What is calls & messages monitoring for iOS devices and how do I set it up?

  • Updated

Important: This feature is currently only available for Mac computers. Setup is in English.

Qustodio's calls & messages monitoring for iOS lets you supervise your kids’ calls, SMS messages, and iMessages. With this feature, you can detect concerning interactions immediately by seeing who your kids are talking to and by checking the content of the messages they send and receive. Read the instructions below to learn how to set it up for your child’s iPhone or iPad.


What do I need to get started?

To set up calls & messages monitoring for iOS, you must be a Premium subscriber. You’ll also need:

  • Your child’s iPhone or iPad. It must be running iOS 14 or above and already be protected with Qustodio.
  • Your own Mac computer. It must be running macOS Catalina or above.
  • A cable to connect your child’s device with your computer.
  • Wi-Fi access

How do I set up calls & messages monitoring for iOS?

Download and install the Qustodio Calls & Messages app on your own Mac computer and then follow the instructions below. Note that the app is currently available in English only.

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  1. Enter your Qustodio account details to log in and click ‘Let’s start’ to begin the setup.
  2. Use a cable to connect your child’s device to your computer. It’s important that you keep the cable connected throughout the whole setup process. Once the setup is complete, you won’t need to connect the device using a cable again.
  3. Unlock your child’s device by entering their passcode. A popup will then appear asking you to trust the computer. Tap ‘Trust’.
  4. Once the device has been recognised, click ‘Next’ on your computer to continue.
  5. Click ‘Sync now’ to sync all calls and messages on your child’s device with your computer. This may take a few minutes depending on how much information needs to be synced.
  6. You’ve now set up monitoring for this device!


Where can I see my child’s calls and messages?

Log in to Qustodio and go to your child’s profile. To see their full calls and messages history, including message content, go to their timeline. For an overview, go to their dashboard.

Note that the information you see will be updated when your child’s iOS device and your Mac computer are connected to the same Wi-Fi network.

 

What kind of calls and messages activity can I see?

The following information will be shown in your child’s timeline:

  • Who your child is exchanging phone calls, FaceTime calls, and WhatsApp calls with.
  • Who your child is exchanging SMS messages and iMessages with.
  • The complete content of the SMS messages and iMessages they’ve sent and received.
  • The timing of the calls and messages.

To change the amount of information that you can see, go to your child’s profile and choose calls & messages in the rules menu. There, you can switch on or off ‘Show message content’. You can also switch on or off monitoring completely by toggling ‘Calls & messages monitoring’ at the top.


FAQs and troubleshooting

We’ve answered some common queries about setting up and using calls & messages monitoring below.

How often do the calls and messages update?

Calls and messages will update automatically every hour. You can also manually update them by clicking the ‘refresh’ button in the Calls & Messages app.

Please note that both the computer and your child’s iOS device need to be connected to the same Wi-Fi network to be able to update.


Do I need to keep the Qustodio Calls & Messages app on my computer?

The Calls & Messages app must remain running on your computer for monitoring to continue. If you quit the app, the syncing process will stop and you’ll need to log in again to resume it.
If you uninstall the app, you will have to go through the setup process again to reinstate it.


The Qustodio Calls & Messages app is requesting an encryption password. What is this?

During the setup process, you may be asked to enter your encryption password. This is the password used to encrypt the device’s local backups. It is specific to the device and may be different to the device’s passcode or Apple ID password.

If you’ve forgotten your encryption password, please see this help article from Apple.

 

The Qustodio Calls & Messages app doesn’t recognize my child’s device.

Ensure that the cable connecting your child’s device to your computer is working properly and, if possible, connect it directly to your computer without an adaptor. Try a different cable if this does not help.

Check if there are any software updates available for your computer as newer versions may fix the issue.

If this doesn’t help, get in touch with us!

 

The first sync of my child’s device is not finishing.

The first time you sync your child’s iPhone or iPad with the Calls & Messages app on your computer will take the longest. All syncs after this will be much faster as only new information will be synced. The following factors may slow down the initial sync:

Cable used to connect your child’s device with your computer.
Check that the cable is working and, if possible, connect it directly into your computer without an adaptor.

Amount of content being synced.
If there is a lot of information related to calls and messages on your child’s iPhone or iPad, this will take longer to sync with your computer.

Available space on your computer.
You may see an error message explaining that your computer doesn’t have enough space for the backup. Free up some space on your computer and then try again.

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