Does Tracking Software Work on a Laptop?

It is now easier for people to work remotely nowadays thanks to how their laptops and modern technology have allowed them to do their jobs even when they are not in the office. However, the problem with this setup is that it would be difficult for companies to keep track of what their employees are doing when they are working remotely. That is why some companies actually have tracking software installed on company-owned computers. But do tracking software work on a laptop?

Tracking software does work on laptops in the same way that they work on desktop computers. In fact, companies that provide company-owned laptops to their employees may even have tracking software installed on the laptops so that they can keep track of what their employees are doing.

It might sound like tracking software is a betrayal of your trust but this is the reality we live in today as most companies put a lot of importance on tracking employee progress because of how they are paying you by the hour. They need to make sure that you are actually doing your job well as they track whatever you are doing whether you are working in the office or from a remote location.

Lenovo Thinkpad X260 laptop on white desk with copy space on right.

Does tracking software work on a laptop?

When it comes to working today, there are now plenty of employees who actually work remotely due to the recent effects of COVID-19 or simply because it is better and more cost-efficient for them to work at home or in other remote places instead of the office. After all, we now have laptops and digital devices that can easily connect to the internet if we want to work.

The problem with this kind of setup is that it can be difficult for employers to keep track of what their employees are doing while working if ever they are indeed working at all. In the office, it is easier to monitor employee activity and progress because there are eyes that supervise the employees. But, when an employee is working remotely, this can be problematic for an employer that wants to maximize what he is paying his employees who are supposed to work and get paid by the hour.

As such, this is where tracking software comes in to help monitor employee progress and to make sure that everything they do while they are using their computers is tracked and recorded by the tracking software. But do tracking software work on laptops in case you have been issued a company laptop and you are working remotely?

Yes, tracking software does indeed work on laptops in the same way that they work on desktop computers. This tracking software can be installed by the employer himself or by the one who is using the laptop so that your employer can keep his eyes on your progress whenever the tracking software is tracking the activity on your laptop. There are also instances where there is an agreement between the employee and the employer to install the tracking software so that the employee can turn it on whenever he is working during what is supposed to be his office hours.

How does tracking software work?

Now that you know that tracking software works on laptops, you might be wondering how they actually work when they are installed on a laptop. After all, you might not know it for sure but there might be tracking software that is installed on your laptop.

So, first of all, there are different types of tracking software that you can use on a laptop. Some software actually needs to be opened and turned on so that they will track whatever is happening on the laptop. What happens here is that the software, when turned on, will keep track of the hours you are working while also recording and keeping track of the different apps and programs that are opened. Some tracking software will also periodically take screenshots of what is happening on the screen so that the employer can actually see what is happening on your laptop behind the scenes.

In some cases, however, there are some tracking software that can be installed by the employer without the employee even knowing that it has been installed or is actually running while he is using the laptop. Such software might be running in incognito and will not appear as an opened program or app while the employee is using the laptop. This is where it might seem like there is a betrayal of trust but this actually happens quite commonly and is widely accepted if and only if the laptop is actually owned by the company and has been issued to an employee. After all, this is the only way for the company to know for certain that the employee is actually using the laptop for work and not for personal matters.

Laptop Computer Travel Business Holiday Vacation

How can you tell if there is tracking software on your laptop?

So, now that you know that there could be a tracking software that is installed on the laptop you are using and is being used to keep track of what you are doing, how can you tell if there is actually tracking software on it?

  • Check the installed programs on your laptop by going to the Start menu, Control Panel, and Programs and Features. Try to look at the programs one by one. If there is a program that you don’t recognize, try Googling it to know what it is. It could be a tracking program.
  • Press CTRL, Shift, and Esc at the same time to open the Task Manager. Check the Processes tab to see if there is an unknown process that is running. This process could be a tracking software that is working incognito. You can use a search engine to look up the name of that process so that you can tell whether or not it is indeed a tracking software.
  • Check your computer’s firewall by going to the Control Panel and then clicking on the Windows Firewall. Choose to allow a program to work through the firewall.
  • In the exceptions tab found in the Windows Firewall, you can scroll through different programs that are allowed to run through the firewall. Any of these programs could be tracking software that the employer installed or was actually maliciously installed when you mistakenly entered a suspicious website.
  • Download, install, and run anti-malware software that can look for malware that may be monitoring or tracking whatever you are doing on your laptop. You can do so by using the software’s scan function as this will search the entire system for programs, apps, and software that could be maliciously or secretly tracking your laptop. Follow the on-screen instructions to remove any such software.


I'm Rob, the founder of I’m a Marine Corps vet with a master’s degree in Information Systems and have been working in the technology field for over a decade.

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