How to Lock Your Camera on MacBooks

Written by Tijana Kargovska Apple Macbook

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There’s been plenty of gossip regarding how safe our devices are, and who has access to our cameras and microphones, and the memes about our designated FBI agents are surely not helping! What most users don’t know though, cameras on MacBooks can be easily completely turned off, or you can restrict the access apps have to your camera.

Also, check out how to lock your photos on your Macbook, especially if your iPhone is synced with your Mac computer.

How to restrict access to certain apps?

Restricting access or denying access to the camera on your Mac can be done in a few clicks.

  1. In the Apple menu, go to System Settings.
  2. Navigate to Security & Privacy.
  3. Click on Privacy, and select Camera.
  4. A list of apps that already have access to your camera will show up.
  5. Deselect the checkbox next to the apps. This disables camera access to the apps that you will deselect.
  6. If you can’t deselect some apps, you’ll need to click on the lock icon in the bottom left corner so you can make changes in this window.

What will happen after I’ve restricted some apps?

After you’ve denied access to a certain app, this does not mean that it completely disables the camera forever. Next time you launch the app, and let’s say you need to use your FaceTime camera, the app will once again ask permission to start using the camera while you’re in the app. However, if you once again give access to the app, you will need to make the changes from the System Preferences Security like you did before.

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Is there an app that monitors how my camera is being used?

Yes, if you’re still feeling worried about your safety and privacy, you can install a third-party app named OverSight. This app will send out notifications each time an app on your Mac tries to use your built-in camera or microphone. It monitors your system constantly, so if anything suspicious happens, you’ll be notified about it.

After you’ve downloaded it, it will show up in your menu bar with an umbrella icon. After you click on it, you will be given a list of running apps that are accessing or trying to access your built-in webcam.

If none of the above-mentioned solutions are working for you, you can always go for the old-school tape-covering of your camera and microphone, after all, if Mark Zuckerberg can do it, why can’t you? Just be cautious, this can damage the camera lens or your laptop.

We also have an article about How to Pause Facetime on iPhone and Mac, so you can check that out as well.