This article provides instructions on how to install Refog Personal Monitor on a MacOS based system. The content of this article is organized into the following sections:
- What’s this App?
- System Requirements
- How to Use
- How to Launch
- Types of Log
- Monitoring Settings
- Invisibility Settings
- Email Delivery
- Applications Settings
- Log Cleanup
- Advanced Settings
- Tips & Tricks
- How to Uninstall
You are discouraged from installing this software on any computer that you don’t own. This may be illegal in some countries or states as such software could be considered a threat to private, confidential or financial information of third parties. Please consult your local lawyer for details.
What’s this App?
Refog software is designed to monitor and record events that happen on your Mac. You can keep track of:
- Typed and copied text;
- Visited websites (Safari, Firefox and Chrome web browsers);
- Chat logs (when using Messages or Adium applications);
- Applications used, window titles and names of open documents;
- Screenshots of visited web pages, Facebook chats and regular scheduled screenshots of the whole screen.
Typed password are not recorded for some applications and operating systems. System login passwords are never recorded.
All recorded data is stored locally on your Mac. No such data is sent to Refog or third parties. Refog Personal Monitor can be configured to send collected data and screenshots to your email.
- Refog 4.0 runs on macOS 10.15 Catalina, 10.14 Mojave, 10.13 High Sierra, 10.12 Sierra and 10.11 El Capitan.
- Refog 3.6 is available for OS X 10.10 Yosemite.
- Refog 3.5 is available for OS X 10.9 Mavericks.
How to Use
- Install: Download and run Refog application. You will be prompted to install a monitoring tool. When installed it will run automatically for all users of your Mac. Then you can delete any Refog files from your Desktop or Downloads folder.
- Set some settings: hide Refog icon, change Hot Key combination to view logs, setup scheduled screenshots, screenshots of visited web pages or activated windows. When done, you can close Refog application.
- Enable and configure email delivery of logs.
- To view collected information and screenshots run Refog application later on.
Download installation disk image from: https://login.refog.com/account/login/
Disk image should open automatically after the download is finished. If that does not happen, locate the downloaded file in your Downloads folder and double click to open it.
Double click Refog icon to run the application. It will ask if you wish to install a Monitoring Tool to track activity on this Mac. Choose what kind of computer you're going to monitor, click «Install» and provide an administrator password. Optionally adjust settings and then quit Refog.
That’s it. Please note a small icon Refog icon in menu bar. It shows that a Monitoring Tool is running and keeps track of everything that happens on the Mac. This icon can optionally be disabled during installation if you intend to monitor your kid's computer, your employee computer or your own computer. Monitoring is started automatically for all users when they log in.
Now you can eject and delete the installation disk image.
How to Launch
There are two ways to launch Refog Viewer application to view collected information:
Use a unique key combination to run Refog Viewer. The default combination is ⌥ ⇧ ⌘ R (Option, Shift, Command and R). Press these keys simultaneously, and Refog Viewer will pop up. This only works when a Monitoring Tool is installed and running.
Hot Key combination can be changed, disabled for non-administrator users or disabled completely in «Monitoring Settings». If Hot Key combination is disabled, you will have to launch Refog Viewer manually.
Refog Viewer can be launched directly from the installation disk image, your personal folder or a USB drive. Download Refog as described in «Installation» and then launch Refog application from the disk image or drag the application to your personal folder or USB drive. You will be able to run the application from that location.
Types of Log
Left pane of Refog window shows a list of user accounts and several sections for specific types of logged events for each user.
This section shows all events recorded for this user. Click «Gear» icon next to the user name to show «Monitor this user account» option. Uncheck this option to disable automatic recording of events when this user logs in.
This section shows typed text and text copied to the pasteboard. Click «Gear» icon to show options that disable logging of type text of pasteboard contents.
This section shows webpages visited using supported web browsers: Apple Safari, Google Chrome and Mozilla Firefox.
This section shows all created screenshots. Click «Gear» icon to configure screenshot creation. Window screenshots can be created automatically when a web page is visited using supported web browser or when switching between windows. Full screen screenshots can be taken periodically at set time intervals. Screenshot format and quality can be changed using «Monitoring» > «Settings…» menu, «Screenshots» tab.
Note: Screenshots can take up considerable amount of disk space. Creating screenshots too often can fill up your hard drive or slow down your Mac. Keep screenshot creation interval long enough. Disable screenshots for new windows or web pages unless you really need those. Delete any unnecessary screenshots when viewing logs or configure automatic «Log Cleanup».
This section shows chat logs for messages received and sent using supported chat applications: iMessage and Adium. It also shows screenshots of Facebook chat messages sent or received using a web browser. Click «Gear» icon to disable chat message recording or taking regular screenshots of Facebook conversations.
This section shows application launch and quit events as well as system events. System events include login, power oﬀ, screen lock and screen saver launch events. Click «Gear» icon to show options that disable logging of such events.
This section shows your event bookmarks. You can bookmark any event for quick access or to prevent automatic deletion during Log Cleanup. Use «Events» > «Bookmark» menu or context menu to bookmark events. Alternatively you can click a bookmark outline icon in a header of corresponding event.
To change Monitoring Settings launch Refog Viewer and click «Monitoring» > «Settings…» menu. Settings are applied immediately after you close «Settings» window.
You can change the default Hot Key combination for launching Refog Viewer. Click on the letter button and type a new value. Click on modifier key buttons to change the combination. Make sure to select at least 3 modifier keys to prevent accidental launch.
Setting up a Password
You are advised to protect Refog application with a password. The password will be asked every time someone tries to run Refog to view a log.
- Enable «Ask for a password» option.
- Type your password in both text fields.
- Click «Apply Password» button.
Disable «Ask for a password» option if you no longer want to use Password Protection or if you need to reset the password.
Refog can be set to send periodic emails with typed text and optionally screenshots:
- Go to «Settings», «Delivery» tab.
- Enable «Automatically send logs by email» option.
- Type your email address and password.
Emails will be sent to your email address using your own account.
Email server settings are configured automatically for most popular email service providers. Otherwise, you need to know your email provider settings for sending emails. Refer to your email provider instructions for details.
- User name and password: credentials you use to access your email inbox or outgoing mail (SMTP) server
- Outgoing mail server (SMTP) address and port. For example smtp.server.com, port 587.
Refog automatically uses TLS connection if available. It also splits big emails into several parts according to your email service provider email size limits.
Click next button to test email delivery settings. If a test fails or takes longer than a few seconds to complete, then there are some issues with your configuration. Go back and review your settings. If the test is successful check your inbox for test email. Click «Finish» to apply settings and enable log delivery.
Log delivery options
Emails with logs will be sent at the time intervals you set. If there’s no Internet connection available Refog will try to send the logs the next time. Optionally screenshots can be sent along with text info.
Note: screenshot delivery considerably increases email size and time required to deliver logs. Disable this option or change screenshot settings to reduce the average size of emails.
You can choose what applications Refog should monitor and record info from.
All applications except these
Refog will not record the events that happen when using applications from the list. Drag and drop applications from Finder window or click « + » icon to add applications to the list.
Only these applications
Refog will record only the events that happen when using applications from the list. System events not specific to any application will still be recorded. Drag and drop applications from Finder window or click « + » icon to add applications to the list.
Screenshots may take up considerable amount of disk space over time. Refog periodically deletes any events older than 90 days and old screenshots that take up more than 5 GB of disk space. Cleanup is performed once in 12 hours. You can change these settings or disable automatic cleanup.
Bookmark important events to prevent them from being automatically deleted.
Only Admins can use Hot Key combination
Enable this option so that Hot Key combination will only work for computer Administrators. This will prevent other users from accidentally launching Refog viewer.
Check for Updates Automatically
Refog viewer application will check for updates periodically. If an update is available, you will be shown a list of changes and asked to install the update. Refog will not install updates automatically. The update notification only shows up when you view the log.
How to View Events
To view all the events that happened on a Mac run Refog Viewer as described in «How to Launch».
A list to the left shows Users and event categories. The list shows all users of the Mac. Once Monitoring Tool is installed a user needs to log in at least once for any events to show up in the user’s log.
- Click user name to view events that were recorded while that particular user was logged in.
- Click event category to view only that particular type of events (typed text, screenshots, web page visits, etc.)
A list to the right shows «Event Flow» sorted by date. The list automatically scrolls to the event that was selected the last time you viewed the log. Scroll up or down to see event information and screenshots.
Control-click or Right-click on events to show context menu. Use «Edit», «Events» or context menu to open event web links, copy text, bookmark or delete events.
Unread events are highlighted with darker background color. Use «Events» > «Mark All as Read» to mark old events.
Click screenshot preview or hit Space Bar to Quick Look selected screenshot. Drag screenshots from the preview area to save them as files. Drag to the Trash in the Dock to delete a screenshot.
Use Up and Down arrow keys to navigate through events when in Quick Look mode. Hold «Option» key to scale to actual size. Press «F» key to go full screen.
Usually only the last 7 days of events are shown. Click «Date Filter» popup button in the toolbar to show a Date Filter menu. It lets you specify a date range to show events for. Use a predefined date interval like «last day», «last week», «last month» or click calendar area to select a particular day. Drag with a mouse between two dates to pick a date range.
Select «Last Run» to show only new events since the last time you viewed the log.
Select «All Time» to disable Date Filter and show all events.
Use the Search box in the toolbar to filter the list of events. Pick a search term like typed text, application name or document name and type some text to show only events that match.
Tips & Tricks
How to preview screenshots of multiple events
- Select some events or press Command + A to select all
- Hit Space Bar to show Quick Look panel
- Click «Index Sheet» button to preview all screenshots
How to save, print or email a screenshot
Drag a screenshot from preview area and drop it to your Desktop or other folder to copy. Drop on Mail application Dock icon to email the screenshots. Drop on Preview application icon to print them. Drop on Trash Dock icon to delete the screenshots.
How to temporarily disable monitoring
Run Refog application. Use «Monitoring» > «Stop» to disable monitoring. Use «Monitoring» > «Start» menu or Record/Pause buttons in the toolbar to resume monitoring.
Note: you will not be able to launch Refog application using Hot Keys when the monitoring tool is stopped. It will resume monitoring automatically after you restart your Mac or log out and log back in.
How to delete events and screenshots
Select events in the list and use «Events» > «Delete» menu or press Command and Delete key on the keyboard. To delete all events at once use «File» > «Wipe Logs» menu.
How to Uninstall
To Uninstall Refog and the Monitoring Tool run Refog Viewer as described in «How to Launch». Then click «Monitoring» > «Uninstall…» menu. A confirmation dialog will appear.
Enable «Delete Logs and Screenshots» option if you wish to erase collected information and screenshots altogether. This action is permanent and cannot be undone.
Click «Uninstall» button. You will be prompted for administrator password.
Your Mac will no longer be monitored. If you did not choose to erase collected information, then you can download and reinstall Refog later to view that information.
Please use this link for technical support:
Alternatively use «Help» > «Customer Service» menu.
Use of this Software is governed by the terms of the license agreement that accompanies the product («License Agreement»). Use «Refog» > «About» menu, then click «License Agreement» button to review the license agreement.
Please use responsibly. Consult your local lawyer for info about legal rights of using computer monitoring software in your area.
Mac and the Mac logo are trademarks of Apple Inc., registered in the U.S. and other countries.