Best Keylogger for Windows - Top 10 Tools for Monitoring

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Best Keylogger for Windows

Looking for the best keylogger for Windows?

Considered unethical for many years, keyloggers have now evolved as a security tool for parental control, student monitoring, and employee monitoring. If you’re hunting the net for the best and budget-friendly options, keep reading.

Note: This is an informative article. Don’t install software keyloggers or attach a hardware keylogger to a PC that you don’t own.

Best Keylogger Software for Windows

I’ve tested more than 20 keyloggers for Windows PCs and have found the following to be top performers:

SoftwareBest FeaturesFree TrialPricing*Ease of UseOnline/OfflineType
KidInspectorRemote management of multiple devicesYes$59.00/ year for one PCFairly easy, no prior expertise is neededOnlineSoftware
RefogOrganized keylogging reports for typed and copied textYes$30.00/ monthModerateOnlineSoftware
pcTattletalePassword-less installationYes$99.99/ monthFairly easy, no prior expertise is neededOnlineSoftware
SpyrixRecovers deleted keystrokes and textsYes$79.00ModerateOnlineSoftware
SpyeraSurrounding recording and app-specific keyloggingNo$49.00/ monthA bit challengingOnlineSoftware
Clever ControlSet alerts for NSFW keywords or business confidential dataYes$4.70/ PCFairly easy, no prior expertise is neededOnlineSoftware
NetBullThe premium edition is mostly undetectable to antivirus appsYes$14.99A bit challengingOnlineSoftware
Revealer KeyloggerCard statement won’t reveal the name of the appYes$39.99ModerateOnlineSoftware
AirDrive Forensic KeyloggerWindows Security and other antiviruses can’t detect its activityNo$44.99ModerateOnly Wi-Fi, no internet neededHardware
KeyGhost USB KeyloggerWindows Security and other antiviruses can’t detect its activityNo$249.00ModerateOffline, internal chip stores up to 2,000,000 keystroke signalsHardware
*The developer or manufacturer might change the pricing; taxes might apply

KidInspector

Dashboard kidinspector

KidInspector is an intuitive and maintenance-less software. The monitoring agent, once installed, operates silently without giving a hint of its presence to the users.

Upon subscribing, the software sends you an email will all the credentials and URLs you need to monitor remote computers. Besides keylogging, it offers live screen mirroring, app activity monitoring, web browsing, sound recording, webcam mirroring, IM activity tracking, site blocking, and more.

ProsCons
Real-time dashboardEasily detected by Windows Security if not added to the Exclusion list
Lightweight softwareLive screen mirroring graphics could be better
Truly invisible

Get KidInspector

Refog

Refog
Image credit: Refog

Using the Refog keylogger application, you can track any Windows PC you own via remote operating. You can specify the actions you want to monitor. It keeps a record of everything the user types, including the chats and conversations done on blogs, forums, and other PC apps.

It even saves each pressed key on the target computers. Besides tracking typing, the tool periodically captures the computer screen to display what’s happening at that moment. Refog also creates readable logs containing IM conversations so that you can understand the user behavior.

ProsCons
Generates readable logsNo content filter option
Easy installationWindows Security constantly blocks the app until you add it to the Exclusions directory
No learning curve

Get Refog

pcTattletale

PCTattletale
Image credit: PCTattletale

pcTattletale records every click made on the PC. You can install it without the password of the target PC. Keystrokes also include usernames, passwords, security questions, and more.

Besides typed passwords, pcTattletale also tracks saved passwords auto-filled by Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, or Microsoft Edge. Moreover, it can create videos of the user activities that include the words they’ve typed.

ProsCons
Installation without computer passwordPrice increases as you choose a higher tier of history logs
Generates videos of user activity
Tracks saved passwords without typing

Get pcTattletale

Spyrix

Spyrix
Image credit: Spyrix

With Spyrix, you can monitor activities and keystrokes made on different computers. The text is included in the log even if the users delete it. You can set some keywords so that whenever users type them in the browser’s search bar, you get an instant alert.

Furthermore, it displays all the keyboard events. You can search them based on values like date, time, source app, title, and text. When your work is done, you can remove the software remotely from the target computer.

ProsCons
Track activities on email and social mediaNeeds admin rights for installation
View logs from remote locationsBasic features like screen recording, webcam recording, etc., come at an extra cost
Keyword alertsDoesn’t log passwords

Get Spyrix

SPYERA

spyera homepage

If you’re looking for invisible keylogger software, SPYERA is another great choice. It can record any text typed on apps like Facebook, WhatsApp, Skype, Microsoft Teams, and more. All the captured data is securely uploaded to the server so that you can view them using a web browser or app.

It even lets you track the email passwords entered on the target computer. You can then access those accounts later to check their contact and chat history. It runs in the background without affecting the computer’s performance. Also, its impact on the laptop battery is negligible.

ProsCons
24×7 live chat customer supportRemote installation isn’t supported
Single portal to monitor all devicesUser manuals and support only available to paid users
Access to data from mobile app

Get SPYERA

Clever Control

clever control

Clever Control is a robust keylogger and security tool for employee monitoring. As an employer or IT manager, you can turn on the keylogger feature and prevent information leakages, determine insider threats, and get notified for high-security keywords.

It also supports keystroke recording on any application and uploading to your cloud. Its intuitive dashboard supports filtering keystroke data by date, event, computer, and so on.

ProsCons
Instantly view all entered textSimultaneous live viewing feature isn’t available for all computers
Supports keylogging for apps, clipboards, and browsersThe on-premise solution is expensive
Data filtering feature is available on the dashboard

Get Clever Control

NetBull

Netbull
Image credit: NetBull

NetBull is a comprehensive internet monitoring software with a hidden keylogger functionality. It can track online activities that involve typing including general texts, user IDs, and passwords. It doesn’t contain any spyware or trojan, hence it’s completely safe to install. You can get the log reports via email and FTP.

The software works on all the latest Windows versions. Its keylogger feature functions on all accounts including Administrator and Guest. It also supports remote installation, which means you can download the software package from an email and install it on the target computer.

ProsCons
Remotely deployable keyloggerStrict ‘no refunds’ policy
Log delivery by email and FTP channelsAntivirus software can detect the trial edition easily
Standalone and portable software package

Get NetBull

Revealer Keylogger

Revealer
Image credit: Revealer Keylogger

Revealer Keylogger is an efficient tool for remote and off-site employee productivity monitoring along with home and educational establishments. This conversation recorder can capture all keystrokes, including the passwords. It tracks everything employees or students type using the keyboard on any application or social media platform.

Furthermore, it can monitor text typed on all web browsers, including Chrome incognito mode. The software can also automatically capture screenshots when users type high-security or pre-configured keywords. As the tool runs in the background and doesn’t display any message, you can stay sure of its confidentiality.

ProsCons
Records passwords, system inputs, and conversationsWindows Security constantly blocks the app until you add its folder to the Exclusions directory
Password protection for the app
Delivers reports via email, Dropbox, FTP, and LAN

Get Revealer Keylogger

AirDrive Forensic Keylogger

AirDrive Forensic

The AirDrive keylogger device can be quite useful thanks to its small size and constant Wi-Fi connectivity. You can easily plug it into the device and make necessary changes in the configuration from its web-based console, just like a router console page. This hardware is compatible with USB keyboards and barcode readers.

It’s also completely stealthy and you won’t get any pop-up as a system device. It supports 40+ keyboard layouts of popular languages in the world. Also, you don’t need to have physical access to this keylogger as it lets you retrieve the logged file by connecting to it via Wi-Fi.

ProsCons
Don’t need any software installationIntermittent issues with keylogging reported by active users
Capacity of 16,000,000 keystrokesEasily detectable by tech-savvy users
Remote log download

Get AirDrive Forensic Keylogger

KeyGhost USB Keylogger

KeyGhost USB Keylogger

KeyGhost hardware keylogger records USB traffic and retrieves keystrokes made on Windows devices. It’s a plug-and-play device that doesn’t require you to turn off or restart the PC after plugging it in. You can use it to record keystrokes of multiple Windows PCs and analyze the recorded data from an admin PC.

Anything typed on the input devices is recorded in the internal flash memory chip. It’s compatible with low-speed (1.1Mbps) and high-speed (12Mbps) keyboards. Moreover, KeyGhost USB Keylogger won’t show up as an additional USB accessory in the Windows device manager.

ProsCons
Up to 2,000,000 keystrokes with 128-bit encryptionWon’t work with new Logitech keyboards using a unified BT receiver
No need to install an app
Plug-and-play device

Get KeyGhost USB Keylogger

It depends on the situation and the purpose. For example, if you’re about to monitor the online activities of your underaged children, or conduct research on the online behavior of a group, installing a keylogger is legal. Also, if your employees signed an agreement allowing such surveillance, using a keystroke tracking tool to track their activity is legal. In all other cases, using such apps is illegal.

Can a USB Keylogger Be Detected?

Yes, you can discover USB keyloggers through several means, such as:

Manual Inspection

You can easily detect a USB keylogger by carefully monitoring the connection of your keyboard with the computer. If your keyboard isn’t directly connected to the CPU and it goes through another USB connector or hub, it might be a USB keylogger.

Antivirus Software

Any robust antivirus software including Windows Defender or Windows Security should detect a USB keylogger’s processes. Scan your computer with an antivirus and it’ll detect the hardware keylogger’s graphical user interface tool.

Windows Task Manager

On Windows 10 or Windows 11, you can open the Task Manager and see the active processes related to USB keylogger management software. If a hardware keylogger is attached to the computer and its app is open somewhere, it’ll be visible in the processes section.

Do Keyloggers Really Work?

Both software and hardware keyloggers work as they claim. The features, can, however, vary a little depending on your budget.

My basis for the selection of the apps/ hardware mentioned in this article is real-world testing. Here’s how I used the KidInspector keylogger on my PCs. The steps to use other tools are quite similar.

  1. Go to the KidInspector registration portal and create a new account using your email ID and a unique password for your dashboard.
register
  1. You should now see your app dashboard. Click the Download for Windows button to get the software on the PC you want to track.
add pc
  1. Disable the antivirus software and add C:\ProgramData\Security Monitor to the Windows Security Exclusions folder.
Add to exclusions
  1. Install the app on the tracked PC.
  2. Now, access your KidInspector dashboard from the admin PC.
Dashboard
  1. Allow your kids, students, or employees to use the tracked PC for a while.
  2. After 10 to 15 minutes, you should be able to see a detailed report of keystrokes on the monitored PC by going to the Keyboard events page.
Events

Related readings:

Summary

So, now you know how to pick your best keylogger for Windows! You can read the above tool and device reviews to get informed suggestions from an experienced IT analyst and PC security specialist. I’ve included the tools after testing each one of them.

Whichever you choose, don’t forget to share your experience in the comment section below.

More about the topics: software review, windows