How do you monitor your PC usage? There are free programs that can detect what you do on your home computer. The purpose may be to make you aware of how you actually work, but can also be used for fun reasons like counting how many times you use a certain key or click the mouse.
These are programs that collect information about your or someone else's computer activities, and presents the results in an organized manner.
What Pulse and PC Usage Viewer
We present two programs on this page. What Pulse is a much more advanced program in the sense that it registers several types of activities, but it also requires that you register. PC Usage Viewer however is a small program that records how many hours you or others use the PC. This program uses its own Windows service and does not need registration.
What Pulse is a program that can be used to monitor various activities on your PC. The free version supports monitoring of the mouse, keyboard and use of applications, while the paid version can be used to monitor specific programs/apps, plus several other things.
Please note that during the installation of What Pulse it gives you the option to install WinPCap, which detects your network activity.
You can select "Cancel" if you do not want to install this application, but you will not get any information about your network activity, under the "Network" tab in the What Pulse program.
If you have not signed up already, you can during the installation enter a desired e-mail address and password, and finally click "Continue."
You will then see a new window with an opportunity to register. The user name must be unique. Finally, click "Register account", and the program will begin.
One of the reasons you have to register to use What Pulse is that the results are available online. You can opt out through the settings in the program by selecting "Work offline" if you wish.
The program starts monitoring immediately after installation. It records information about the operating system, as well as statistics for mouse, keyboard, and network.
Tabs with different information
The programme window has six tabs that display various types of information, on devices being monitored.
- Input show keystrokes and mouse clicks. You can also look for keys used the most. Hover over the buttons in the application window to see more information.
- Network shows information about bandwidth usage. Here you get a list of all web-based user interfaces and IP addresses, plus real-time information for all programs on your PC.
- Uptime shows PC's uptime. Here includes information about how often the PC has been rebooted, and how long specific programs have been active.
- Settings gives you access to program settings. You can partly determine what is being watched.
- Account provides information about your What Pulse account.
PC Usage Viewer
PC Usage Viewer is a much simpler program that shows how long you use your PC. The program collects information from Windows own feature called Event Viewer.
The program can be also be used to check if your PC has been used at a specific time on a specific day.
Both programs can be downloaded from their official websites free of charge.