How to Turn off or Disable Camera on MacBook Pro

disable macbook pro camera

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The built-in camera on your MacBook Pro is really useful for a variety of reasons. If you want to use popular apps like FaceTime or Zoom, you’ll be using your camera pretty often.

The camera on MacBook Pro is pretty high-quality and functional but is more designed for video streaming and video chats than for real photography.

Regardless of how you want to use your camera, you need to know how to turn it on and off. We talked about how to turn your Mac camera on in another post so for this one, we will look at how to turn the camera off.

This is another easy task but is good to learn so you know your camera is not turned on at times when you don’t want it to be.

How to Turn off or Disable Camera on MacBook Pro

Here’s how you can turn off the camera on MacBook Pro:

  1. Click on the Apple logo on the top left corner
  2. Click System Preferences (System Settings on macOS Ventura and above)
  3. Select Security & Privacy
  4. On the left panel, select Camera
  5. Uncheck whichever apps you do not want your Mac to access

Why Turn Your Camera Off

There are a few obvious reasons to turn your camera off and there are also a few reasons you might not have thought of. Since it is so easy to do, turning off your camera after you use it is a simple habit to get into when operating your MacBook Pro. Sometimes, you might want to double-check that your camera is off but once you know the steps, it takes no time at all.

1. Privacy

Privacy is a big issue in today’s world of technology. Having access to so much information at the click of a button is an amazing aspect of the modern world but it also comes with potential privacy risks.

The idea of someone accessing your camera without you knowing is pretty terrifying and something nobody wants. It’s not likely but it is possible that this could happen to you.

Hackers can potentially access your camera and spy on you if it’s not turned off or disabled and there is also a chance that if you accidentally leave your camera on, anybody you were chatting with could see video of you when you aren’t expecting it. These are both instances that violate privacy that are fixed when your camera is turned off.

2. Save Battery

The camera is an awesome feature of your MacBook Pro but it does eat up more power than other uses of your computer.

This display on your MacBook is one of the most power-hungry elements and you use your display constantly when you are using your camera. Video calls or live-streaming can quickly go through your battery if you are not plugged into a power source.

In order to avoid unnecessary power use, there are a variety of things you can do but making sure your camera is off is an important one. You can definitely use your camera when you are running on battery power if you need or want to but you will want to make sure it is turned off completely afterward.

Read More: How to Save Battery on MacBook Pro

3. Save Space

Another reason to turn your camera off is simply to save space. If you accidentally leave your camera on and it starts to take pictures or videos without you knowing, it can quickly eat up lots of space on your hard drive.

Images and videos can use up a lot of memory and storage, so it’s good to know that you aren’t adding extra files unknowingly. Unwanted files are easy to delete but they are also easy to prevent in the first place.

How to Turn Off Camera on Mac

One common way is to simply close the app you are using that uses the camera. When you open up one of these apps to turn the camera on, a little green light appears to the right of the camera lens.

When you close these apps, the little green light should disappear indicating that the camera is now turned off. Sometimes you might need to hit Command Q instead of just closing the tab to fully quit an application.

Alternatively, you may use the Security & Privacy method:

Turning off Camera on Mac: The General Method

  1. Click on the Apple logo on the top left corner
  2. Click System Preferences (System Settings on macOS Ventura and above)
  3. Select Security & Privacy
  4. On the left panel, select Camera
  5. Uncheck whichever apps you do not want your Mac to access
security and privacy

Turning off Camera on Mac: The Physical Prevention Method

If you are really concerned about privacy you might want to take further steps to prevent your camera from turning on without you knowing. One of the easiest ways to do this is to simply cover your camera lens with a piece of dark sticker or tape.

This may sound weird but if anyone tries to access your camera, even if they succeed, they won’t be able to see anything if the camera lens is covered up.

Another option is to use a dedicated webcam privacy cover (like this one below). You can slide it on and off very easily. However, a potential issue we can’t ignore is the risk of scratching your display, and the trackpad (if you are using the 2017 model or later, the trackpad area is much larger).

Apple also warns users not to close MacBook, MacBook Air, or MacBook Pro with a cover over the camera, by saying:

Covering the built-in camera might also interfere with the ambient light sensor and prevent features like automatic brightness and True Tone from working.

Anyway, the choice is yours. We’ll let you decide which method works better.

Hacker Prevention

A real hacker could access your camera without the green light turning on so this might be a good idea if you are really worried about your personal security and privacy. It’s an easy measure to prevent your camera from recording anything at all.

Additionally, there is not a current method to disabling your Mac’s camera through the standard programs and functions included on the machine. You will need to download a 3rd party app to really disable your camera.

One app that works well for this is called iSight Disabler and this program will turn off your camera completely so you don’t have to worry about it turning on without you knowing it.

Also Read: Best Webcam for MacBook Pro

Final Thoughts

Turning off or disabling your built-in MacBook camera is really easy. There are a few different ways to go about this task and depending on how thorough you want to be or how much of concern privacy is, you can decide which option is best for you.

So, do you put tape or cover over your MacBook’s camera?

About Lorena
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Lorena holds a 13-inch Touch Bar MacBook Pro with Apple M1 Chip. Her role involves editorial management from writing to editing and ensuring that the articles are informative, useful, and relevant to readers who are new to Mac.

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    So what if the green light does not go off?

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    Kelly McMenimen

    I’m trying to figure out where the camera is! I want to tape it but I can’t find it!

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    I’ve used regular scotch tape. Works fine.

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    always have had a cardboard slider over it
    but annoyed now by tiny green dot in upper left corner of my screen