How to monitor iMessages for free now

How to Monitor iMessage for Free

Many of our iOS users enjoy our screen time schedules, location and app controls we offer for iOS devices but quickly get back to us with a simple question: “how do I monitor my child’s iMessages?” The answer today is that Boomerang Parental Control will not monitor your child’s iMessages but we want to share 2 options with you; one is free and the other is a great solution from good friends of ours at Bark.

Here are two important items before starting:

  1. Both options below require that you know your child’s iCloud credentials (email and password)
  2. If your child changes their iCloud account password, you will lose syncing until you update the password

Monitoring for free

From an old iOS device that is not currently being used for iMessages (can be an iPod, iPad or iPhone):

  1. Open Messages and enter your child’s iCloud credentials (you can also go to Settings > Messages)
  2. You may also have to “trust” this device for “handover” under Settings > Messages.
  3. Double check the Send & Receive – it should be the phone number of your child’s iPhone

From a MacOS device (MacBook or iMac):

  1. Create a new user account on your MacOS device
  2. Open the Messages app and enter your child’s iCloud credentials.
  3. Under the Messages Settings, go to Accounts and make sure the “You can be reached for messages at:” is set to your child’s phone number.
  4. Keep this account running in the background and it will collect messages from your child’s device.

Monitoring with Bark (paid option)

Bark is a parental control tracker for various social media platforms and includes support for iMessages. It allows parents to track inappropriate and flagged content across social media platforms such as Instagram and Snapchat. Sign up over at and use the useboomerang promo code to get an additional month on your trial! There are additional steps to achieve success and they’ve done a great job documenting them here.

Want Apple to be more open with their platform?

Here are a couple of ideas if you want to get social 😉

Via Social Media (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram)

Facebook: “Hey @apple why not allow this amazing app @useboomerang help me with keeping my kids safe while texting via iMessages”

Twitter: “Hey @apple why not allow this amazing app @use_boomerang help me with keeping my kids safe while texting via iMessages”

Via Apple’s product feedback form (we’ll assume tapping on the iPhone option makes sense)



Product evangelist for Boomerang, battling the constant love/hate with tech. I do my best to keep the balance in teaching our kids good tech behaviours. Boomerang is all about applying this and more.

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