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Track when your PC is being used with KeyCounter

26 July 2012, Mike Williams

When was your PC being used yesterday? Whether you want to fill in a time sheet, or you think someone’s accessing your system without permission and would like to know for sure, it could be very interesting to find out.

And KeyCounter is very lightweight tool which could help you to reveal all.

Launch the program and it immediately begins counting any key presses and mouse movements you make. KeyCounter doesn’t track the details here, just the totals, so you’ll see that there was a lot of typing between 2 and 3pm, for instance, but not exactly what was entered. But that’s still enough to understand when your system was in use.

A simple graph shows keyboard and mouse activity over time throughout the day

And when you want to review the details, right-click the KeyCounter system tray icon, and select Today to view a graph of those recent key presses and mouse movements over time, or select History to take a look at the captures on previous days (they’re saved to your hard drive for future reference).

The program is plainly just about as basic as a PC monitoring tool can get. It doesn’t record your programs you launch; it won’t track the URLs you visit; and it won’t take screen grabs to show exactly what you’re doing at any point in time. (If you need any of those things then check out Kurupira, which we wrote about yesterday.)

KeyCounter does provide an easy way to track general system usage, though, and it’s so lightweight (under 2MB RAM required on our test PC) that you can use the program just about anywhere. If you’re looking for a really simple activity monitor then this could be a sensible choice.

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