Recording keystrokes on a computer can be helpful in a number of ways. One of the most common benefits of keylogging, or recording every keystroke made on a computer, is to back up any text typed in an e-mail or file in case of an error or accidental text deletion. Another reason many people employ keylogger software is to track the computer habits of an employee or child. Whatever the purpose, users can obtain and use free, efficient keylogging software.
Download free keylogger software and save the downloaded file in a location that can be easily remembered. Some options for free keylogging programs are Free KGB Key Logger, Actual Keylogger and LightLogger (see Resources section).
Install the keylogging program chosen. Open the downloaded file by double-clicking on it and then follow the on-screen instructions.
Open the installed program. Some free keylogger programs will automatically run when the installation has completed, but others may require opening from the Start menu or Windows orb, then clicking on the name of the program that was installed.
Set up the keylogger. The options in each keylogger program are different. Set any program options available to desired preferences.
Begin recording keystrokes. Start the program by clicking "Start," "Begin Keylogging" or simply closing the program, since some will start recording strokes automatically once installed.
Access and study keylogger records when desired. For keyloggers that are meant to remain stealthy, a password will most likely need to be typed to bring up the program and recorded keystrokes. For other programs, simply access the program through the Start menu as described in Step 3.
Some antivirus programs or firewalls may report that a keylogger program is a virus or other kind of harmful file, but this is only because of the tracking and stealth nature of most keystroke-recording software. All Keylogger links provided here have been scanned and verified by CNET's Download.com to be free of viruses. Most virus-detecting programs allow an exception to be made with some files and programs that it thinks are viruses, and this is what will need to be done in this case.
Remember to write down the password for a stealth keylogger and keep it in a safe place, because in most cases this is the absolute only way to access, change preferences or uninstall the program when desired.