How to turn off the iSight indicator of my Mac's camera (without putting black tape on it)?

  • This is also a better technically documented question on the subject: apple.stackexchange.com/q/117937/22003 .
    – dan
    Commented Jan 25, 2018 at 10:19
  • 1
    In searching for answers to this legitimate question, consider the ones which take into account the cabling scheme and the USB firmware programming possibilities. I’m afraid that all other answers are commercial or too theoretical answers.
    – dan
    Commented Jan 25, 2018 at 10:23
  • @Daniel thank you for your helpful mind. I'll be careful to choose the answer.
    – Roy
    Commented Jan 25, 2018 at 18:14

1 Answer 1


No, you cant.
Fortunately (or in your case unfortunately) there is no way to simply hit a switch that turns off the light. The problem is that the iSight camera's light is set to come on whenever an application uses it.
It's partly a security feature built-in for your own convenience. Think if it like the "On Air" sign in a way. Depending on your model of mac (you didn't mention one specifically) it may be possible to physically disconnect the LED light from the controller, rendering it offline until plugged in again. However, for the majority of new Macs this may prove a challenge.
If your bezel doesn't happen to be white metal (think MacBook Air), you could go over it with a black permanent marker. Something that greatly reduces the light emitted from the iSight indicator.

At this time, there is no software to disable it. You would either:

  1. Quit the Application using the camera.
  2. Inhibit the physical connection to the indicator.

Hopefully that shed some light on the situation in 2018 as similar questions have attracted a lot of attention over the years. Even I have searched for a solution many years ago but have learnt since to ignore it.

Let me know what model you have and I might be able to be a little more specific in my reasoning (much has changed in the physical layout of the bezel). Let me know how you make out or if you come up with a better solution, I'd be very interested myself.

  • thanks for your nice & clean explanation , although it wasn't expected answer . (My Mac Info : MacBook Pro (13-inch, Mid 2012) , Hight Sierra 10.13.2 )
    – Roy
    Commented Jan 25, 2018 at 6:26
  • @Roy Thank you for the feedback. It has been a while since I opened one of those and I don't remember the steps one by one. You can certainly find videos detailing the procedure, but remember to ask yourself beforehand whether going to all this trouble on your behalf is worth the end result? I don't see an alternative answer so if there is anything else I could help you with, please let me know, else I would really appreciate it if you accept my answer by clicking the checkmark next to it. Good luck.
    – ProGrammer
    Commented Jan 25, 2018 at 7:12
  • sorry I'm not accepting your answer cause it was not a solution but nice explanation though . So, I upvoted just .
    – Roy
    Commented Jan 29, 2018 at 5:33
  • I repeat "You can't do it" is not a solution of "How to do it ?".
    – Roy
    Commented Jan 29, 2018 at 5:40

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