How to Set Up Camera and Microphone on macOS, Windows, and Browsers

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How to Set Up Camera and Microphone on macOS, Windows, and Browsers

If you use Google Meet, Zoom, or any other conferencing video app, you may sometimes wonder why your camera or microphone isn’t working. Sometimes just checking the mute or camera buttons in the app is enough, but if that doesn’t work, you may need to adjust audio and video permissions in your browser or operating system.

Let’s look at how to manage permissions for macOS, Windows, and other known browsers: Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox Microsoft Edge, and Apple Safari.

Managing audio and video in the operating system

If the audio and camera settings in the operating system are not configured correctly, they will not work with any applications, so if there is a general problem, it is recommended to check this first.

Windows

  • Go to Settings>System>Sound check your speaker and microphone settings.
  • Go to Settings > System > Privacy & Security > Camera to check the camera, where you can choose which installed apps and web apps can access your camera.

macOS

  • On macOS, the appropriate options for sound are under the System Settings… > Sound.
  • Go to System Preferences> Privacy and Security > Camera to choose which apps can access the camera.

Manage audio and video in the browser

If none of these solutions solve your problems, here’s how to check your browser settings.

Google Chrome

Google Chrome
Google Chrome

If you’re using Chrome, the first time you visit a website, your computer’s webcam or microphone will appear in a small window to the left of the URL bar. Click Allow to grant permission.

You can also allow or block these permissions at any time by following these steps:

  • Click the icon to the left of the URL bar: it will be a padlock for HTTPS-secured sites or a triangle for non-HTTPS-secured sites.
  • Select Site Settings in the window that appears to view all permissions for the site you are currently on.
  • Open the dropdown list next to “Camera” or “Microphone” to access three options: Request (receive a request every time access is required), allow, or block.

You can also manage camera and microphone access settings across all sites at once.

  • Click “Privacy and Security” on the left, then ” Site Settings“……….
  • Select “Camera” or “microphone“. Here you can disable them completely so that sites won’t even be able to request their use. These same screens also allow you to see and manage which sites currently have these permissions.

When it comes to muting sites, in Chrome this is done by right-clicking on the site’s tab title. Then you can choose a mute site or Unmute site sound as needed. If a site is playing sound, a speaker icon appears on its tab, through which a line will pass if the sound is currently muted.

Microsoft Edge

Microsoft Edge

In Edge, when a site for which you haven’t previously set permissions requires a camera or microphone, a dialog box appears on the left side of the URL bar asking for access. At this point, you can click accordingly “Allow” or “Block“.

You can also allow or block these permissions at any time by following these steps:

  • Click the icon to the left of the URL bar, which will either be a padlock if the site supports HTTPS or a triangle symbol if it doesn’t.
  • Click Permissions for this site and a list will appear showing all the permissions the site currently has or does not have, including camera And microphone.
  • Click the menu next to any resolution to the site requested access every time access is required, or set permission to Allow or Block.

You can also manage camera and microphone access settings across all sites at once.

  • Select cookies and site permissions in the navigation list on the left.
  • Select the camera or microphone (or any other permission) to see which sites are accessible and which sites have been blocked.
  • You can also block the ability to request access permissions on all sites by turning off the toggle Ask before access.

Finally, there is a mute feature on the site. Right-click the tab title, then select Disable tab to mute the sound; right-click on the tab title, then select Enable Tab to do the opposite. The speaker icon on the tab indicates audio is playing, and the small cross next to the speaker means the sound is currently muted.

Apple Safari

When a site in Safari first requires permission, such as access to the camera or microphone, a dialog box appears. You can Allow the request, Do not allow the request, or select Never for this website to deny access and block future requests.

You can also allow or block these permissions at any time by following these steps:

  • Open the menu Safari and select Settings > Websites.
  • Click “Camera” or “Microphone” to view a list of sites where this permission has been granted or blocked.
  • Use the drop-down lists on the right to grant or deny permission, or to have the site request permission each time it is needed.

You can also manage camera and microphone access settings across all sites at once.

  • At the bottom of the dialog box is another drop-down list to control this permission on a per-site basis. The following options exist: Ask (request permission), Deny (always block access) and Allow (always provide access when necessary).

When it comes to muting sites, any site that plays audio will display a speaker icon to the right of the URL bar. Click this icon to mute the site (the sound waves in the icon will disappear), and click it again to unmute it.

Mozilla Firefox

If you choose Firefox, you’ll see a dialog box appear to the left of the URL bar the first time a site needs access to your webcam or microphone. You can click “Allow” or “Block” and check the box “Remember this decision“if you don’t want to make this choice every time.

You can also allow or block these permissions at any time by following these steps:

  • Click the two slider icon to the left of the URL bar. (Note: This permission button appears in the URL bar only after a permission request, so if you don’t see it, that’s why.)
  • A list of granted and blocked permissions will appear – click on any of the entries to reset the permission (so you’ll be asked again the next time access is needed).

You can also manage camera and microphone access settings across all sites at once.

  • Open the Firefox menu (three horizontal lines, top right), then select “Settings“.
  • In the chapter “Privacy and Security» Scroll down to “Resolution”.
  • Click “Camera” or “Microphone” to see which websites have requested these permissions and change the settings for those sites to “Allow” or “Block“.
  • At the bottom of the camera and microphone pages, there is a checkbox that says Block new requests. This prevents sites from requesting the permissions they need.

To mute a site in Firefox, it must be playing sound – you can then click on the speaker icon that appears in the tab header when you hover your mouse over it to mute the sound. Click the icon again to unmute the sound.

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