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Note: The developer has ceased development on this application.

BackTrack brings Mac users a new level of safety by logging all text (except passwords) that is typed onto all windows in all applications as well as a screenshot of the topmost window or desktop. The main advantage BackTrack has over other logging applications is BackTracks ability to log the window name that is in front while you are typing. BackTrack saves all its data to a fast-access SQLite database file. This file contains the application name, the window name, the date & time, and what you typed as well as past more...

What's New

Version 5.5:
  • Ability to save the database to a new location
  • Open other database files (helpful if you're monitoring multiple users)
  • Easier to export data
  • Bug fixes


  • OS X 10.6 or later

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BackTrack User Discussion

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RogerKatz Member IconComment+65

VirusBarrier warned me that it was Malware, and repaired it by deleting it.

Reply1 reply
Version 5.5
Modesitt Software (Developer)

That's common that key logger apps get tagged as malware. Some are malware, some are not. This one isn't.

Zo219 Member IconComment+506

Hey, you tangle with Modesitt at your peril. I bought a copy of another app of theirs at Kagi, just before they updated and moved it to the App Store ...

Reply #1 from Modesitt: What do you want me to do about it?

Actually, I think that was the gist of reply #2 and #3 as well—and then there were no more.

Cold day in hell, indeed.

Reply1 reply
Version 5.4.2

BackTrack for Mac is NOT available in the Mac App Store. It doesn't conform to the Mac App Store rules since it gathers information from other applications. $10 is pretty cheap for what it does and to pay for the developer to keep updating it as Mac OS X evolves.

Gabble Member IconReview+42

On my MacPro BackTrack is a CPU hog. After some time of use the Windows Server process takes all CPU cores at 99% and the whole system becomes unresponsive and slows down to a crawl. If I am luck enough to open the process manager and kill the BackTrackBA process, everything is fine again.

Reply3 replies
Version 5.4.1
Modesitt Software (Developer)

If you bothered to contact us, we would have told you that you have multiple copies of BackTrackBA running, and that results in the exact situation you described. Quitting one copy fixes it as you found.


Actually not the kind reply one would expect from the developer. Anyway, it seemed that only one BackTrackBA was running at a time, at least according to the Process Manager.


Maybe if the software checked to see if BackTrackBA was running before it launched again the developer could have eliminated the problem.

I agree with you Gabble, the developer could have been less sarcastic about your comment. That is the difference between quality software and just software. It is not just the software it is the customer support that goes along with it.

I am a registered user of BackTrack and this comment will make me think twice about upgrading when the time comes.

Habermana Member IconReview-1

Love its back-tracking function. It is better that if it can record passwords too.

Reply0 replies
Version 5.4
Leoofborg Member IconReview+377

Backtrack is a REALLY useful keylogger (it also captures images, but I don't use it for that). It does catch the 'un-versionable' in Lion: comments, typed tweets from Twitter.app, etc. Despite the somewhat clunky UI it's very usable. I was able to find texts from hours before that would not have been saved. All in all it's a better solution than the free logkext that I had (occasionally) been using.

I haven't run into any memory problems or slowdowns yet. EXCEPT for.. read on.

BacktrackBA takes about 40 megs of Ram, and runs in 64-bit. It HAS to run in the background.. else how would it capture your keystrokes? Even in typed comments in twitter or some web form? That's not the beef I have with the dev. This is-

Backtrack's demo mode it is REALLY obnoxious, and in some cases may even wedge your machine as it did with me on Lion.

Let me explain: Every 15 minutes the dev will throw a nuisance dialog to try and get you to register your machine. Fine. Throw the dialog. But then the author overrides your 'Text to Speech' settings and your machine will try to use the default system voice & announce 'Excuse me, Backtrack needs your attention'. BIG NO-NO. Every 15 minutes.

The first time this happened, while I had a number of things open, and I had my system voice set to japanese but OFF. Guess what? My machine froze while Backtrack tried to do the English dialog in Japanese. I have since switched back to English, so now every 15 minutes when the menu item is on it blares in English. Even tho' I have TTS set to OFF.

In another case, by the 3rd or so nuisance dialog the demo can't invoke the system voice, so your Lion machine may freeze. I had this happen WHILE I was writing this review! Fans on, total freeze. I had to ssh into my own MacBook Pro and kill things from the Terminal. This is TOTALLY unforgivable.

So while I find Backtrack very useful, the Dev's obnoxious 'per machine' licensing plus this obnoxious Demo 'feature' left a bad taste in my mouth.

The Dev should DEFINITELY not be using TTS against the users' wishes, and I told him this in email.

I'll leave it to everyone else as to whether it's worth the grief. The features are great. The Dev's licensing terms and demo? He almost lost a sale (while I typed this up, 15 minutes went by: *BEEP* 'Excuse me, Backtrack needs your attention').. if I hadn't already got it via MacZot, I'd probably be trashing it right now. It's THAT obnoxious.

3-4 stars for the features (I'm sure this rating will go up after I lose some typing)

1-2 stars for probably the most obnoxious demo I've ever had to endure. I say this as someone who works in software.

Reply2 replies
Version 5.4

Sorry for the double review. Did I mention that Backtrack froze my machine? After killing everything to get my MBP 'back' I was faced with that infernal dialog. When I clicked 'OK' my machine UNfroze.

Again, caveat emptor. And Dev.. seriously, cut this out!


I've deleted the dupe. Thanks for the thorough and helpful review.

Uncoy Member IconReview+195

Nice concept. BackTrack is the only keylogger which actually separates your typing by document and keeps it cleaned up. Seems to work. It does install an exta MySQL lite database which runs constantly so you are looking at some overhead.

But what I really object to and why I won't install or use BackTrack is that there is a daemon running constantly stealing processor cycles and pinging your whole network looking for other copies of BackTrack. Bill is effectively stealing your processor time in perpetuity. Not acceptable.

What Bill is really after apparently is stopping people from running BackTrack on their own laptop and desktop at the same time. As many people, including me, have up to 3 Macs which are their own (although only two in the same place at any given time), per computer licensing is a bit annoying. I could live with a family pack but without the background checker. The pricing is right at $10.

A real pity as I would buy BackTrack in a minute for my own computer and for the 5 Macs in my company if Bill would remove the processor and network stealing background processes.

Bill, the pirates will always win (they beat Adobe everyday and Adobe is a lot better prepared for this war than you are). You should be worrying about the paying customers and not the pirates. Please let me know if and when you remove the spyware. My money is ready.

Reply1 reply
Version 5.1.1
Roaming Nomad

I honestly have no use for this software but I did want to verify your honesty by seeing if there was any truth to what you said or to what UNCOY said.

When I started up the BackTrack application, it was the only process listed in Activity Monitor. After I select the checkbox to start logging text the application reminds me to quit to start logging.

After I quit the BackTrack application, Activity Monitor shows that a new process called BackTrackBA is running.

On my Intel Mac that background application has a very low CPU profile at around 0.1 - 1 % but on my PowerPC it was jumping around and eating CPU cycles between 0.3 - 50+ %

I'll leave it for others to decide who is being honest here and the means to test this for themselves!

Nighthawk090 Member IconComment+27

Version 5.1, when installed this version app window will open; however, when you click "quit" in window to minimize app it quits, relaunch and same thing occurs...restart, same thing. Using Mac Leopard 10.5....

Reply0 replies
Version 5.1
cruzdrew Member IconReview+2

Thank you so much for the update!!! Works really nice, and is like out of the way, makes it way easy to use.

Reply0 replies
Version 4.0.3
seika7 Member IconReview+8

Excellent software! Thank you so much for splitting it into a background app and an access app!

Reply0 replies
Version 4.0.2
Anonymous Member IconReview

Been using previous version for quite some time, and I find this software invaluable as a reliable "backup" recorder of what I've written. A true life-saver more than once. It's one of those things that "does nothing" until you need it... and then it has what you need. When I encountered some issues with the new version, the developer responded very quickly and stayed in touch until the problem was solved (with v. 2.2.2). Most responsive (and helpful) shareware developer I've ever dealt with. Thanks for BackTrack!

Reply0 replies
Version 2.2.2
user icon+50
Version 5.4.2
user icon+50
Version 5.3.1
> 3 11


Current Version (5.x)


Downloads 24,439
Version Downloads 5,519
Type Utilities / Backup
License Shareware
Date 04 Feb 2013
Platform Intel 64 / OS X
Price $10.00
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