How to Find a Keylogger on Your Computer

Published by Nyau Wai Hoe - Updated on

Keyloggers are sneaky programs that secretly keep track of everything you type on your computer, like your passwords, chats, and other private stuff. They’re bad news because hackers use them to get their hands on your personal and financial info. In this guide, we’re going to show you how to spot and get rid of keyloggers so you can keep your data safe and sound.

Also see: How to Scan an .exe File for Viruses to Check If It’s Safe

How to Find a Keylogger on Your Computer

What is a keylogger?

A keylogger is like a digital spy that keeps track of every button you press on your keyboard. They started off for good reasons, like keeping an eye on what kids do online or checking on employees at work. But, in the wrong hands, they’re tools for cyberthieves.

Keyloggers can be sneaky software hiding on your computer, or they can be gadgets that look like USB drives plugged into your PC. They snatch up stuff like your passwords, personal messages, and credit card numbers, and send them to the bad guys.

Linked issue: Trojan:Win32/Wacatac.H!ml: What You Need to Know

How to detect and remove keyloggers

Why is a keylogger a serious danger?

Keyloggers are more than just annoying; they can really mess things up for you:

  1. They can steal your personal info, like your name and where you live.
  2. They can grab your bank and credit card details, leading to money loss.
  3. They can get into your personal or work accounts, causing privacy headaches.
  4. They can pretend to be you, do illegal stuff, or trick others.
  5. They can steal important info from businesses, causing big problems.
  6. Knowing someone could be watching every keystroke can make you uneasy and hold back in your online chats.

So, it’s easy to see why keeping keyloggers away is super important.

How dangerous is a keylogger on your PC

Can antivirus software detect keyloggers?

Antivirus programs are great for fighting off cyber nasties, but how do they do against keyloggers?

  1. Yes, they can spot many keyloggers by matching them with known bad stuff. But, it’s not perfect.
  2. New, unknown keyloggers might slip through until the antivirus folks catch up and update their lists.
  3. To help catch sneaky new threats, antivirus tools also watch how programs behave. If something acts like a keylogger, it might raise a red flag.
  4. Using just an antivirus isn’t enough. It’s smart to also use tools made to fight keyloggers, keep your software updated, and be careful where you click online.
  5. Sometimes, normal programs might look suspicious to your antivirus. If you get a warning, check it out before you act.

Related concern: What is Trojan:Win32/Casdet!rfn and How to Remove it

Detecting and removing keyloggers

1. Signs that you might have a keylogger

Here’s how to tell if you might have a keylogger problem:

  • Your computer starts acting weird or slows down.
  • You see strange programs running when you check Task Manager or Activity Monitor.
  • You notice odd internet usage or activities when you’re not even online.Strange network activity
  • Your accounts do things you didn’t do, like password changes or weird emails.

Useful guide: How to Know Which Process is Using The Internet in Windows 11

Spotting these signs early can help you deal with keyloggers faster. But even if you don’t see these signs, checking for keyloggers regularly is a good idea.

2. Manual check for keyloggers

Task Manager (Windows) / Activity Monitor (Mac)

  1. Open Task Manager or Activity Monitor to see what’s running on your computer.
  2. Look for anything weird or that you don’t recognize.
  3. If something looks off, search online to see what it is.

Check for keyloggers in Windows 11 10

Check Startup Programs (Windows)

  1. Look at the Startup tab in Task Manager to see what programs start with your computer.
  2. If you see anything strange, you can stop it from starting up next time.

Disable keyloggers in Windows

3. Use anti-keylogger software

Some programs are made just to find and remove keyloggers. They’re different from regular antivirus programs but can work well together.

  1. Get a good anti-keylogger program, like “KL-Detector,” “Zemana AntiLogger,” or “SpyShelter.”
  2. Scan your computer to find any keyloggers and decide what to do with them.
  3. Keep the program updated to protect against new threats.

Free anti-keylogger software for Windows 11 10

4. Regularly update and scan with antivirus software

A strong antivirus program is still one of the best ways to keep your computer safe, including from keyloggers.

  1. Make sure you’ve got good antivirus software.
  2. Update it often to catch the latest threats.
  3. Do a full scan now and then to check for problems.Run a full virus scan on Windows 11
  4. Use the real-time protection feature to stop threats as they happen.

Related resource: How to remove a known virus using CMD in Windows 11 or 10

5. Check installed programs

It’s a good plan to check what’s installed on your computer now and then. Keyloggers might hide as normal apps.

  1. To see what’s installed, Windows users can press Windows + R, type “appwiz.cpl,” and hit Enter. Mac users, check your Applications folder.
  2. Look for anything you don’t recognize or need.
  3. Get rid of anything sketchy by uninstalling it.

Check installed programs for possible keyloggers

6. Stay educated and exercise caution

How you use the internet can also protect you from keyloggers:

  1. Watch out for tricky emails that try to get you to download keyloggers.
  2. Only download stuff from places you trust.
  3. Strong passwords help, even if keyloggers catch your keystrokes. A password manager can make this easier.

Use Strong Passwords

7. Implement two-factor authentication (2FA)

Using 2FA adds another security layer. Even if a hacker gets your password, they need more to get into your account.

  1. Turn on 2FA for important accounts like your email and bank.
  2. Use authentication apps for better security than text messages.

Implement two-factor authentication (2FA)

8. Using password managers to reduce keylogger risks

Password managers help a lot against keyloggers by autofilling your passwords so you don’t have to type them.

  1. Less typing means less risk of being spied on.
  2. Using different passwords for each site means even if one gets caught, the others are safe.
  3. Your passwords are kept safe and encrypted.
  4. They can also make super strong passwords for you.
  5. And they support extra security steps, making it even harder for hackers.

Google Password Manager

9. Beware of hardware keyloggers

Some keyloggers are actual gadgets attached to your PC.

  1. Check your computer for any strange devices now and then.
  2. Use tools to keep an eye on USB devices connected to your computer.

Check USB hardware keyloggers

10. Keep your operating system and software updated

Updates fix security holes that keyloggers and other malware could use to get in.

  1. Turn on automatic updates for your operating system.
  2. Keep your most-used software up to date too.

Check for Windows Update

11. Educate and monitor

If other people use your computer, make sure they know how to stay safe online, especially kids.

  1. Talk about safe internet habits.
  2. Think about using parental controls to keep younger users safe.

Nyau Wai Hoe
Nyau Wai Hoe is the Founder and Chief Editor of With a degree in software engineering and over 12 years of experience in the tech support industry, Nyau has established himself as an expert in the field, with a primary focus on the Microsoft Windows operating system. As a tech enthusiast, he loves exploring new technologies and leveraging them to solve real-life problems.

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