Disable the Internal Microphone on your Mac
All Macs have a microphone included in them, but if you want to disable the internal microphone on your Mac, you can do so through a variety of methods. We’ll cover the two easiest approaches to turning off the microphone; reducing the input volume so that no sound is picked up by the microphone, and also by selecting a different and nonexistent audio input source so that the Mac will not detect audio whatsoever. Both methods effectively disable the microphone on a Mac
Note these work to disable the Macs internal built-in microphone in all versions of Mac OS X and with just about every Mac. To disable an external microphone, simply unplug it from the Mac.
How to Disable the Internal Microphone on Mac by Reducing the Input Volume to 0
- Launch System Preferences from the Apple menu in the upper left corner
- Click on “Sound” preference panel
- Click on the “Input” tab
- Drag the “Input volume” slider all the way to the left, as seen in the included screenshot – you can test the microphone has been disabled by talking and you’ll notice the mic indicator no longer moves
- Close System Preferences as usual
This method works to turn off the microphone by reducing the audio input to zero, effectively making the internal microphone unable to capture any sound.
This control panel for the Microphone looks a little different depending on the version of Mac OS X used on the Mac, but it always allows users to change the microphone input level to zero thereby disabling the ability to pick up sound.
If you want to basically disable the internal microphone’s ability to hear audio entirely, use the below method instead.
How to Disable the Internal Microphone on Mac by Selecting a Different Audio Input
On older versions of Mac OS X you can also just select a different audio input like line-in, even if another mic is not connected to the Mac. This is not an option in newer versions, however, newer Macs can always just plug in a different line-in source and then select that and reduce the volume as described above.
- Launch the System Preferences
- Click on “Sound”
- Click on the “Input” tab
- Select “Line-in”
- Close System Preferences
This works by changing the audio input to the line-in, also known as the audio input port on your Mac. As long as you don’t actually have any audio input device connected, such as an external microphone or some other line-in device, this method is very effective.
Similarly, users can choose to disable the Mac camera or you can simply put tape over the camera and the microphone as well, with the latter serving a dual purpose of preventing camera visuals and also muffling sound input from laptop microphones.