to apps and games. The best part? You keep the same phone!

What is the Bark Phone return and refund policy?

If you cancel before 3 months, you’ll need to ship the Bark Phone back to us.

If you cancel after 3 months, the phone is yours to keep, but:

  • Voice/text/data service will be deactivated.
  • The phone number will be released if you haven’t already ported it to a new carrier.
  • Monitoring and parental controls will no longer work on the device.
  • To remove the Bark software and use it as a regular Samsung phone, you’ll need to reach out to customer support, who will guide you through how to manually remove it.

If you have further questions you can contact us for help.

Bark Home

What is Bark Home?

Bark Home is a small piece of hardware that connects to your Wi-Fi router. It allows you to manage screen time and block websites and apps on all of the internet-connected devices in your home.

Bark Home also allows you to monitor iOS devices without using a computer, making the process simpler for parents.

What can Bark Home do?

Here are a couple of the key things Bark Home can do:

  1. Turn off the internet when needed on home devices (including smart TVs, gaming consoles, cell phones, tablets, and more)
  2. Set a schedule of custom daily rules — school time, free time, and bedtime — for each child
  3. Block specific apps and websites (like Snapchat and Instagram)
  4. Block categories of apps and websites (like social media, streaming, gaming, and sexual content)
  5. Monitor iOS devices
  6. Supports high speeds with a 1 Gbps Ethernet port

Note: If your subscription plan also includes content monitoring, you can monitor 30+ of the most popular apps and social media platforms for potential issues like cyberbullying, online predators, suicidal ideation, and more.

What kinds of devices can Bark Home manage?
  • Smart TVs
  • Gaming consoles (Xbox, PlayStation, Nintendo)
  • Tablets
  • Computers
  • Cell phones
Where can I buy Bark Home?

You can purchase Bark Home on our website.

At this time, we only ship Bark Home in the United States. However, Bark services Australia and South Africa with Bark Jr & Bark Premium.

How much does Bark Home cost?

Bark Home is $79 and requires no additional costs aside from the cost of the hardware itself.

Bark Home can easily be added to an existing Bark account or work without having previously set up a Bark account.

How do I know if my router is compatible with Bark Home?

Before you purchase a Bark Home, check that your router is compatible here. Don't see your specific router? No problem! The majority of routers are compatible or can be adjusted to be compatible with Bark Home. If you have questions, please reach out to our team.

Is Bark Home incompatible with your home router? You can still manage screen time and block websites on your child’s mobile devices with a Bark subscription. You can also look into routers that come with Bark built-in.

How do I find out what router model I have?

There are a few ways you find out what type of router you have. You can:

  1. Look on the top, sides, or bottom of your router for the make and model — sometimes it’s a sticker. Common makes include Netgear, TP-Link, Asus, Linksys, and others, while models usually consist of letters and numbers.
  2. Use Google to look up potentially identifiable items on your router, like the name or serial number.
  3. Contact your internet service provider.
Can Bark Home monitor content on home devices like TVs and gaming consoles?

Bark Home lets you manage screen time and block websites and apps on devices that connect to your home Wi-Fi network. You’ll get an alert if your child attempts to view sexual content on these devices. 

With a Bark Premium subscription, you can monitor content in texts, emails, and 30+ apps and social media platforms for potential issues like bullying, online predators, suicidal ideation, and more.

Does Bark Home work on mobile devices?

When your kid’s device is connected to the home Wi-Fi network, it sure does! And when they’re outside the house using cellular data, your family’s Bark subscription via the Bark Kids app will cover screen time on mobile devices, too.

Will Bark Home slow down my internet speeds?

Any web filtering technology will impact upload speeds somewhat, but Bark Home supports internet throughput up to 1 Gbps, meaning you should retain high speeds throughout your home’s devices. Bark Home also shouldn’t have an impact on streaming content. You can read more about this here.

Still can’t find what you’re looking for? Reach out to us at help@bark.us.

Try Bark today