How does the Idle/Inactivity Warning Work?

Hubstaff was designed to track time as precisely as possible so you could focus on your work.

It is easy to start and stop the timer when you initiate or finish your work, but to prevent users from forgetting to start or stop it Hubstaff has ways to prompt members when the situation arises.

In this article, you will learn about one of the prompts – the Idle/inactivity timeout, its purpose, and how to use it to track your work time precisely.

Inactivity Warning in Hubstaff

The Hubstaff timer or desktop client is built to detect inactivity. The Idle timeout feature will always (if not set to “Never”) prompt the user and ask them if they want to keep idle time or remove it from their work log. This happens every 20 minutes by default, however, you may change this setting at any time.

The available intervals are every 5, 10, 20 minutes, or never. Click here to learn how to access those settings. Below is an example of how the idle timeout feature works.

Once the user stops interacting with the computer and goes idle, the application asks the user two questions:

1.) If the user would like to include the inactive time in their line reports (phone call, offline work, etc.) or if they would like to remove the time (break, bathroom, etc.).
2.) If they would like to continue or stop work.

Here is what the inactivity warning looks like.


If the user decides to keep the time, then the work gets added to their time log and the idle time is tracked in the Activity and Timesheets sections. The user can also choose to keep and reassign the idle time to a different project. Doing so brings up a new screen that looks like the picture below.


If the user decides to NOT include the time (default choice), then the time is removed from their time log and the reports. The user could also choose to simply stop the timer from the idle window.

So, for example, you have a worker that took a call, and the organization has the idle timeout setting set to 20 min. If they are moving their mouse, etc., while on the phone, they will not be hit with an inactive warning. If they don’t move their mouse or type on their keyboard for 20 min, then, when they interact with their computer again, the inactivity pop up will show up and say “You have been idle for X minutes”. In other words, the idle timeout will not show up until 20 min of inactivity occurs – based on the company’s idle timeout setting in this example.

The easiest way to filter idle time is to first navigate to either of these pages:

Activity > Screenshots

Timesheets > View & edit

Then select the Idle option from the Time Type drop-down filter on both the pages as shown below:


Deleting screenshots of Idle Time in Hubstaff

To remove screenshots with idle time, you’ll need to navigate to the Activity (1) > Screenshots (2) page on the sidebar menu.

Next, select the screenshots of the Idle option from the Time Type filters you wish to remove and click the Delete screenshot thumbnail icon as shown in this image:

Please note that users will always have the ability to delete their own time entries (even without the Modify time setting enabled). When time entries are deleted, screenshots and activity levels are deleted permanently from the server and cannot be restored. Please exercise caution when deleting activities.

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