KidLogger is an absolutely free and open source user activity monitoring tool. Other than just logging keystrokes and clipboard, it can also record USB drives/files/folders usage, sound from microphone and taking screenshots including Skype videos. You’re able to set keywords as an alert during capture. The log files can either viewed locally or from your KidLogger’s online account. KidLogger can be installed on Windows, Mac OS X, Android, Symbian, BlackBerry and iOS.
KidLogger runs hidden in background but visible in task manager and explorer. There’s no hotkey or run command to launch the program so you’ll need to run the shortcut or from the executable file itself. KidLogger can be password protected.
4. BlackBox Express
BlackBox Express is a free security monitoring software that can be used as a keylogger. The way BlackBox works is slightly different compared to the rest on this list because it can monitor 1 local PC and up to 200 remote computers on the network. It can log keystrokes, web searches, ran programs, visited websites, email client programs, webmails, instant messaging chat programs and capture screenshots. Other than that, you can exclude the user that you don’t want to monitor on the computer. Alert notification and the ability to generate report that can be printed, saved as a HTML or emailed.
BlackBox Express runs as a service and hidden by default that does not show up in the taskbar nor display an icon at notification area. However you can still find the process in task manager and the only way to launch the program is from the shortcut or alternatively running the executable file from the unhidden program folder. Password protection is supported. You need to register for a free account to download the installer.
3. Spyrix Free Keylogger
Spyrix Free Keylogger is the free version of the paid Spyrix Personal Monitor. It is able to capture keystrokes, clipboard and take screenshots but advanced features such as social network & IM capture, visited webpages, log delivery and alerts are not available. When Spyrix is hidden, it can be launched with either a hotkey (Ctrl+Alt+A) or run command (runkey) and can be protected with a password.
Spyrix Free Keylogger has a lot of potential to take the higher spots if the capabilities of hiding itself are improved. Although Spyrix appears to be hidden from normal eyes, it can be easily spotted from the task manager with the process seen running as system user when hide in task manager option is checked. The program’s folder is not hidden as well.
2. G³ iSam
iSam is the free keylogger that’s packed with features such as the ability to capture keystrokes and take screenshots, set a hotkey (default T+G+Enter) to run the program, password protection (default 1234), automatic emailing log files, keywords marking, displaying banner to alert the user, scheduler, blocking URLs and exclusion filtering system.
The configuration window runs in full screen with a dark background with options that are not really that user friendly and requires a bit of usage and time to get used to. Microsoft .NET framework 4.0 must be installed before you can install iSam. Although the program is hidden when running, it shows up in task manager, program’s folder and uninstaller list.
1. Actual Keylogger
Actual Keylogger used to be totally free but the current version has turned into a shareware with the program renamed to Actual Spy. Although the last freeware version 2.4 was released back in 2006, it worked perfectly when we tested it on our Windows 7 32-bit operating system. It can only capture keystrokes and allows you to access the program in two methods which is hotkey (Ctrl+Shift+Alt+F7) and run command (akstart).
Out of all 9 free keyloggers mentioned above, Actual Keylogger has the strongest stealth features and runs totally invisible including during Windows startup. You won’t find the process in task manager, the program folder is hidden, shortcuts are removed, and it doesn’t show up in the Windows uninstallation list. As an additional security feature, Actual Keylogger can be password protected to prevent unauthorized users from accessing the program and log file. You can still download the free version of Actual Keylogger from CNET but make sure you click on the direct download link.