Having trouble keeping track of your kids' mobile devices when they have the kid app installed? You've come to the right place. This article will help you identify when an iOS device is no longer being managed and how to correct it.
Checking Device Status
You can see the status of a mobile device at any time by navigating to a Profile, tapping Devices, then tapping their mobile device (marked by the VPN symbol).
In this example, the VPN is green and active, indicating the device can be reached and managed.
If you check the status of an iOS device and see the "Check VPN Device" status, this generally means that the app has been uninstalled from the iOS device.
Check the kid device for the presence of the Circle Parental Controls app. If the app is no longer present, it has been completely uninstalled and must be reinstalled.
To uninstall and reinstall the Kid App:
- Tap Remove Device on this screen (using the parent app).
- Download the Circle Parental Controls app on the kid device.
- Open the app and tap Get Started.
- Accept the terms and conditions.
- Tap Set Up Kid App and proceed through the prompts until the phone displays a QR Code.
- In the Parent app, go to the appropriate profile, tap Devices, and tap Add mobile device.
- Tap Continue and scan the QR code displayed on the kid device with the parent device.
- In the parent app, tap Add mobile device and Finish.
- In the kid app, tap Install VPN, Allow, and enter the phone's passcode if requested.
- Continue through the prompts, tapping Continue and Allow when appropriate.
It can take some time for the VPN status to update. If the app is uninstalled, the parent device will receive an immediate notification.
Check out this article for more information on the types of notifications Circle can send and what they mean.
Restrict App Deletion on iOS
One of the best things you can do in iOS to secure Circle's mobile management features is to proactively remove the ability to delete the app.
As of iOS 11 and versions above, Apple has introduced a feature called Restrictions that can be used to lock down certain functionality. Circle's VPN is managed by the Circle App when installed as a kid app, and the VPN cannot be removed without first removing the Circle app. If app deletion is restricted, kids will be unable to remove Circle's mobile management features.
To restrict app deletion on iOS:
- Make sure the device is updated to iOS 11 or above.
- Open the Settings app on the device.
- Tap Screen Time.
- Tap Content & Privacy Restrictions.
- Switch Content & Privacy Restrictions to On.
- Tap iTunes & App Store Purchases.
- Tap Deleting Apps.
- Tap Don't Allow.
- After this, go back to Screen Time.
- Tap Use Screen Time Passcode to create a special passcode that will be required to change this setting.
My Kid is able to turn off the Circle VPN (iOS)!
Due to Apple restrictions, it is not possible to keep the Circle VPN from being disabled completely. That said, the Circle app should help it from being disabled in a number of ways:
- While the Circle VPN can be turned off from Settings, it should toggle back on if "Connect-on-demand" is toggled on.
- The "Connect-on-demand" option should toggle back on, if disabled, after 5 minutes or so. Make sure to allow all permissions for the Circle app when setting up for this to occur.
- Any device with the Circle parent app on it should receive a notification shortly after the VPN or the "Connect-on-demand" toggle is turned off.
- After 24 hours of any communication issues we will let you know
If you're not seeing any of the above work correctly, we suggest uninstalling the Circle app completely from your child's device, and then reinstalling using the Circle Kid App: use this guide to set up the Circle Kid App.
Make sure when doing so to enable all request app permissions including notifications and location. As well, make sure to enable app deletion prevention using the above guide.
How do I enable Circle's notifications?
You can change the permissions for the Circle Parental Controls app notifications on your iOS device under Settings >> Circle Parental Controls.