How to Allow Microphone or Camera Access on Mac

So, there is an app or website that asks permission for your Mac’s microphone or camera? Fortunately, enabling microphone and camera access on Mac is easy. All you need is a few steps through the macOS System Preferences or your web browser’s settings.

Hi, my name is Adetayo. As a tech enthusiast, I have some knowledge of how computers work and I love fixing things. I’ve been using a MacBook Pro for quite a few years and there are circumstances where I need to enable certain settings on my Mac and I’m pretty familiar with how to do it.

In this article, I will walk you through the process of turning on microphone and camera access on a Mac so you can use the apps or services smoothly.

Let’s get into it.

How to Allow Microphone or Camera Access for Third-party Apps 

In general, microphone and camera access are disabled by default on macOS. But it’s easy to enable them, simply follow the steps below. 

Step 1: Click on the Apple icon at the top left corner of your screen. Then select System Preferences.

Step 2: Click on Security & Privacy.

Step 3: Make sure you are on the Privacy pane.

Step 4: Select Microphone or Camera depending on which you want to allow access to.

Step 4: Select the checkbox for the app you would like to enable microphone and camera access for. Click on the security lock to save your changes.


How to Enable Microphone or Camera Access for Specific Websites on Your Web Browser

Granting websites access to your microphone and camera is slightly different from third-party apps. While it follows a similar approach, you can do this directly from your browser settings.


Step 1: Click on the Safari icon on your Mac > Preferences.

Step 2: Click the Websites tab.

Step 3: Navigate to the Camera and Microphone tabs and make sure the website(s) is set to “Ask” or “Allow,” depending on your preference. 

“Ask” would require your permission to proceed to use your camera or microphone, while “Allow” accesses them without authorization. 


Step 1: Open your Chrome browser, click on the three-dot icon on the top right corner, then select Settings.

Step 2: Click on Privacy and Security, then select Site Settings.

Step 3: under Permissions, select Camera or Microphone to continue.

Step 4: Here you can see which websites have access to your camera or microphone. You can also grant access to websites you’ve blocked before.

Step 5: When you save the setting, you may still need to quit Chrome first and then try opening the website again in order for the microphone and camera to work.

I just tried with Google Meet (the video conferencing service) and even if my access settings are correct, I still needed to quit Chrome and re-launch Google Meet, clicked on the camera and microphone icon, and then Chrome will allow Google Meet to access my Mac’s camera and microphone.

How to Test Microphone or Camera on Mac

Save yourself the stress of making a video call to confirm your microphone or camera is working. Thankfully, macOS allows you to check whether these features are in good shape. Here’s how:

Test for Microphone

  • Click the Apple icon on the top-left corner of your screen
  • Select System Preferences
  • Open Sound
  • Click the Input tab
  • Choose your preferred microphone in the sound input menu

The input bar should wave when you speak. That means your microphone is working well.

Test for Camera

  • Go to your Applications folder, or do a quick spotlight search
  • Open the Photo Booth or Facetime app
  • If your camera is working, a green LED will appear at the top of your screen
  • Your video should activate, and you should see yourself instantly.

Microphone Not Working on Mac?

If you discover that your microphone is not working, your best bet is to reset NVRAM/PRAM on your Mac. Follow the instructions in this video.

That’s it for this guide. As usual, any thoughts or feedback is always appreciated. Feel free to leave a comment and let us know.

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  • Simona

    What if an app is not listed in the security & privacy list? How to “ask” on behalf of an app the permission?

    • Jerry Romero

      Which app is that? If the app (for example, a web app) has not been installed on your Mac, it will not show under “Security & Privacy”.