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How to Use the Microphone Privacy Feature with macOS Monterey

One of the features that migrated from iOS/iPadOS to macOS Monterey is microphone privacy. In the operating system update, the Control Center allows you to see which. apps have recently accessed the microphone. 

In Apple’s words:

See which apps have access to the mic on your Mac in Control Center. A new software indicator augments the camera indicator light by showing you whenever an app has access to your mic.

Control Center and your Mac’s microphone

Control Center provides quick access to useful controls—including Wi-Fi, AirDrop, Do Not Disturb, and more—from one location in the menu bar

To open Control Center on your Mac, click Control Center in the menu bar. 

Choose Control Center in the menu bar.

An orange dot indicates the microphone on your Mac is in use; you can see which apps are using it at the top of Control Center.

Apps using Control Center

How to control access to your Mac’s mic

You can also control access to the microphone on your Mac. Some apps and websites can use the mic to capture or record audio. You can decide which apps are allowed to use the microphone. Here’s how:

° On your Mac, choose Apple menu  > System Preferences, click Security & Privacy , then click Privacy.

System Prefs > Security & Privacy > Privacy

° Select Microphone.

° Select the checkbox next to an app to allow it to access the microphone. You can see in the image below that I’ve granted access to GarageBand, GoToMeeting, and Zoom.

Choose which apps let you access the mic.


Deselect the checkbox to turn off access for that app. If you turn off access for an app, you’re asked to turn it on again the next time that app tries to use your microphone.

As Apple notes, if you allow third-party apps or websites to use your microphone information, any information they collect is governed by their terms and privacy policies. It’s recommended that you learn about the privacy practices of those parties.

Dennis Sellers
the authorDennis Sellers
Contributing Author
Dennis has over 40 years of journalism experience and has written hundreds of articles. For the past 20-plus years, he's been an online journalist, covering mainly Apple Inc. He's written for MacCentral, MacWorld, MacMinute, Macsimum News, Apple Daily Report, and is now contributing editor at Apple World Today.
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