Apple warns against closing MacBooks when using webcam covers

Brittany A. Roston - Jul 12, 2020, 11:29 am CDT
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Apple warns against closing MacBooks when using webcam covers

If you use a webcam cover, you should remove it before closing your MacBook, according to a new advisory from Apple. The company warns that closing a MacBook, including the Air and Pro models, while using a webcam cover may result in damage to the laptop’s display due to minimal clearance between it and the keyboard. Instead, Apple encourages users to use the LED indicator to determine whether the webcam is on.

Many people have started using webcam covers to ensure their webcam can’t be used to monitor them. This isn’t necessarily a paranoid activity, but it is one that doesn’t work well on some devices. Some webcam covers are a bit thick, particularly if you use a more ‘permanent’ kind that features a sliding mechanism to easily uncover the lens.

On its support website, Apple warns that MacBook owners shouldn’t use these covers because there isn’t enough space between the display and the keyboard. As well, these covers could interfere with the ambient light sensor located near the camera, impacting the True Tone tech and automatic brightness from working.

Apple explains that its MacBook users have alternatives, including using the LED indicator near the webcam to determine whether it is in use. When the webcam is on, a green light will appear. The company says that it made the laptop in such a way that the webcam can’t turn on without triggering the green LED indicator.

As well, the company notes that MacBook users can control which apps are allowed access to the webcam in the System Preferences. What about users whose work environment requires them to use a webcam cover? Apple says that in these cases, the cover must be no thicker than 0.1mm, which is the thickness of an ordinary piece of printer paper. As well, covers with adhesive shouldn’t be used.


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