Privacy fears have more people than ever wanting to disable the camera on a Mac. Almost every Mac model has a built-in camera, which is connected to the mic, giving you audio and video whenever needed for FaceTime, Skype, or other calls using your Mac.
However, for Mac cameras can also be used to snoop on people with illegal software. Such as spyware, or even key-logger viruses. Cameras can be used to bribe and blackmail people, and make everyone feel a little uneasy using our Mac’s knowing someone else could be watching.
So to prevent this, you need to know how to disable the Mac camera. At the same time, you should also know how to enable it when needed again. In this article, we have a few solutions for both and cover some useful troubleshooting topics around this.
How to disable the webcam on a Mac?
Take photos and record videos with your camera. Hangouts brings conversations to life with photos, emoji, and even group video calls for free. Google Hangouts. View, edit, and create Office documents in your browser. Both Canon and Sony now have a way to connect their cameras to your computer (Canon to PC or Mac, Sony to PC). All you'll need is a USB cable, which should have come in your camera box. Important Note: Click the gear icon in the lower right of the video player and 1080p resolution so that you can view the video at the highest resolution available. 4K Security Camera Support. Our Mac security camera software now supports 4K security cameras. The above image shows a home security camera system that uses this 4K-BL9 bullet IR camera and one of our new iDVR. Video recognition requires intensive processing by your computer. The minimum requirements for a single IP camera at QVGA are: Mac OS X 10.10 or higher. 2.0GHz Intel-based processor or higher. 2GB RAM or higher. Minimum screen resolution of 1024x768. At least 25GB of free disk space per camera is required.
Firstly, let’s start with a simple non-technical solution that anyone can do. Cover it using tape.
Security and intelligence chiefs and even Facebook CEO, Mark Zuckerberg, are known for covering built-in cameras with thick masking tape, or scotch tape. You can even use the sticky part of a Post It note. Don't use clear tape, that won’t work.
Using tape is simple, effective and cheap. It could, however, leave marks or scratches on your Mac, or potentially damage the lens, so it maybe isn't a long-term solution. Let’s take a look at other options:
- Go to Settings; to disable audio and visual inputs, you need to open System Preferences (either via Siri, Spotlight, or the top-toolbar Apple menu icon.
- Open Sound.
- Click on Internal Microphone.
- Now switch the audio input slider down to zero, thereby preventing any sound inputs from getting in.
Unfortunately, this isn’t going to prevent the camera from being accessed. There are viruses, such as OSX/FruitFly, OSX/Crisis, OSX/Mokes, and others, that are known for being able to remotely take control and record camera activity.
So you could either turn the audio down and tape it up, or there is another way to take control of the camera and avoid the risk of cybercriminals getting the benefit of these inputs.
How can they spy on you? A high school story.
In 2010, a High School in Pennsylvania issued a MacBook to each of its 2,306 students, then remotely activated the webcams to spy on the students at home. It didn’t take long for this to be discovered. Parents were outraged, of course. This massive violation of privacy and trust eventually ended up in court, with the school district eventually settling the case for $610,000 with parents and students.
How to disable the Mac camera within popular web browsers
macOS Safari, the built-in Mac web browser, has advanced security and privacy settings that make this easier. To access these, open Safari, and now click on Safari Menu > Preferences.
Within Safari settings, you can click on Deny to switch off the camera and audio inputs. Of course, with all of these changes, if you want to use it again, you will need to reverse these steps.
Other browsers, including Firefox, have equally robust and user-friendly security settings. You can easily switch off audio and video access for every web browser you use, making it that much more difficult for malicious software to hijack access and keep an unwanted watchful eye.
We hope the tips above about how to disable the camera were useful. But what about reconnecting it, when it is needed?
Simply go back to the settings within whichever web browser you disabled it, or back to System Preferences, and if tape was used, take it carefully off the camera.
What if, you can’t reconnect with the camera?
Start with deleting system junk.
Over time, a Mac can get full of everything from out-of-date files, duplicate images and videos, games and apps you don't need or use anymore. In particular, old cache files can interfere with the camera.
Use CleanMyMac X, a powerful Mac performance improvement app, to clear hard-to-find system junk, clutter and caches, to get your Mac camera working good as new again. Here is how you do that:
- Download CleanMyMac X (download a free version here).
- Use the Smart Scan to quickly and easily identify system junk.
- It will also spot any third-party apps that could be interfering with the camera; these can be removed via the Uninstaller.
Now your Mac camera and audio should be working normally again. Just remember to disable access via System Preferences or web browsers when it isn’t needed, to keep your Mac secure.
Another issue CleanMyMac X can help with:
Staying in control of your camera permissions
Use another tool that’s supplied with CleanMyMac X, it's called Application Permissions. With its help, you can check what apps are allowed to use your camera and adjust those permissions in a few clicks.
Therefore, if you ever have a creepy feeling that someone is watching you, you can easily check it within Privacy and block access to your camera at once.
Mac Compatible Webcam
You can manage app permissions only on macOS Catalina.
Video Cameras For Mac
Mac cameras are one of the many system features that are taken for granted. So much so that we forget they are there. Problem is, because of this, they've become a natural security weakness that is being exploited. Taking care to prevent unwanted intrusion is a necessity. We hope this article helps you do that.