Is it Invisible?

Yes. Users will have no indication that they are being monitored. The Agent does not appear in the Add/Remove programs list and is not recognizable from the Task Manager.

You will probably not want to use their browser to download and install the Agent, as that would leave a browser history record that you might forget to delete. Instead copy the Agent to a USB memory stick and install from that, or install from a local network location.

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Does this logging tool affect PC performance at all?

It would not be accurate to say that it does not affect performance at all. However, ActivTrak uses PC resources in a really accurate and effective way.

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How to Spy On Someone?

ActivTrak is not a spy tool. It’s a productivity monitoring service. You are only allowed to install ActivTrak agent on the computer that belongs to you or your company where you have network administrative rights. Please read USER CONDUCT section of our Terms of Use for more details:


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How do I install this on mobile phone?

ActivTrak only works for desktops and laptops (both Windows and Mac OS X). We don’t have a mobile app at this moment, but we do have plans to create one in future (starting with Windows 8 platform and moving to iOS/Android).

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Can I capture passwords or keystrokes with ActivTrak?

No. ActivTrak doesn’t have an ability to capture passwords or keystrokes. We do not have any plans to add this feature in future. ActivTrak is a productivity monitoring software and we plan to keep it this way.

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How to Uninstall an ActivTrak Agent?

To uninstall the Agent from a computer, just download and run the latest installer file on you Account Dashboard. If the Agent is already installed it will ask if you want to remove the Agent.

Alternatively, you can right-click on the downloaded file and select ‘Uninstall’.

You can also delete all collected data from Reports/Agents tab. This will release your limit, so you can install an agent on some other computers.

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If Activtrak is uninstalled will it be shown in the reports?

If the agent is uninstalled. Old data will continue be shown in the reports, but no new data will be collected.

Use the Reports/Agents tab to delete data from the agent.

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Do I have to be logged in to monitor?

No. the Dashboard does not have to be active to monitor. You do not have to be logged in.

Once the Agent is installed data is collected automatically. You can log in at any time from anywhere to view the data.

It will always be sending data to the cloud until the agent is uninstalled.

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How many days of Activity Reports can by stored in my free account?

You can store virtually years of logs using 3Gb of free storage. However, most space-consuming part of all data is screenshots. Based on our estimated averages 3GB is enough for storing 5,000-6,000 screenshots. It’s hard to get more accurate numbers, as it depends on how many computers do you have, how large are your screens, what is displayed on the screens, how often do you take screenshots, etc.

You can tune number of screenshots in alarms tab.

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How does screenshot timing work?

Screenshots are actually generated by alarms. The alarm criteria are evaluated every time there is a change in the active window title bar. The default screenshot alarm is set to take a screenshot 20 seconds after a change in the active window title bar, unless it is preempted by another change.

The free version of the product only allows one screenshot for each change in the active window title bar. The paid version allows multiple/continuous screenshots at a configurable time interval.

Screenshots and alarms, in general, can be targeted at specific types of activities. Alarms can be set to trigger based on any column in the Activity Log. (The Activity Log keeps a running record of all active window titles and associated data.)

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Can you disable tracking screen shots?

Q: I am concerned that sending screen shots may affect the performance of our workstations. Can we disable that feature?

A: Screenshot collection criteria can be modified or turned off. See the Alarms tab on your main account page.

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How can I block a website?

To block a website you will want to set a Terminate Alarm on that website. Set the condition on the URL or Titlebar and make sure the terminate box is checked. Then that website will be unavailable to all computers being monitored.

Alternatively you could use “titlebar contains facebook” which is probably more dependable because it would work with any possible browser. (ActivTrak only extracts Url’s from IE, Safari, FireFox, and Chrome)

You could add an additional condition such as “user equals userxyz” if you wanted to enforce only for a particular user.

Create additional alarms for other websites.

See attached image.

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How to configure custom alarms?

Alarms tab allows you to add conditions, i.e. logical statements involving column values, to the alarm and to determine whether multiple conditions should be combined with the logical AND (Match all) or logical OR (match any.)

Press the ‘Add new’ link to create a new condition, the Delete button to delete a condition, and the Edit button to edit the condition.

The Edit Alarm dialog allows you to determine what actions should be taken when the alarm conditions are met. Check an action to activate the action for the alarm you are editing.

1. User Popup
Enter text to appear in the popup message on the user’s workstation.

2. Snapshot
Automatically capture a screen image or a series of screen images from the users workstation when the alarm is triggered.

Enter text for the subject and body of the alarm email message as well as the receiving address.

In all of these dialogs the text of the alarm notification can be expanded using macro expressions representing the column values for the incoming data that triggered the alarm. The macro expression is simply the column name surrounded by the symbol ‘$’. For example to expand the user name in the text of a popup message or email use $User$.

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Users at my site may work on multiple workstations. Will ActivTrak work for me?

Q: Users at my site may work on multiple workstations; but we need to track hours attached to each user. Does each user log in, and reports can be issued for each user; or is it dependent on the workstation?

A: Yes, you can build reports filtered by user and/or computer. You can also build reports based on Active Directory groups of user or computers.

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How do I deploy the agent remotely?

Every ActivTrak account comes with a  remote agent installation tool. It will allow you to remotely install your ActivTrak Agent on other computers on your Active Directory network. (Note: You must be on an Active Directory Network, and you must have admin rights over the other computer.)

Feel free to download an install utility for the ActivTrak agent from the following page:


(Account authorization is required)

Just install the Remote Installer. Point it to your Agent .msi file that you downloaded earlier. Then point it to one of the computers on your network and press Install. You can also use it to uninstall.

Step-by-step instruction

  • The remote installer will only work if you are on a Microsoft Active Directory Network. It will not work for standalone or workgrouped computers such as those running Windows Home version.
  • You must have admin rights over the computer that will receive the Agent.
  • Make sure you are using the latest version of the Remote Installer. Download from app.activtrak.com/downloads.
  • Install the Remote Installer.
  • Download your ActivTrak Agent from your account Dashboard and save it as a file.
  • Run the Remote Installer.
  • Point the Remote Installer source to to the Agent file you downloaded from your Dashboard.
  • Point the Remote Installer target to the name of the computer on which you wish to install the Agent. (IP addresses can be used instead of computer names)
  • Press Install.

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How can I limit which data are visible to other managers?

Access to usage data can be managed using the Settings/Access tab in your online account.  ActivTrak users who are listed as Administrators may view all log data and screenshots without restriction. In larger organizations you may want to allow managers to view ActivTrak data only for users who are in their department.

To accomplish this, first specify their account as non-Administrator.  Then assign groups of users or computers as being viewable to the non-Admin account. Use the drop down lists on the Settings/Access page. You may first have to define your groups using the Settings/Groups tab.  If you are on an Active Directory network, your Active Directory groups will already be defined. Even if you are on an ActiveDirectory network you may define additional ActivTrak groups that can also be used for assigning permissions.

You may assign viewing permissions to non-Admins using either user groups, or computer groups, or both.  If, for instance, you specify only user groups, the data will be visible to the non-Admin regardless of which computer the monitored user is on.

When working with the group lists, hold down the Ctrl key to select multiple groups or to unselect a group.

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What happens if an Agent has no connection to the Internet?

ActivTrak Agent can work offline. During offline periods it keeps all the data (including screenshots) stored locally and later sends it to your account.

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Is it possible to install the ActivTrak agent in a pc that access internet through a proxy server?

Yes. This should not be a problem. The ActivTrak agent uses WinHTTP, so to configure it for a proxy use the following command on Windows 7 or Vista.

From a command prompt with admin rights, run something like

netsh winhttp set proxy yourproxyname.com


netsh winhttp set proxy 111.222.333.444:80

Type ‘netsh winhttp’ for help.

On Windows XP download and use Proxycfg.exe.

Future versions of the ActivTrak agent will have more options.

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Is this compatible with Mac OS?

Yes. ActivTrak Agent is available for both Mac OS X and Windows.

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Where do i change the password after resetting it?

Login with your temporary password that you received via email. Then go to the Settings tab on your account page and select Access. You can reset your password there.

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Stopping the Agent service in a workstation is the same as uninstalling it?

Q: Stopping the Agent service in a workstation is the same as uninstalling it? Even if I stop the service in a workstation, in the dashboard I have the same number of agents reporting.

A: Stopping the service will temporarily stop the reporting. If the computer is restarted and the service is configured to start automatically, as is the default, the service will begin reporting again.

The Dashboard indicator is a bit confusing. It actually shows the number of computers for which there is data in the database. We will probably change the wording on this.

More importantly we will soon provide the capability to delete data from a particular workstation. This will reduce the usage count and the number of agents counted toward your license. This functionality will be available on the Report/Agents page.

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I changed the user name on my computer. Why do ActivTrak reports still show the original user ID?

On standalone Windows computers or those in a Windows workgroup, when you change the username, you are only changing the cosmetic name that appears on the login tile.  The underlying user ID stays the same.  ActivTrak reports activity associated with the actual user ID.

To help manage this issue, ActivTrak provides support for user name aliases.   After an ActivTrak alias has been assigned, the alias will appear in place of the user name on all ActivTrak reports. Go to Settings/Alias to assign or edit aliases.

For more background information on Windows user IDs:


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What does the ( ) around the category or productive value mean?

The ()’s mean that the Domain receives it’s categorization or productivity rating from a higher level domain. It is inherited. For example if you set a categorization for yahoo.com then mail.yahoo.com will receive the same categorization unless it is set explicitly. If inherited there are ()’s displayed. If explicit no ()’s.

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Where do i download ActivTrakViewer.msi? I have not received a License Key.

License key was required for ActivTrak Viewer v. 2.x   ActivTrak Viewer is no longer supported. ActivTrak is a cloud-based software-as-as-service now. See activtrak.com from more details.

You create an account, download an agent customized for your account and install it on the computers to be monitored. Data is reported to your web account and you view it with your browser.

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I need to change my email address that the info will be delivered to

You can easily add/remote users in Settings / Access tab of you ActivTrak Dashboard.

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There be any indication in the ActivTrak control panel that the service has been stopped?

All ActivTrak service stops and starts are recorded in the Activity Log. However, stops will only be reported after the service is restarted. You can also see if an agent is actively reporting by going to the Reports/Agents page.

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How do I delete activity, screenshots, and reports that I have already seen?

Go To Reports/Agents and you can delete data from one or all agents.

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It tells me to enter an admin password.

For security reasons, you must have admin rights on the workstation you are trying to monitor.

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Will it work on terminals?

Q: We have Windows 2003 server and and our employees use terminal services for work. So, basically we use thin clients instead of individual PCs. Will your software work in our situation and how ?

A: Yes. Just install the Agent on the server. It will monitor each session under Terminal Services.

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What does it mean when you see productive and unproductive?

You can define websites and applications as being either productive or unproductive. Then your statistics will reflect the time spent on productive or unproductive activity.

We provide some default productivity assignments (and category assignments), but you can redefine these or make new assignments. Go to the Settings tab. When you change the productivity assignments it is reflected immediately in your reports and on the dashboard

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Does ActivTrak recognize idle workstations, even if the screensaver is not active?

Yes, ActivTrak senses mouse and keyboard input and determines if a user session is inactive, so that actual application usage time is reported in the log and reflected in the statistics. By default, if a workstation is without user input for two minutes it is considered idle.

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Does ActivTrak track the URL’s for browser applications, or just the text in the title bar?

For all applications, ActivTrak records the title bar text, but for browsers it collects an extra data field containing the full URL.

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If an application is open but not in use, does this qualify as idle?

Only one application is counted at a time. If two or more applications are open, only the one that is active (that has the keyboard focus) is accumulating usage time. When the focus is changed to another application, the new application will accumulate the usage time. When we say the program tracks idle time, we mean that if there are no mouse moves or keystrokes for two minutes, no applications accumulate usage time. Instead the time is included in the total idle time.

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What is the best way to install the ActivTrak Agent?

As a troubleshooting method, we don’t recommend installing the agent from the browser on the device being monitored, as this could leave a browser history that you could forget to delete. Instead, we suggest installing the agent on a USB drive, then install from that, or a local network connection. ActivTrak also has a remote installer available for paid accounts only — Learn more about the ActivTrak Agent here.

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I blocked a user from a website, but they can still access it, why?

Blocking a website is a per computer function, meaning blocking a user will not effectively block their website access. You must block the identified user’s device from the website to effectively prohibit access.
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