Showing results for 
Search instead for 
Did you mean: 

Disabling screenshots

Community Manager
Valeria K Community Manager Member Since: Mar 6, 2014
21 of 76

Hi Janu,


If you are referring to the Desktop App Settings, you can access them by clicking on your name at the bottom of the App and then clicking "Settings" in the drop-down menu.

~ Valeria
Active Member
Janu S Member Since: Dec 8, 2016
22 of 76

Thank you Valeria and Lisa very  helpful!

Community Guru
Tony H Member Since: Nov 10, 2011
23 of 76

Make sure you have the web cam option turned OFF... if that still exists. I once had a contractor who was new and to both of our surprise when I checked the timelog the next day, it was full of images of her working away through all hours of the night.... in bed. No joke. Needless to say she was rather embarrased.

Ace Contributor
Steven B Member Since: Aug 4, 2015
24 of 76

@Tony H wrote:

Make sure you have the web cam option turned OFF... if that still exists. I once had a contractor who was new and to both of our surprise when I checked the timelog the next day, it was full of images of her working away through all hours of the night.... in bed. No joke. Needless to say she was rather embarrased.

You know, that is precisely why I personally flatly refuse to use the webcam option on the program.  I wouldn't work in an office where my boss watches me with CCTV all day, nor will I do that at home.  


I find the whole idea of that to be intrusive and, frankly, offensive.  


I will live with the screencaps (but I hate them) but as for webcam... no way in youknowwhere. 

Community Guru
Suzanne N Member Since: Aug 15, 2012
25 of 76

I have never had the time tracker lock up my computer in the 2.5 years I have been using it. I have had issues with time not being tracked correctly and other weird things but never it locking up my computer.

You shouldn't be working on anything but the job you are being paid to work on when running it. As others have stated if you don't want to have it take screenshots apply for fixed rate jobs are talk to your client about manual time and explain to them why you don't want to use it.

Community Guru
Evelina H Member Since: Jan 29, 2015
26 of 76

I'm sure the hourly jobs can be abused. Adding manual time as well. If I was a client and had just gotten a freelancer to do some job for me and he says he doesn't want me to see him chat with someone on the screenshots, I won't allow even manual time. Trust is built over time. If I see the freelancer delivers good work I suppose with time I won't mind him adding manual time and no screenshots. And trust is a mutual thing - so it applies for both sides.


Personally I don't have any problem that the tracker takes screenshots. I usually wait for a screenshot to pop up and after that I may check my email (which I do super often), which takes about a minute, so no problem there. But I value my client's money and don't want to abuse that and chat with a friend for 5-10 mins. If I chat with my client, that's still part of the work, so it can be in the screenshot I guess. The idea that someone wants to hide something already bothers me. Sorry, I'm probably too strict. :-/

Community Guru
Barbara W Member Since: Sep 10, 2015
27 of 76

I don't see how the screenshots could possibly be a problem (aside from the minimally-distracting notification, which can be turned off). It's not micro-managing, it's ensuring that your client is getting your attention during the hours they are being billed for. If you are trustworthy, this is simply a means of proving that. If you don't want to show your client that you're giving their project your full attention, this seems that you are not trustworthy. Just my two cents.

- Barbara Herrera -
Community Guru
Preston H Member Since: Nov 24, 2014
28 of 76


This is really a non-issue.


As others have pointed out, you totally do NOT need to have software take screenshots of what you're doing.


LOTS of Upwork contractors either work only using fixed-price contracts, or only using manually-logged time for hourly work.


If you simply tell prospective clients that you don't use the time tracker and only use manually-logged time, then that's the end of it. I've had contractors tell me that, and it's up to me to decide whether to work with them or not.


You can simply submit work to the client every few hours, and if they feel like they're getting a good value, they're not going to care that you don't use the time-tracking software.



Now as for ME, PERSONALLY:

I LIKE using the time-tracking software, and I like the fact that it takes screenshots, and I like the fact that my clients can see the screenshots.


Because if clients look at my work diaries, they'll see that I'm working my tail off for them, and they'll also see that I'm doing things which they know are benefiting them, and making their life easier, but which they realize they will never, ever be able to do themselves. The screenshots make them appreciate my work even more.


(I work for clients as a database designer and programmer, by the way... My clients are very talented and intelligent, but they aren't database designers or programmers.)


I recently hired some artists, and most of them did all their work while using the time tracker, recording screenshots. It was fascinating to me to look at their work diaries, and I told a few of them flat out: I would never be able to do what they did! (And I actually have a lot of experience using the types of software they used.)

Ace Contributor
Tom V Member Since: Mar 21, 2016
29 of 76

The youngins don't know how much freedom they've lost over the years in terms of surveillance. Most freelance writers don't use sites like this., and no one's screencapping their screens!  This screenshot thing is bogus!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! It's enough to make me consider leaving the site. I don't work for authoritarians anyway. I produce impeccable work. Chase good good workers why don't you?!

Ace Contributor
Lana Elizabeth B Member Since: Apr 11, 2016
30 of 76

Yeah, I can't help but take issue with that. I have never used a screenshot tracker in my client relationships, because part of the benefit of freelancing vs working in an office is the freedom to work on your own time in your own way and to not be micro-managed. Giving employers the power to check in on what you're doing on an hourly basis is basically the same as giving them the benefits of being a full employer without them having to take on any of the responsibilities that entails - ie: benefits, job security.


There is an excellent article on this subject on 
**Edited for Community Guidelines**

"The tool enables clients to cross a line. When someone chooses to hire independent contractors they have to give up certain rights -- like overbearing control over the worker. In exchange they save money. They don't have to pay half of your Medicare and Social Security taxes, worker's compensation insurance, overhead costs, or benefits for example. On the other hand, what you get as a freelancer is freedom. You control when, where, and how you work. The client doesn't get to monitor how a job is done -- they get to evaluate you based on the end result. For that freedom you also make sacrifices. You take on increased taxes. You have to cover all of your own benefits (you don't get paid vacation or sick time, health insurance paid partially by an employer, employer contributions to a 401k, etc.). You take on the overhead costs of your job in most cases (with freelance writers that means you're buying your own computer, office supplies, and maybe renting an office or giving up an area of your home to dedicate it to work)."


I can certainly see why an employer would want screen shots if they're just picking some random person for a rock-bottom price, but if they are doing their due diligence and making the decision to hire a freelancer based on an excellent portfolio, a great education, and stellar references, then the work they receive is really all that they should need in order to gauge the value of what they are getting. 


Plus, if I'm working on a branding or illustration job or anything like that, I do all sorts of weird things to get my creativity flowing. Sometimes concept work means sketching out ideas in a notebook while I have comedy podcasts or music playing in the background. Sometimes it means researching popular sites to see what kind of design methods have been successful in similar fields.  Being thorough with research and concept work is a vital part of any creative endeavour. Really, one shouldn't even bother to open up Photoshop without first brainstorming several different approaches first - that's how you get work that is rushed and poorly thought out. It's unreasonable to assume that work only counts when I actually have Photoshop or Illustrator open.


In summation, I would say that the ideal freelancer/client relationship is one that is built on trust and communication - not on the ability to spy on my computer. I send project updates almost everyday - it is a very collaborative process; one with tons of updates, work samples, and questions along the way. Screen shots in this situation are simply unnecessary. Plus, it's overly intrusive. I don't want the client seeing something that's only half finished - I want to present them with a polished final product.