Working With Passive Members

In RescueTime for Teams (with Enterprise features enabled), there is a special type of user called a ‘passive member’. 

Passive users can be complex to manage and aren't enabled by default. They are best suited for larger organizations with an IT team who will manage the distribution of the Desktop app. To learn more about passive members, please contact support.

A passive member is a computer within your team that contributes time to the team reports but doesn’t have an established identity within the RescueTime system. No personal reports are created, and no weekly summary reports are sent. 

Why would your team use passive members?

  • Ease of distribution for large teams
  • The organization decides not to make personal reporting available to their users

Can passive members see that their time is being logged?

Yes, the RescueTime desktop app is always visible and accessible by the user. Users can follow the "learn more" menu item to see a description of RescueTime and (optionally) how your team is using it. The learn more link or the application itself cannot be hidden from users. 

Can a passive member convert to a full-fledged active member?

Yes. A person operating a passive member computer can optionally enable personal reporting, which will convert them to an 'active user' and give them the full RescueTime experience, complete with personal reports, goal-setting, and distraction management.

How to add passive members

Passive members are created during the installation and first-run of the RescueTime desktop application. 

Generally speaking–and particularly when working with large teams–the initialization of passive members will be automated as part of a distributed installation process. 

Before creating any passive users, the organization administrator will need:

  • teams configured in their RescueTime for Teams settings
  • a list of team keys for each of their configured teams (please contact support and we'll assist with this step)
  • a mapping of computers that should log time for each team 

To install the application

To install RescueTime silently (no dialog prompts and no installer progress notifications) use the following command:


You also can do these installations using deployment software, like Microsoft Deployment Toolkit.

If you have any problems with that link you can download a copy of the application

To install the configuration file

For the RescueTime application to correctly connect to your organization account, a special configuration file will need to be included before the application is first run.

The configuration file will be named base_config.cfg and is in YAML format. It should resemble the following. A copy is attached to this email.

---<br>enterprise_team_key: REPLACE_WITH_YOUR_TEAM_KEY<br>check_updates: false

Installation of both the configuration file and the application

Here is the optimal order for the installation steps.

  1. Before installing the executable, install the base_config.cfg file in the same directory the executable will be installed in. (by default, that will be C:\Program Files (x86)\RescueTime
  2. Run the install as usual, with the appropriate flags
  3. Start RescueTime

Troubleshooting Passive Members In Your Team

Reminder: Passive members and multi-team support is part of RescueTime for Teams enterprise features. If you don’t see them on your account they will need to be enabled. Please contact support for assistance if you would like them turned on.

On the team settings page for your organization, you can see a count of passive users on each team. On each team’s management settings page, you can find a link to view the passive members for that team.

On the passive members listing page, you can see an identifier that should help you determine the machine that is registered as each passive member. You will also see the date that this member last successfully sent data. Finally, you can turn logging on or off for this member if you no longer want them to be contributing time to your team reports. 

Passive members with logging disabled don’t appear in the count of passive members that you will see elsewhere in your settings. 

The identifier you will see includes three pieces of information:

network-username@computer-name : account-key

Network-username: the user that is logged in on the passive member machine

Computer-name: the computer name on your local network

Account-key: a fragment of an internal identifier which can be used for verification

Verifying a computer running as a passive member:

To make sure a computer in your organization is tracking correctly, go to that computer and find the RescueTime app icon in the Windows System Tray or the MacOS menu bar. Click it, and select ‘Help…’. You will then see a window with Customer Support Information. Find the line titled “Premium User Information:” and you should see an identifier that matches what’s listed in the team’s passive user list.


There is a passive member registered for a computer that is no longer in use.


Simply find the passive member in your team settings and toggle logging to the "off" position


A passive member has not logged any time recently


On the computer that should be logging time, verify that the RescueTime desktop application is running and that it's identifier matches the listing in the team settings.


A passive member that is expected to appear in the list is not present


On the computer that should be logging time, verify that the RescueTime desktop application is running. If it is and the identifier is not appearing in your team settings, contact support.


A passive member is assigned to the wrong team


Disable logging for the passive member on the incorrect team (toggle it's logging to 'off'). Then on the computer that should be logging time, quit the RescueTime desktop application, delete the base_config.cfg and rescuetimed.cfg files from the installation and settings directory, then repeat the installation steps above to install a new configuration file for the correct team. 

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