How to allow camera access: Tips & Tricks

Apple is always working on improving your security and ensuring the programs you install don't abuse your data. For example, all apps are required to get your approval before accessing the camera and microphone on your Mac. Every time you open the application for the first time, you'll need to give permission to use your computer's camera.

Below we’ll show you how to give camera access to any installed app. Also, you’ll learn how to limit access to programs you suspect might be recording videos without your knowledge. Let’s dive in!

Securing your camera and microphone 

By default, macOS prevents apps from getting your personal data without your permission. That’s why when you open the program that wants to access your hardware, you’ll receive a pop-up. To give access, you just have to allow it in System Preferences. If this is a reliable app from a legitimate developer, you’ll need to do it once and never think about it again. 

If you click “Cancel,” you could easily change that later on your Mac. You can check what apps are allowed to use your camera and allow or block access at any time. And here’s how to do that.

How to manage your camera permissions

Now let’s see a few ways that allow the apps to access your camera. If you’re looking for a simple automated solution, jump straight to the last method. 

#1 Use System Preferences

Follow these steps to give some apps access to your camera: 

  1. Go to the Apple menu.
  2. Choose System Preferences.
  3. Click Security & Privacy.
  4. Choose Camera from the lefthand menu.
  5. Allow the app to access your camera by ticking the box next to it.

If the application is opened on your Mac, you’ll receive a message asking you to quit it. 

Click “Quit Now” and close the System Preferences window. 

#2 Use your web browser

Let’s see how to enable camera permissions via Google Chrome. 

  1. Open Chrome.
  2. Go to the Chrome menu > Settings.
  3. Select Privacy and Security.
  4. Then, click Site Settings.
  5. Choose Camera.
  6. Click "Sites can ask to use your camera" and adjust the setting to your liking.

The process is similar for all web browsers, so if you’re using Safari or Firefox, you shouldn’t have problems with finding camera permissions settings. 

#3 Use Parental Controls 

The Screen Time feature on Mac also allows you to manage your camera. 

  1. Open System Preferences from the Apple menu.
  2. Type Screen Time in a search bar.
  3. Click Content & Privacy.
  4. Click on the Apps tab.

If you want to block camera access, uncheck the box. This will prevent all the apps on your Mac from using the built-in cameras. 

#4 Use the app CleanMyMac X

We’ve come to the smoothest and the most intuitive way of taking care of your app permissions — with the help of an app called CleanMyMac X

This tool has a lot of useful features, like cleaning your Mac from junk files, speeding up the system, checking your computer for viruses and malware, and much more. A cool feature like “Application Permissions” allows controlling all your permissions, including your camera, in a few clicks. You should check it out!

  1. Download CleanMyMac X (a free trial version is available).
  2. Launch the app.
  3. Go to the Privacy tab and click Scan.
  4. Choose  “Application Permissions.”
  5. Check what apps have access to your camera and make changes.
  6. CleanMyMac X - Application permissions

Once you’ve solved the issue with your permissions, check out other CleanMyMac X tools. We recommend you run a Smart Scan first. It will find unneeded files, determine potential threats, and define suitable speedup tasks for your Mac.

CleanMyMac X - Smart Scan complete

Then feel free to try other tools in the left panel —you’ll find a lot of useful tools for making your Mac as good as new. 

Thanks for reading and stay tuned!

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