Here is How to Turn OFF or Disable Camera on Mac, in case you do not use the FaceTime Camera on your MacBook or want to disable the Camera on Mac for security reasons.
Disable Camera on Mac
The built-in Camera on MacBook cannot be physically disconnected because it uses the same bus that connects the MacBook’s screen with the motherboard.
Plugging OFF or physically disconnecting the Camera from MacBook will turn off both camera and the screen of the MacBook.
Hence, the only way to physically disable camera on Mac would be to cover the camera with a sticker, duct tape or by using camera covers as available on Amazon.
If you are looking for a software based solution, you can use any of the methods as provided below to disable the iSight or the built-in Camera on your Mac.
1. Prevent Apps from Using Camera on Mac
If you have a reason to believe that the Camera on your MacBook is being secretly used, you can prevent Apps from using the Camera on your Mac.
1. Click on the Apple logo in top menu bar and click on System Preferences in the drop-down menu.
2. On the System Preferences screen, click on the Security & Privacy tab.
3. On security & Privacy screen, click on Camera in the left pane. In the right-pane, uncheck the Apps having access to the Camera on your Mac.
After this, your Mac will automatically prevent the unchecked Apps from accessing the built-in iSight Camera.
2. Prevent Websites from Accessing Camera on Mac
Depending on your Safari settings, the websites that you visit may gain access to the Camera on your MacBook.
Hence, follow the steps below to disable Camera Access to all websites.
1. Open the Safari browser on your Mac.
2. Next, click on the Safari tab in top menu bar and select Preferences… in the drop-down menu.
3. On the next screen, click on the Websites tab > click on Camera in the left pane and select either Ask or Deny option for Websites listed under “Allow websites to access the Camera”.
Also, select Deny or Ask option for “While visiting other websites” option.
Choosing Deny option will prevent websites from accessing the Camera on your Mac, while selecting the “Ask” option will make the websites to prompt you to either Allow or Deny access to Camera.
3. Disable Camera on Mac Using Parental Controls
The parental Controls feature on Mac provides an easy way to Turn OFF the camera on your Mac.
This feature allows you to Turn OFF the Camera for any of the User Accounts on your Mac, while allowing the Camera to work normally on other User Accounts.
1. Open System Preferences on your Mac > click on Parental Controls.
2. On the next screen, click on Enable Parental Controls button.
Note: You may have to click on the Lock Icon and enter your Admin Password to gain access to this setting.
3. On Parental Controls screen, select the User Account in the left pane. In the right pane, click on the Apps tab and uncheck Allow Use of Camera option.
This will prevent all the Apps on your Mac from using the built-in Camera on Mac and also the plugin Webcam (if any).
Why Some Users Disable Camera on Mac
The built-in Camera on MacBook is commonly referred to as the FaceTime Camera, while officially it is known as iSight Camera.
The Camera on MacBook can be used to make FaceTime calls to family/friends and also to conduct online business meetings using Skype.
However, some users want to disable the Camera on Mac to prevent the possibility of malware abusing the video capability of the MacBook to secretly record video sessions.
OSX/FruitFly, OSX/Crisis, OSX/Mokes are some of the known Mac Malware programs that are known to spy on unsuspecting Mac users.
Note: If you are concerned about your privacy, using third-party apps to block the webcam on your Mac is not a good idea.