Sometimes you see people placing a sticker over the iSight camera on their MacBook's such that no one can spy on them.

This might seem ridiculous, but from a previous answer it is clear that it is possible to activate the iSight without activating the "hardwired" LED as well. It was first thought that this was only possible with older models (as shown by this paper), but this article mentions that the FBI reportedly can do this to newer models.

Besides that, I just found that the Dutch head of the cybercrime department officially advises (link in Dutch) to cover the webcam lens.

Now the question:
Are there any elegant solutions to obstructing the iSight lens, besides using tape? I don't want to use tape as it often leaves a residue and looks a bit "meh".


2 Answers 2


Elegant would be black glossy vinyl circular sticker that would adhere to the glass naturally.

If you were paranoid, black is a bad color as you will not have visual confirmation that the sticker has moved should it shift. That is why most people I know put a very visual color and use adhesive as they want to see when it moves and not have it slip.

Removing the camera kernel extension is far better for my use since I can't accidentally have that "fall off" when I'm not looking.

With that solution, the elegance of Apple's physical design is maintained and I only have to disable software updates or set a watcher script to alert me if that kext is reloaded / replaced.

  • I thought briefly about the unloading of the iSight kext, but I figured if someone has access to my machine in a way that my iSight can be activated, the kext could be reloaded just as easy by the hacker. Or is that not the case? Jan 15, 2014 at 20:15
  • Implied in my answer is a bit of opinion. Basically, if someone has continuing root access and intention, they can undo anything you do to thwart them. I would expect most cases of compromise would be a package that runs to trigger the camera and not be full remote root access.
    – bmike
    Jan 19, 2014 at 14:57

I recommend app called Camera Guard (https://www.protectstar.com/en/camera-guard), which prevents webcam from running. A cool feature is that it has a pop-up dialog when the camera becomes active, so that the user knows that their Macbook has been breached or compromised. There's free as well as pro version (not free), which also blocks the microphone as well. I think the free version is good enough, and the software solution is a lot nicer and more elegant than putting tape on the camera lens.

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