When I open Google Chrome app, my webcam seemingly starts recording, i.e. green light next to iSight lightens. What is happening?

Edit: I went to System Preferences -> Sharing and saw that everything is turned off. Then I went to Activity Monitor and searched for "camera" saw some process which I killed then and the light turned off.

After restarting Google Chrome app, camera again turns on.

  • Do you have any Chrome plugins/extensions installed, e.g. for Google Hangout?
    – nohillside
    Jan 5, 2016 at 19:19
  • I have AdBlock, Advanced REST client, Application Laungher for Drive, DOwnload FB Album, Evernote Web Clliper, Google Docs, Google Docs Offline, JSONView, Postman, React Developer Tools, Send to Kindle for Google Chrome and Session Buddy.
    – Tommz
    Jan 5, 2016 at 19:22
  • 2
    It's most probably one of them or a tab which gets reopened every time you start Chrome. Try to disable all extensions/close all tabs and then restart.
    – nohillside
    Jan 5, 2016 at 19:28
  • Uh, you were right. I was so stupid. On opening Google Chrome, another window was silently opening which was always Google Hangouts. I feel so stupid now. Thanks.
    – Tommz
    Jan 5, 2016 at 19:40
  • Have similar problem, this started to happen after i got chrome upgraded to 64.0.3282.167 No plugin installed at all, not even google's own plugins like docs or pdf... all privacy settings are maxed out, everything that can be blocked is blocked...yet GOOGLE CHROME HELPER IS ACCESSING my WEBCAM and abusing CPU CYCLES on my MAC. Luckily Kaspersky sees it and blocks, but its very annoying that some google component does that, even though its being blocked from doing it. WTF?! by the way, this apparently happens ONLY if iam signed in to my google account.
    – Kubo
    Feb 22, 2018 at 0:15

1 Answer 1


There are two most likely reasons for this:

  • One of the installed Chrome extensions is accessing the camera.
  • You have tabs to websites opening automatically which access the camera

In both cases, a bit trial and error is required to identify the cause.

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