How to Track What Others Do on Your Computer With iSpy

Ryan Dube 19-01-2012

track others on your computerHave you ever been in a situation where you suspect someone has been using your computer, but you just aren’t certain who is doing it and what they’re actually doing when they’re logged in? This situation comes up more often than you might suspect – whether it’s a shared computer in a dorm room, a home, or an office. The computer use may be completely innocent, or the person may actually be trying to poke around your personal files to discover private information about you. You really don’t know.


There are lots of solutions for PC usage monitoring and logging, and we’ve covered a lot of them here at MUO. We’ve even offered a giveaway of the Elite Keylogger Monitor Activity On Your PC with Elite Keylogger [MakeUseOf Giveaway] Read More before, and I’ve written a few articles on ways that you can monitor how your employees or your family members How To Spy On Your Spouse With Your Computer Read More are using your computers. They are still good solutions, but after coming across iSpy, thanks to Matt’s awesome review iSpy Turns Your Computer Webcam Into Surveillance Equipment [Windows] Read More of the free webcam surveillance software, I realized that there’s an even better solution than anything I’ve ever covered before.

Use iSpy to Track What Others Do On Your Computer

Why is iSpy the best solution? Well, if you’ve followed how most of the webcam surveillance systems How To Build A WiFi Home Surveillance System With Your PC Read More that we’ve reviewed work, they typically watch the camera area for movement, and whenever any activity takes place, the system jumps into action in whatever manner you’ve told it to. This can include recording the video, sending an email, or even launching an application.

The iSpy Camera Security Software does all of that – just as Matt described. However, there is something else that it does that I’m very excited about – it provides a powerful feature where you can set up a remote view of a computer desktop, just like you’d remotely view a webcam, and capture all movement on that screen.

To do that, once you install iSpy, just click the “Add” button and select the “VLC Camera Source” option.

track others on your computer

You’ll need to choose from a variety of camera sources. The magic one is the “Desktop” tab on this screen. Choose the display that you want to monitor, the frame interval and what view size you want to resize the desktop to when you view it remotely. To set this up on remote PCs that you want to monitor, you’ll need to install the iSpy Server software, rather than the full-blown version of iSpy.

track computer usage

So, here I’ve installed the desktop camera to monitor all activity that takes place on the other monitor that I have set up. Here’s that monitor displayed in my “webcam” view inside the iSpy software. As you can see the live screen is marked at the upper right with the current date and time.

track computer usage

You could simply watch the screen remotely if you want to see what the person is doing there, but obviously that would take a lot of time and patience. And, if you’re more interested in seeing what’s going on at your PC when you’re gone, then you’re going to want to set up iSpy on a different PC to monitor your computer when you’re not around.

When you add the desktop webcam, you have to go through a few steps to set up that automatic “motion sensor” monitoring feature. The first tab is the camera tab where you’ll set up the recording frame rate. If you don’t have a lot of space to save recordings, just cut back on the “when recording” framerate. If you want to hear what’s going on as well, then yes, you can even activate the microphone (using the add button) and then “pair it” on this tab.

How to Track What Others Do on Your Computer With iSpy ispylog4

The Motion Detection tab is where you set up the sensitivity of motion when you want to start recording what’s going on at the screen. Also, if you want to monitor the motion over just a smaller portion of the screen, you can create a “detection zone” by drawing a box around that area.

track computer usage

The “Alerts” tab is where you’re going to configure the behavior of how the application monitors motion. Change mode to “movement” and then select how many seconds of movement there should be before recording begins.

track activity on your computer

That screen is also where you can select a program to execute in the “Execute file” field.

Then, on the “Recording” tab, you set up exactly how the app records. This is where you set how many seconds inactivity will last before recording stops.

track activity on your computer

The coolest part of this application is its ability to automatically FTP the files to any FTP account you have set up. This makes it easy for you to monitor the activity from anywhere at all. The software will FTP the files and you can access them from anywhere.

track activity on your computer

If you don’t want to focus on the motion feature, but instead want to see what people are doing on your PC during certain times of the day, you can enable the “scheduling” feature of iSpy on the “Scheduling” tab. Just set the days and the times you want to record, and let iSpy go to work recording all activity on that PC for you.

How to Track What Others Do on Your Computer With iSpy ispylog9

The videos are all stored in mp4 format. Here’s a 10 minute video I captured of someone using my computer to search YouTube for “crazy stunts”. Those silly kids…

track others on your computer

As you can see, iSpy goes well beyond your typical keylogging or screenshot applications that most people use to monitor computer usage. iSpy actually lets you record a screencast of every movement and every action that the user makes on that PC.

Give the screen recording feature of iSpy a shot and see what kind of interesting things you capture on your computers. Did you catch anyone trying to do anything they shouldn’t be doing on your computer? Share your thoughts and insights in the comments section below.

Image Credit: Shutterstock

Explore more about: Keylogger, Spyware, Surveillance, Webcam.

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  1. Reed Bottomtooth
    February 10, 2016 at 8:08 pm

    can I use my mac to monitor a PC that I've installed the ispy software on?

  2. Anonymous
    December 15, 2014 at 10:06 pm

    I never knew that you could do that

  3. Anonymous
    December 15, 2014 at 10:04 pm


  4. Meena Bassem
    January 21, 2012 at 10:02 am

    sounds cool, where's the download link?

    • Tina
      January 21, 2012 at 12:50 pm

      Hey Meena,

      thanks for the catch! There is a link to Matt's review of iSpy in the introduction. Here is the direct link:

  5. Down With Big Brother!
    January 20, 2012 at 3:10 am

    Is it possible to find out what companies (Google, Facebook, Twitter, etc.) do on your computer, i.e. what "cookie crumbs" get left on their end?

    I'd love to get a little VLC voyeurism into the server side at Amphitheatre Parkway. ;-) And run my CCleaner vacuum through the native habitat of those multiplying digital dust bunnies. ;-)

    That "public camera from the internet" setting seems mighty creepy, though.

    • Ryan Dube
      January 21, 2012 at 3:05 am

      Do you mean how to see what cookies they've placed on your computer? It depends on the browser you're using...