pcTattletale is one of the veterans of the monitoring software space, having been first conceived in 2002 and regularly coming out with updates since then. Today, it’s far from being the most popular tool in its industry, but it holds a respectable position and many people have praised it. In this review I’ll test it for myself and give my own unbiased opinion. Click here to skip to my verdict or continue reading for a walkthrough of the software and answers to the most common questions people have asked about it.
How to install pcTattletale
First, here’s how pcTattletale works: you install the software on the computer or phone you want to monitor, and then it’ll run in the background without showing any signs that it exists. You can then view the activity on that computer or phone — including a live screen recording — on an online dashboard at pctattletale.com. So to be clear, you only install pcTattletale on devices you want to monitor, not the actual device you’ll be using to look at what’s happening. 🙂
To install pcTattletale on a device you want to monitor, go to https://www.pctattletale.com/download.php and register for an account:
You’ll be asked to add a device, Windows or Android. Here I will select Windows:
You’ll then get a unique URL to download the software, like this:
Upon going to the link you’re given, a download for a .exe installer will start. At the time of writing this is less than 1MB in size. This will install pcTattletale on the device automatically — you will not need to click through any windows. Once you see a success dialogue box, pcTattletale is active on the device, and all its activity will be recorded.
While I’m using Windows for the purpose of this review, the process of installing pcTattletale on an Android phone is the same: you get a custom install link, go to that link on the phone, and it’ll download and then you can run it. See pcTattletale’s own guide for installing on Android. Then, for monitoring Android devices, it works the same way as Windows devices below.
Monitoring a device with pcTattletale
Once you’ve signed into your pcTattletale account on the website (you’ll be taken to https://www.pctattletale.com/members/v1), any devices you’ve installed pcTattletale on will be visible to you, and you can watch them live. Here’s what the members dashboard looks like (click the image for the full screenshot):
This is showing everything on the screen. On the right, you can see an “Activity” column, which shows what software has been opened. Activities here are titled by the name of the window. If it’s a webpage, it’ll be the title of the webpage and browser such as “What was your ‘F*** it, done helping others’ moment? AskReddit – Google Chrome” (as in the above screenshot), or if it’s a document it may be something like “TPSReport.doc – Microsoft Word”. You can therefore type any software in here or any keywords you like, and you’ll probably find what you’re looking for. I thought the search feature here worked quite well.
Further down on the dashboard screen you can also get a log of activity and what apps have been used for how long:
You can also click on the “Reports” link at the top to get some more statistics:
If you’re using this to monitor employees, it’s very useful, because you’ll know if they just took a 1 hour break for example. If you click on any activity segment (such as the red bar in the screenshot above), you can see the whole recording of what was done. So nothing is left out here.
Is pcTattletale detectable?
An important question. pcTattletale claims to be undetectable, and during my testing of the Windows version, I couldn’t find any indications at all that it was running. Ctrl+Alt+Del and looking at Task Manager and all processes came back with nothing at all related to pcTattletale, it doesn’t appear as a program anywhere that you can uninstall, and I of course couldn’t find any icons or windows of it anywhere.
The Android version is similar — it doesn’t show any indications at all that it’s installed or it’s doing anything.
As far as I know, the only real way to detect pcTattletale is with certain antivirus software. Kaspersky Realtime Protection, for example, will pick it up. If the device your installing pcTattletale on has antivirus software that will find it, you may be able to tell the antivirus software to ignore it (here’s an example with Kaspersky).
How to uninstall pcTattletale
pcTattletale.com has a guide for uninstalling pcTattletale on Android here. To remove the Windows version, you’ll probably need some kind of antivirus software like Kaspersky, as I couldn’t find any way to find and remove it otherwise. There have been a few threads over the years (e.g. here and here) from people who somehow found they had pcTattletale on their computer and wanted to know how to remove it, and it wasn’t a simple task.
If you own the pcTattletale.com account that was used to download pcTattletale onto some device, you can easily disable it by deleting that device in your dashboard area:
How does pcTattletale compare to the competition?
To compare pcTattletale to every competitor would take thousands of words, but the primary difference between most of its competition (such as Teramind, ActivTrak and Controlio) in the employee monitoring software industry is that you get a yearly licence instead of being billed monthly. Practically all other software I looked at has a monthly fee per user. As far as functionality, though, you can definitely find other software that has the same features (or more features) than pcTattletale.
How much does pcTattletale cost?
pcTattletale has the following pricing structure:
- $99 for 3 devices and 7 day storage
- $147 for 3 devices and 30 day storage
- $297 for 3 devices and 365 day storage
Unfortunately, you won’t get a discount if you’re only going to use pcTattletale on 1 device. Each one of these plans last one year. As you can see, you can save a lot if you don’t need screenrecording videos from pcTattletale to be stored for a long time (it would have to take a lot of storage for pcTattletale to keep 24/7/365 videos for every device that has the software on it, so it’s understandable why they have this pricing structure).
Are there any discounts or coupon codes for pcTattletale?
There wasn’t any option to add a coupon code on the pcTattletale checkout page, so no. You can however get 10% off if you pay via Bitcoin:
If by some chance pcTattletale is running discounts, however, they should be on the website here (our referral link).
pcTattletale works like a charm, and I didn’t have any issues with it during my time using it. It does what it says it does and does it well. If you’ve come this far, therefore, I recommend trying the free trial.