Easy ways to stop apps from accessing your camera

Have you ever had a creepy feeling that someone is watching or listening to you? Some apps can use your camera to take photos and videos, so it’s better to know how to stay safe.

Did you know? 

In macOS Mojave, Apple introduced new security features that allow you to decide which apps can use the camera on your Mac. For example, if you open Skype, you’ll see an alert asking your permission to access your camera. Let us recall that previous macOS versions let you set permissions for apps accessing your contacts, location, photos, reminders, and calendar. In the latest macOS Catalina, camera and microphone are added to the app permissions panel.

So, if at some point you feel that something strange is happening on your Mac, you can always check which apps are allowed to use your webcam. Here’s how. 

How to check current app permissions

To check which apps are allowed to do what, follow these steps:

  1. Go to the Apple menu.
  2. Choose System Preferences.
  3. Click Security & Privacy > Privacy.
  4. Select Camera from the left panel. 

You’ll see the list of apps that can access your camera. As you see, on my Mac, it’s Google Chrome. 

Did you know? 

You can limit access to your camera only for third-party apps. Apple apps and bundled system apps will not show up in the camera access control list. So, for example, you won’t see FaceTime in the app permissions panel.

Please note that if you allow third-party apps to use your camera, any information they collect is governed by their terms and privacy policies. It’s recommended to learn the privacy practices of those parties. 

How to control access to your camera

Once you’ve checked which apps have access to your camera, you’re in the clear. Now you can limit access for some of those apps. But note that some programs won’t work properly without accessing your camera. For example, if you turn off camera permissions for Skype, the video chatting feature won’t function. Some apps may not even open at all. 

If you still want to stop apps from accessing your camera, here’s what to do:

  1. Go to the Apple menu.
  2. Choose System preferences. 
  3. Click Security & Privacy > Privacy.
  4. Select Camera from the left panel. 
  5. Deselect the checkbox to turn off access for that app. 
  6. Confirm and close the window when finished. 

Simple way to stop apps from using your camera

If you don’t want to see into settings every time you want to control your camera access, here’s the solution. You can easily protect your privacy with the help of the popular Mac application CleanMyMac X. Its freshly-baked feature “Application Permissions” allows you to check what apps can access your camera in just a click. And limit permissions in a matter of seconds. 


Follow the steps to install this lifesaver on your Mac:

  1. Download CleanMyMac X (it has a free trial version).
  2. Install the app and choose the Privacy module from the left panel.
  3. Click Scan to look for privacy items.
  4. Choose Application Permissions. 
  5. Check your current permissions and limit the ones you want.

That’s it! Now you can sleep soundly and don’t worry about your camera permissions. 

Note: 

You can control app permissions only on macOS Catalina.

As long as you’ve already installed CleanMyMac X, check out its other features. The fastest and the simplest way to know if your Mac’s going well is to run a Smart Scan. All you have to do is to click the big Scan button to look for unneeded junk, speed up the system, and check your Mac for malware. All in just a click.

I hope you’ll find this app really useful. 

Thanks for reading and stay tuned! 

CleanMyMac X
CleanMyMac X

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