How to Know What App Is Using the Microphone on Your Mac

That yellow dot on your menu bar means an app is listening

What to Know

  • If you see a yellow dot next to the Control Center icon on your menu bar, an app is using your microphone. 
  • Click Control Center on the menu bar, to see the name of the app next to the yellow microphone icon. 
  • To adjust microphone access, System Preferences > Security & Privacy > Privacy > Microphone.

This article explains how to tell when an app is using the microphone on your Mac, including how to tell which apps have microphone access.

How Do I Know if My Mac Microphone Is in Use?

In macOS, you can tell if your microphone is currently in use by glancing at the menu bar. The menu bar has a Control Center icon, and you’ll see a yellow dot right next to that icon if your mic is currently in use. This is a useful security feature, because apps aren’t able to take active control of your mic without this dot showing up.

How Do I Know What App Is Accessing My Mac’s Microphone?

If you see a yellow dot on your menu bar, that means an app is currently accessing audio from your mic. To find out exactly what app is accessing your Mac’s microphone, you need to open the Control Center.

Here’s how to see what app is accessing the microphone on your Mac:

  1. Click the Control Center icon on your menu bar.

    The Control Center icon highlighted on the Mac menu bar
  2. Look for a yellow microphone icon in the Control Center.

    he yellow microphone icon and Discord text highlighted in the Mac Control Center
  3. The name of the app that’s accessing your microphone should be listed right next to the yellow microphone icon.

How Do I Control Microphone Access On My Mac?

The Security and Privacy options in macOS allow you to control what apps are allowed to access your microphone, and you can also see a list of apps that have requested permission in the past.

Here’s how to control microphone access on a Mac:

  1. Open the Apple menu > System Preferences.

    System Preferences highlighted in the macOS Apple menu
  2. Click Security & Privacy.

    Security & Privacy highlighted in macOS System Preferences
  3. Click Privacy.

    Privacy tab highlighted in macOS Security & Privacy
  4. Click Microphone.

    Microphone highlighted in macOS Security & Privacy
  5. This list shows the apps that have access to your microphone.

    Apps with microphone access on a Mac

    To remove microphone access from an app, click the check mark next to that app. To grant access, click the empty box next to an app.

  • How do I enable the microphone on my Mac?

    Go to the Apple Menu > System Preferences > Privacy > Microphone and make sure the toggle switch is On. Select the checkbox next to each app you want to allow microphone access.

  • How do I use an external microphone with my Mac?

    To connect a microphone to your computer, plug it into a USB port on your Mac, or use Bluetooth to set up a wireless mic. Make sure the external mic is selected when using it with apps.

  • How do I get rid of the microphone icon on my Mac?

    Turn off Mac Voice Control. Go to System Preferences > Accessibility > Voice Control and disable the Voice Control toggle switch.

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